Reviews ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead So Divided

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

So Divided

In 2005, Texan art-rockers ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead released World's Apart to critical acclaim and commercial failure. The unfortunate victims of a leak that saw the album seep onto the Internet months before its heavily delayed release date. At the time, Conrad Keely openly admitted that he'd considered to just packing it all in. Then something began to happen in the studio and So Divided began to rise from those ashes of disappointment. Arriving without the spectacle of the promotion machine ramping up, the lingering question was always there, "Where could the band possibly go after the disenchantment of World's Apart's apparent failure?" The simple answer: they would create So Divided.

Opening in grandiose circumstances with "A Song of Fire and Wind," it would seem no major departure from the bombastic posturing of World's Apart is in order. That is, until "Stand In Silence" opens into funeral march halfway though and the listener finds himself transported into the midst of an album that slowly begins to feel much more like an ostentatious drama being played out in front of his eyes. Orchestrated from the depths of ceremonious grandiloquence, So Divided swings in moods from the pensive single, "Wasted State of Mind", that, for all accounts, leaves the listener lost in a dizzying world of soaring piano, to the downtrodden blues-rock of "Naked Sun" and all the way to the giddy heights of The Beatles influenced "Eight Day Hell." Without ever trying, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead has created an album that flows through acts, suites and emotions with all the over-the-top pomp and ceremony of an opera.

Some might call So Divided arrogant. Maybe it is, but it never gives the feel of being so. Some might talk about the pageantry that flows through the album. It's easy to talk about so many aspects of So Divided that the bigger picture is lost. It is an album that needs to be listened to and understood as an album. A concept album without the story, but with all the emotive highs, lows and middle grounds. All together, it's a rare opus that, while not as brutal as earlier offerings, and not as considered as latter offerings, is no less extreme and no less poignant. Easily the best work from ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead so far.

9.5 / 10Neil F.
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Interscope

2006

9.5 / 10

9.5 / 10

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