AlbumsNovember 29, 201113,175 views

From A Second Story Window Conversations

01. Most of Us Are Normal 02. Self Admitted 03. Leaving the Earth 04. Monumental Treason 05. The Burning Bush 06. Severed Heads Open Minds 07. A Swarm of Bees 08. Advancement Towards Nothingness 09. Stolen Lands 10. When Harry Lost Sally
2008 Black Market Activities
Our score 4

by Nick

Where in the metal and hardcore handbook does it say that "natural progression" must be coupled with a more melodic sound Is it in chapter eight Is my copy missing a few pages Sure, there are a few counterexamples of bands that have continued to prosper with a more melodic sound (Cave In and Entombed, among others) and even those who reverse the process and develop a more abrasive edge (last year's release by pop-punk turned screamo act The Kidcrash provides a nice example), but one doesn't have to be an expert in the genres to know that this "natural progression" often spells disaster. And unfortunately for Black Market Activities' From a Second Story Window, their third release, Conversations, delivers the textbook example. While the band's debut, Not One Word Has Been Omitted, wasn't exactly an instant classic, its combination of frenzied song structures, some grindier moments, and intermittent breakdowns became a standard for the chaotic metalcore style. The band's follow-up release, Delenda, showcased an increased technical component, but ultimately proved to be hindered by a stronger melodic presence and the inclusion of clean singing. With Conversations, the band has yet to right itself, falling deeper and deeper into the bowels of forgettable metalcore obscurity. Although Conversations is still recognizable as a From a Second Story Window record, the band's songwriting mentality has hit rock bottom. Few moments offer the same chaotic style once delivered on past records. Instead, a more fluid (and incredibly monotonous) songwriting approach has taken over as the norm. The album opener, "Most of Us Are Normal," wastes no time in displaying that the From a Second Story Window of old is long gone as it reveals itself as a slowly developing ballad accompanied entirely by clean singing. "Self Admitted" bares the lifeless formula used throughout the remainder of the disc: periods of metalcore chugging coupled with low growls alternating with sections of clean singing over smoother guitar melodies. And since the band rarely strays from this combination (closing track, "When Harry Lost Sally," does indeed stray - but by delivering another uninspired ballad attempt), it appears that Conversations is yet one more example of highly polished, highly predictable, and highly forgettable metalcore for the masses. Bottom Line: Conversations is an album that has been written a hundred times over due to the explosion of metalcore within the extreme music scene. The lone difference here is that From a Second Story Window was once near the forefront of the genre, only to eventually fall in line four years later with this release. Even fans of polished metalcore should be getting burnt out on stuff like this by now.


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first_ 8/21/2008 3:19:28 PM

first post

ipaintmycrimes_ 8/21/2008 3:27:13 PM

too bad fassw broke up. cd wasn't exactly the most amazing thing ever or anything, but it was better than delenda. plus they're cool f*cking dudes.

Nick_ 8/21/2008 3:34:00 PM

Also, this is by far some of the worst album artwork I've ever seen coming from a legitimate label.

CollegiateViking_ 8/21/2008 3:53:17 PM

i wasn't a big fan of delenda myself, just a little to much of a chaotic mess. decent album, review is close to what i would've given it.

fuckuall_ 8/21/2008 3:55:20 PM

I think this album is solid, I mean yeah it does fall right under the metalcore genre, but it's still good. Not a 10/10 by any means but I would say 7/10. And I didn't know they broke up!

motherfucker_ 8/21/2008 4:05:19 PM

clean vocals f*ck off

ickk_ 8/21/2008 4:14:44 PM

harry lost sally is a rip off of pink floyds welcome to the machine. listen to it

xote_ 8/21/2008 4:25:40 PM

What a horrible f*cking band.

river_of_gooey_cum_ 8/21/2008 4:28:09 PM

this cd BLOWS away the competition and is totally f*ckING AWWWSSSOMMMMEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

uhhh_ 8/21/2008 4:57:50 PM

While not their best album this is still a solid release. 7/10

steve_ 8/21/2008 5:11:34 PM

good review. this album f*cking blows. there is just way too much singing.

ipaintmycrimes_ 8/21/2008 7:08:52 PM

yeah, they've been broken up for a month now or so. black market screwed them when they went to europe for that tour by not loaning the money back like they promised. sucks that it happened to them since they're good people. i do agree though that this album would have been alot better with no singing whatsoever.

shodan_ 8/21/2008 7:12:02 PM

The first album was actually good. Holy Christ do they suck now.

