"Wow..The Snake The Cross The Crown is nothing short of amazing. I love their debut "Like A Moth Before A Flame", but "Mander Salis" blows that completely out of the water.
When I first bought "Mander Salis", I was very surprised at how much the band had changed, I mean, it honestly sounded like an entirely different band, and a much better band at that.
The comparisons to Radiohead are there, but The Snake The Cross The Crown are very organic in their attempt to make experimental rock music, these guys are a very talented bunch of musicians.
And if anyone gets their hands on the correct lyrics to 'mander salis'..let me know=) too bad they weren't included in the insert.
similar artists/if you like the following you just might like tstctc:
Radiohead Starsailor Bright Eyes Coldplay Sunny Day Real Estate"
Something worth listening to... finally.
X.J.L.: bookseller, music lover | RI | 09/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Less than a week ago I purchased a copy of AMP magazine. A few days later, I purchased a copy of AP. Both mags are cheap, and came with free CDs. I've been sick of the music scene lately... just waiting for a band to come along and be painfully bad enough to make me give up on it altogether... and so I figured if even one band out of the 39 or so on the compilations was remotely good, I was better off, so optimistically, even with band names as ridiculous as The Snake The Cross The Crown and songs as pretentious-sounding as "A Threnody to Modern Romance," I put them in the CD player.
There were in total about 4 bands I could even vaguely tolerate, with The Snake The Cross The Crown (ironically, having singled them out before listening) being the clear victor among them, so I went nosing around for some samples. After hearing the snippets on Amazon (all 30 seconds worth of song, mind you) I knew i had to get a copy, so I ordered it at work, and got it in fairly quickly... bought it today, popped it in when I got home 'round midnight, and I'm already listening to it again. It's as diverse musically as I can hope for from the music scene today. It's clear the songs are meant to be on the same album, but they aren't identical by any means. The previous review comments about the possibility of a Rock Opera... an interesting notion. One certainty is that Mander Salis is not a singles album... it's meant to be enjoyed in completion. The songs often seem to end a bit abruptly, but never offensively... really the only criticism I have. Even the electronic elements work... I'm always wary about incorporating the electronic... it often makes ones work very kitchy sounding.
From the first song, I knew I'd love this... there is a great vocal meshing in the chorus area... the melodies throughout the canon intertwine perfectly. "Empires" reminds me of some tracks on the current Shins album (as do a handful of other tracks in ways). "Gates of Dis," the song on the compilations, reminds me of Sparta in construction... I love the rising action in the vocals around a minute and a half in... good vocals are something so many bands lack now. "A Gathering of Shades" paints in shades of Far in the beginning riffage, and then adds what I must presume is glockenspeil toward the end... mmm, unorthodox instruments. "On the Threshhold of Eternity" is folky with it's strumming and background organ. "The Sun Tells the Moon" veers off with spacy haunting effects on the vocals toward the middle and end. "A Brief Intermission" is a little fingerpicked track, sad despite it's jaunty almost ukelele-like sound. The faint breakbeats at the beginning of the laughing man gives way to what could be the most powerful song on the album, from a volume. Of course, the buildup is nothing compared to that on "Echolalia," an epic track at 9+ minutes... it could be their strongest track on the record. Equally epic, yet in a different way, is the closer, "The Fields of Ius"... it's in the same vein as "Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead (back when they made rock music and were less pretentious... perhaps more akin to Muse overall, while also evoking Rufus Wainwright)... just a beautiful, powerful, haunting closing track.
Any fan of any band I mentioned within this review will find something to like about Mander Salis, but more importantly, I think anyone looking for the next good thing (which is worlds more important than the next big thing) will be equally satisfied."
The Snake, The Cross, The Crown: Up and Coming?
M. H. Montgomery | Hurricane, UT USA | 12/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mander Salis, the first release of Equal Vision Records band The Snake, The Cross, The Crown, starts with an extremely synthetic feeling -- almost to the point of crossing into video game territory -- keyboard line leading into a dense spattering of distorted guitars and vocal refrains. "An Honest Misappropriation of Funds" opens Mander Salis in a big way, a true pace-setting piece. This track leads into "Empires," a track whose guitar meanderings that surely reflects on the Southern roots of the band, who formed in Huntsville, Alabama.
The Snake, The Cross, The Crown shows itself as a band that isn't afraid to make its roots known, as the unique style of the band seems to draw influence from Southern rock and folk, among other styles of music they likely grew up listening to. "On the Threshold of Eternity" echoes with folk influence; clean guitars backed by a tamborine and a keyboard that later overtakes the song, leading into an atmospheric wandering across the stars.
"A Brief Intermission" is an excellent example of the band's more mellow style and influences. This track is, just as the title states, an intermission from the dense, atmospheric sound that dominates the album. It also gives the lyrics a greater chance to shine, which is the most regrettable feature of the sound, as the vocals largely just blend into the guitars, keyboards, and drums.
As evidenced by the following excerpt from "A Brief Intermission", The Snake, The Cross, The Crown have potential not only as musicians, but as lyricists: "She just smiles and nods her head 'oh welcome home' but oh those mines / can't you see, we're just much too deep for your sins / though you buried them beneath the mountaintops where are you going with the cold skin blues." The overwhelming feeling that the music tells some sort of story could easily drive the music, but too often, the vocals get lost in the depth of the music.
The largely instrumental progressive and psychedelic-tinged nine-minute track "Echolalia" is, perhaps, the high-point of the album. Starting with smooth, flowing guitars and a repetetive percussion section that somehow manages to be powerful enough to drive the song -- after all, it consists mostly of a single large bass drum for the majority of the piece, "Echolalia" is a dazzling experimental track that shows a glimmer of the full potential The Snake, The Cross, The Crown seemingly possesses.
Mander Salis makes a mark as The Snake, The Cross, The Crown's first full-length album. At times, it is apparent that this band has not yet reached maturity. Some tracks, like "The Sun Tells the Moon" and "Gates of Dis" don't quite match up to some of the more outstanding tracks -- "Echolalia" and "A Brief Intermission" are two such tracks that make a definite positive impact on the listening experience. Even so, Mander Salis is an excellent debut album, and shows much potential for this band's future efforts."
These guys rocks my socks...thats saying a lot
Jina Chung | Hamilton, New York | 10/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"so i'm in New York for the first time (college) and i go to this rinky dinky concert venue. There's about thirty kids in this dark room. sounds sketchy right? but then..this AWESOME band comes on stage with Wicked Wicked vocals and guitar solos. So i'm totally blown away and immediately go to their merch table after the concert and chatted with the bass player..super nice dude..and i found out there from California! awesome! anyways, i listend to mander salis for two weeks straight and it is soo good. they don't sound typical at all...their lyrics are deep and they sound unique..they have the flair of coldplay, u2 and radiohead..the mature and deep style...i can't believe it's their first full length album...these guys are gonna go places an hit HUGE..i can feel it."
John David Harding | USA | 12/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rarely do I find an album that I can listen to all the way through without wanting to give up. I saw the band play in Baton Rouge not too long ago, then in Atlanta, and they are truly amazing, full of live energy. I had the opportunity to meet one of the band's singers (apparently three in total, this one being Kevin, presumably their primary vocalist), and talk about a nice guy.
This album covers such a broad spectrum of styles that it doesn't become stale, remains constantly fresh. The opening track says it all about the band's ability to transmit pure energy. Truly beautiful tracks are the acoustic 'A Brief Intermission' and 'Fields of Ius.'
Check out this album, you'll be pleasantly surprised. "