ALBUM REVIEW: thoughtcrimes – Altered Pasts

Altered Pasts (Pure Noise) is the debut album from the Long Island based five-piece featuring ex-Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Billy Rymer, who also plays guitar on the record alongside his long-time friend Brian Sullivan. Rymer was inspired to pick his guitar back up and jam with Sullivan during his off time with Dillinger, dabbling once again with the instrument he had to put to one side to focus on his drumming during the height of their fame.

And so the seeds were sown for the beginnings of this project which they have now had time to focus on and nurture since Dillinger disbanded.

The comparisons with Rymer’s former band are obvious and are exemplified with opening track ‘Panopticon’ which was also released as a taster single.

Screaming vocals … check. Furious drumming … check. Changing mathcore time signatures … check!

The track is a burst of energy with a rolling riff and a final synth heavy electronic breakdown. On ‘Mirror Glue’ singer Rick Pepa shows polarising sides to his range with his intro feeding the track into a ball of chaos, before it drops into a sci-fi soundscape, all nineties drum & bass percussion, before changing again into a clean vocal section, which in parts doesn’t sound too unlike Jane’s Addiction/Porno For Pyros vocalist Perry Farrell.

‘Keyhole Romance’ then showcases vocals that definitely draw comparisons with Greg Puciato, as Pepa flips from screams to cleans in a flash, and channels the vibe of Rymer’s former vocalist, in the sung parts especially. And the vocal comparison certainly continues into the melodic yet powerful ‘New Infinities’. Next up the title track provides a darkly atmospheric interlude of industrial electronica before ‘Dare I Say’ comes back in full throttle.

Elsewhere there is spoken word over a deep and harrowing musical section on ‘Hai un Accendino’, further full on raging cuts with ‘Conscience on Tilt’, ‘The Drowning Man’ and ‘Deathbed Confessions’. And a final slice of stripped back experimentation on the clean sung closer ‘Lunar Waves’, with a simple yet effective, mesmerising guitar riff.

There is certainly a lot going on in this record, which is a good thing for sure. The change in styles flow nicely throughout, creating a proper ‘album’ listening experience.

And at only a little over thirty mins in length the time flies by without any filler, taking you on an interesting, eclectic journey.

Buy the album here:

7 / 10