LT_ 8/21/2008 7:16:05 PM

"the band's songwriting mentality has hit rock bottom" Are you kidding me? This CD is the best shit they have ever done by far. Youre crazy! CD rules!

mapexdrummer_ 8/21/2008 10:39:17 PM

They love getting the f*cking piss beat out of them on stage.

LeeArtavia_ 8/22/2008 1:41:50 AM

Now that their broken up. I hope their singer brings back END OF ALL

ugh_ 8/22/2008 2:30:11 AM

i used to love this band, but they are a complete f*cking joke. the first cd was awesome the second was meh and this is complete shit. way to go from heavy as hell to gay as hell. f*ck you.

bryce_ 8/22/2008 3:02:30 AM

'not one word...' was a cool f*cking cd, delenda was shit and this is much worse. once vandergrift left they decided to be more melodic and proceeded to go down the shitter.

chefsam_ 8/22/2008 9:29:09 AM

Shit review Conversations > Not one Word or Delenda

wtf_ 8/22/2008 2:12:10 PM

why does lambgoat waste their time reviewing albums they know will be shit before they are put in the cd player?

theguy_ 8/22/2008 5:37:29 PM

Dalenda showed promise, but I was horrified to hear this record. I suffered through it once, but never again. They broke up eh? Good. Maybe the more technically inclined members will join a band who can write a f*ckin' song. And ya, the artwork SUCKS! My god, anyone could photoshop a better album cover than this.

anonymous 8/22/2008 7:26:04 PM

Didn't this album come out like 3 months ago? Way to stay current lambgoat!

get__offyourcross_ 8/23/2008 12:04:04 AM

"bares the lifeless formula used throughout the remainder of the disc" you obviously shouldnt review albums being so close-minded about music. oh man... not clean vocals! what is he doing? is he actually singing? wow. this album is musically lightyears ahead of anything this bands ever recorded before and obviously they've just matured as artists and unlike you know that not all music has low growls and breakdowns throughout. that is all.

tower_ 8/23/2008 1:57:37 AM

they are such f*cking failures.

lolz_ 8/23/2008 8:15:19 AM


tower_ 8/23/2008 9:37:31 AM

lol @ get__offyourcross... what a dumb f*ck.

Greggles_ 8/24/2008 7:53:09 PM

This album is soggy lettuce.

anonymous 8/27/2008 12:00:47 AM

lol @ get__offyourcross... what a dumb f*ck. posted by tower () on 8/23/2008 9:37:31 AM you obviously don't know shit about f*ck when it comes to music either you f*cking watse of life. get over yourself. no one gives a f*ck about you or your shitty myspace band.

get__offyourcross_ 8/27/2008 12:01:38 AM

^^^^that was me btw

all_failed_ 8/28/2008 5:41:57 AM

This band is horrible live. ALWAYS. Even when they came out with Not One Word.. which is disappointing due to that fact that that was a good album, it's really a shame when bands cannot translate their recordings into a decent live show [not saying it needs to be record quality, cause that would just be boring] but a better live show from them would be good. I'm not even going to waste my time with this new record!

yeah_ 8/28/2008 3:04:59 PM

awful band, awful album. total jokes. especially will, and his "singing".

hmmmm_ 8/30/2008 10:29:04 PM

I gotta admit, the dude above saying they sounded like shit live, very true, seen them 3 times live in betweem the 2003-2006 era, and they flailed around way too much (both with old guitarist who went bat-shit insane and the newer one) to really have the music be HEARD.... I do disagree that it wasnt an entertaining live show however. Late 90's DEP-shock show wannabe's yes.

anonymous 9/23/2008 12:38:47 PM


O NOES NOT C LEAN SINGING_ 3/27/2009 3:30:37 PM

Oh noes, it has clean singing! Oh no, not that! It must be terrible! They're actually trying to do something other than death growls! But it sucks because it's apparently -core and has clean singing! I masturbate to pictures of Corpsegrinder every night!!!111

uhfiuhgoiu_ 4/15/2009 11:08:38 PM

It's obvious that everyone on Lambgoat hates clean vocals and just want to listen to nonstop intelligible death growling. becuz tr00 metul duznt need 2 hav actul talnt nd jsut hav da same br00tul deth metul/blak metul!!!!1