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The Kindred – Life in Lucidity – 8.5/10

– A band formerly known as Today I Caught the Plague, they return with their second album, and first under their new name. The band promised that the name change would not effect the sound of the music, and that it would be the same sound that the band was known for. However, this band made huge evolvements from their first EP to their debut album, and continue to evolve and progress. In other words, this album definitely sounds different. But it’s not because of the name change. It’s because that’s the kind of band this is. They have always included catchy and technical guitar parts, wide range of vocal styles, moments of other styles such as jazz or latin, rhythm changes, dynamic changes, and they manage to cram all that in at around 5 minute songs. Similarly, this album takes the feel and style of Lore, but instead of the darker side of that album, the exchange it for experimentation. Some songs mix their progressive metal with country and western style or blues style guitar parts. Some songs show the guitars finding new tones such as use of an octave pedal or slide guitar. “Wolvish” is a great opener. “Heritage” has some wonderful chants throughout the song. “Everbound” has a nice steady pace throughout with a great buildup. “An Evolution of Thought” and “Decades” have some exciting musical changes and sound like they would have perfectly fit on Lore. “Millennia” is one of my favorite tracks because the band just jams over a blues chord progression and has guitar and keyboard solos. After this to be honest, I would get lost. The first couple of listens, the second half of the album seemed unmemorable and like it would drag on. But this album intrigued me enough to want to give it multiple listens so that I could enjoy the second half as much as the first half. I still think the second half is weaker, but it sees the band experimenting less and just doing some straight forward (or at least The Kindred’s version of straight forward) songs so that the listener can focus more on headbanging with the music. The album ends with the song “Like A Long Life”, which is the longest one on the album. It builds up well and leaves the album on a strong note.