On Thorns I Lay - _Egocentric_
(Black Lotus, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
It only took one listen to _Egocentric_'s opener "Life Can Be" for
contradictions to arise in my mind: from a reviewer's perspective, I
immediately loathed this new incarnation of On Thorns I Lay for
copying present day Katatonia so unashamedly; but the catchiness of
the track was undeniable and reasonably pleasant, and one must surely
possess some skill in order to achieve that. _Egocentric_'s similarity
to Katatonia initially seemed my most likely target for criticism, in
spite of the apparently decent quality of the album. How ironic then
that it was never again felt as much as on the first couple of tracks, and that
this would prove to be _Egocentric_'s undoing. As the similarities
faded, the album correspondingly descended into an anonymous,
unremarkable mush of trendy pseudo-depressed, half-acoustic rock. Some tracks on
_Egocentric_ fell below the limits of my patience, while others were
just about average; ultimately, I ended up actually missing the kind
of blatant lack of originality found in the aforementioned "Life Can
Be" for the rest of the album. This isn't to say the rest of
_Egocentric_ is a very original affair: it's mostly the influences
that change and become much less interesting. Only the last couple of tracks recaptures some of the album's initial interest, and they even do so without having to resort to any great lack of originality. On Thorns I Lay have
come a long way from their early experimental days of _Sounds of
Beautiful Experience_, _Orama_ and _Crystal Tears_; having previously
toyed with interesting ideas but still falling short of the target,
six albums into their career On Thorns I Lay just seem confused as to where they want to take their music.
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