The Bridal Procession - _Astronomical Dimensions_
(Siege of Amid Records, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (7.5 out of 10)
Metalcore is usually not the recipient of many awards. In fact, metalcore has been the recipient of more criticism than praise. Nevertheless, the style is not without its masterpieces and innovations. The Bridal Procession is an extremely new band -- forming less than three years ago. This history regarding this band has been sketchy. The Bridal Procession began as a deathcore act with their 2007 demo _Introduction to the Procession_. Somewhere and somehow, this by-the-book deathcore act abruptly changed everything and vowed for something more. What was born straight-laced deathcore has turned into something more complicated. Starting with a base of metalcore, The Bridal Procession experiments innovates and builds. What is produced is well crafted, and above all else -- surprising.

The change in maturity for The Bridal Procession has been dramatic. Just over a year ago, the band was centerpiece for bizarre music videos depicting kidnapping, torture and shots of the band crabwalking in a parking garage. _Astronomical Dimensions_ is the same band, only ten years older, well read and more focused. The spiritual and scientific angle of _Astronomical Dimensions_ contrasts the seemingly banal subject matter of songs written less than two years ago. Musically, the band has jumped to a style fusing multiple metal genres. Whether accident or not, The Bridal Procession manages to pay tribute to gothic, melodic death, symphonic black, tech-death, power metal, and progressive death. Whatever happened between the 2007 demo and _Astronomical Dimensions_, accident or epiphany, has worked to their advantage. The Bridal Procession has pulled their resources to craft one finely balanced and impressive record.

_Astronomical Dimensions_ leans heavy on the death side, with varying overlaps into different styles. The style shifts are not abrupt, rather mimics a lost child slowly moving through a crowd before crying loudly. The dynamic mixing of their formative years has been reduced to a deep yet consistent structure. The vocals flood the mix, but never once take away from the instrumentation which flies like sparks from a angle grinder. It is the tight focus which keeps the instrumental additions (piano, synth, orchestra) from sounding out of place and hinged on a gimmick.

Visually, _Astronomical Dimensions_ greets you with a grand scene depicting an opening chasm with molten lava pouring inside amid foreboding clouds. The tone is epic, paying tribute to either 19th century American Romantic landscapes or visual interpretations of Mordor. Whether or not the band believe themselves capable of geological transformations would be the first question posed in a hypothetical interview. The band's new logo shines like a silvery blackened death seal -- which looks like something embossed on the shield of a dark elf. The Bridal Procession could be considered an act with deep seated identity issues. This social and psychological conflict, however, could be the basis for further interesting albums from a band willing to push themselves beyond what everyone else their age is doing.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/thebridalprocession

(article published 15/1/2011)


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