After the proggy overindulgence of their previous two albums, these Texans gracefully balance the dynamic alt rock of 2002’s Source Tags & Codes with their more recent multimovement epics. “Halcyon Days” combines lilting, cathedral-size vocals, colossal guitars, and an organ coda without sounding bloated; the poppy surge of “Fields of Coal” has Conrad Keely musing about a fatal prophecy between rousing sailor chants; and the double-vocal punisher “Ascending” (featuring Brooklyn zanies Dragons of Zynth) and slow-burning ballad “Luna Park” showcase Trail of Dead at their unvarnished, poignantly roaring best.
Watch: VIDEO! Trail of Dead Performing Live at SPIN’s NYC Offices!
Listen: …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, “Ascending”