Song Of The Pearl - Arbouretum
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. The band layers on fuzzy distortion through chugging chord progressions, sounding something like Nirvana fronted by John Fogerty. [Spring 2009, p.76]
  2. 80
    Benefiting from a stable line-up throughout, Song of the Pearl manages to sound brighter and more dynamic while retaining its predecessor's visionary essence. [Apr 2009, p.107]
  3. 80
    The ebb and flow of Arbouretum's music, still rooted in folk but flaring into twin-guitar noise-rock, is often astounding. [Apr 2009, p.90]
  4. 76
    While the melodies and rhythms won't escape most listeners, it is the aforementioned instrumental prowess and attention to detail that help build appreciation with each listen. [Winter 2009, p.94]
  5. Song of the Pearl may not be full of surprises, but it provides a fresh trip through familiar territory that's more than idle nostalgia.
  6. It's a weird blend of power-driven grunge and melancholy: a fever dream that sweats out weary sadcore as it primitively pounds out acid rock drudge.
  7. It has a denser, more cohesive sound, more defined rhythms and richer arrangements--and yet lacks some of the subterranean pull of its predecessor.
  8. While it might not be as interesting or idiosyncratic as its predecessor, "Rites of Uncovering," it is a more-cohesive record that, in turn, makes for more a more-satisfying whole.
  9. Song of the Pearl marks a nice transition for these guys, but it ends up sounding like it could have been more.
  10. There's plenty of squelching, soaring solos, and drone rock, just the ticket for those turned on by 11-minute epic 'The Rise' from the last album. [Apr 2009, p.97]
  11. Perhaps praising Heumann's improved writing plays like faint praise, but it's as significant a step in the right direction as tightening the instrumental belt is in the wrong direction.
  12. Song of the Pearl, then, is well-executed, but stuck in the same gear, especially in its middle.

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