It helps that producer Lou Giordano understands that what the band is after is an ever-shifting dynamic, the push and pull of complex rhythms and roiling guitars. So he makes Goldsmith's drums sound like cannonballs fired in a cathedral and turns Enigk's high-pitched voice into a truly melodic instrument rather than a banshee wail. Now that things are sounding clearer, a sense of pretentiousness pervades the album: Songs like "Disappear," "Snibe," and "Television" are epic affairs, drawn around concepts like surveillance, despair, and fate. But pretension today is just yesterday's ambitiousness, and even the moodiest moments are imbued with a graceful, slowly building magnificence and sense that Enigk is truly expressing a Weltschmerz of which he can't rid himself. In other words the band earns its bombastic sound because it needs it; without the swells and flourishes, The Rising Tide would be sodden and bleak, which isn't Enigk's goal. So when he enlists that chamber orchestra once again for "Rain Song" and tells the world to "never mind the words they waste," he sounds like he's finally settled into speaking for himself without worrying about anybody's judgment. Which is what separates the remarkably dull from the remarkable.
Time Bomb Recordings