When Did We Stop Listening is the second EP released by Montreal metalcore band Confined To Oblivion. Although not familiar with their first release, this EP is a great introduction, despite taking a while to really lock into full speed.
The opening track “I For An Eye” honestly had me fearing the worst for the rest of the EP. The whole thing starts off slow and a little weak. When everything comes in, the half-assed riffing takes a backseat to an unoriginal rhythm. Combine that with frontman Jeff Boisvert’s two flip-flopping vocal registers, and I wasn’t exactly left impressed. Both his low growls and high screams are somewhat comical, and the latter feeling dangerously reminiscent of old-school over-the-top thrash metal vocalists.
Thankfully, “Dressed In Red” is a much better example of how these cliché metalcore elements can blend together to make something cool. The aggressive, layered vocals, alongside the melodic riffing and heavy rhythm section makes for a bit of a throwback to the genre’s heyday. A lot of that goes to the studio engineer, Jonathan Lefrançois-Leduc. He’s done a good job at keeping things sounding heavy and modern, without sucking the soul out of the musicians’ instruments.
The EP’s next couple tracks keep a steady pace until we get introduced to the album’s final track, “Odium.” It’s probably the most different of the batch, but would easily be my least favourite track if not for the groovy, Lamb Of God-inspired riff that makes an appearance near the beginning. The rest of the track is filled with unnecessarily drop tuned guitars, and some lengthy breakdowns before the whole thing ends abruptly.
All in all, Confined To Oblivion released a very legitimate and enjoyable EP. Even Boisvert’s dynamic vocal range fit much better in When Did We Stop Listening’s later songs. The overall project’s definitive highlights are certainly the production quality and the ever-interesting guitarwork that stops this release from sounding like just another metalcore record. Don’t hesitate to check this thing out.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Mike Milito