From a band like Periphery, for whom moody synths make the perfect segway between heavy and technical moments, it came as no surprise to hear that the two programmers of the band, Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen, are venturing away from the prog-metal titans for a little while to pursue something bit more ambient and electronic.
‘The Vacancy’ is the debut album from the duo, performing under the name Four Seconds Ago. From the opening dreamy synths of lead single and opening track ‘Fadeaway’, it’s clear that the duo are very proficient musicians who have as much interest in this genre as they do in metal, but as one track bleeds into the next with no real sense of direction or purpose, it becomes increasingly evident that they shouldn’t pack in their day jobs with Periphery just yet.
It’s not that ‘The Vacancy’ is offensive or unpleasant to listen to in any way, but maybe that’s half the problem. Inoffensive to the point of dull, it’s difficult to pick out many distinguishing features from the album. Ghostly vocals give tracks such as ‘The Revenge’ and ‘Galaxy’ slightly more depth, while ‘The Great Silence features lounge-style piano mingling with horror movie synths. More interesting? Certainly, but worth listening to the whole album for? Probably not.
The closing title-track is expansive and clocking in at over seven minutes, it feels, well… long. A track which could build atmosphere as the sounds build and change, it seems to fall flat, despite an array of tempos and contrasting types of beat.
Despite their combined technical prowess, Four Seconds Ago‘s ‘The Vacancy’ is likely to remain on the periphery of electronic music.