Darkness is a tricky topic to juggle for any artist, as it requires an artist to be in a constant state of vulnerability, which although makes for great art, it can easily make an easy target for harsh and unwanted criticism. Thankfully for Bryan Deister, this does not seem to be a worry of his, as the brooding album, Spines Of The Heart, is chock-full of darkness and beauty.
Opening with the Nine Inch Nails meets Radiohead sound of All That I Have, it is clear that Bryan Deister has some real depth and insight to offer his fans. Even though comparisons can be made between both NIN and Radiohead, Bryan does bring his own unique style by merging those worlds together. The track is a moody journey through layers of emotional sound, and a great choice for an album opener.
Responding Well is the follow up track to the moody All That I Have. It is a haunting track that captures the very fragility of the entire album, as if everything is resting on the edge of a knife. With its distorted synths and vocals to match, this is a song that is challenging to absorb, as it is both intentionally pitchy and very melancholic in its entirety.
Into The Sky is the track that showcases the classically trained musical history of Bryan Deister. This is a masterfully produced song that lightens both the vocals and tempo up, and it successfully carries the listener up from the depths in which the rest of the album resides. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of these types of songs on the album, as it can get emotionally exhausting to hear so many haunting, brooding and overall sad songs.
The album as a whole gets most of its praise from the brave choice of dealing with such trying content. There are a few real gems on this album that can be found within the dark corners of the album, but you will have to wade through some trying waters to find them. Spines Of The Heart is a beautifully dark album, that although tests your patience a bit too much, it also offers you an honest glimpse into the mind of an interesting artist worth listening to.