Total Strife Forever - East India Youth
Total Strife Forever Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the debut full-length release for British electronic musician William Doyle.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Jan 23, 2014
    90
    Total Strife Forever is a brutal electronic album, but one that still retains a very humanistic core--this juxtaposition is a thematic thread which runs throughout the album. Doyle then sculpts and defines the music in order to create tension between these two disparate elements, or else uses their differences in order to surprise and engage the listener.
  2. Jan 7, 2014
    90
    Total Strife Forever is that scarcest of things; a masterly record which walks a unpredictable line musically yet remains entirely consistent in quality.
  3. 90
    Total Strife Forever is breathtaking. It might get tough sometimes, lonely and desolate even, but Doyle’s catharsis will hoist you by the bootstraps into lusher pastures.
  4. Jan 8, 2014
    80
    What really sets Total Strife Forever apart is Doyle’s vocal ability.
  5. Jan 10, 2014
    80
    An often fairly classicist pop record which nods heavily towards naggingly familiar influences, yet doesn't feel like it could exist at any other time than now.
  6. Feb 5, 2014
    70
    While William Doyle’s career is undoubtedly on an upward trajectory and I am looking forward to his evolution as an artist, Total Strife Forever is hardly a landmark in electronic music.
  7. 40
    While Doyle struggles to balance his various musical elements--the opening 10 minutes is sheer drudgery--he has a nice way with layered vocal harmonies, which deserve more regular exposure.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jan 17, 2014
    8
    Total Strife Forever is an eclectic electronic amalgamation of music spanning many genres. Electronica, techno, dance, pop, even post rock influences are scattered through this very atmospheric album. Doyle's vocals, though used sparingly, are incredibly effective at delivering emotion. The album begins and ends with completely instrumental, shoegaze influenced electronica, which may be off-putting to some, but these tracks don't lack the emotional authenticity the more accessible tracks are full of. As a whole, Total Strife Forever flows remarkably well, and succeeds in providing interesting, complex electronic music without losing accessibility.

    Track Picks: Dripping Down, Hinterland, Heaven How Long, Looking for Someone
    Expand
  2. Apr 16, 2014
    7
    William Doyle, aka East India Youth, shows a lot of promise on this record, but the tracks themselves seem to meander without purpose. Many people, when talking about East India Youth, evoke names like James Blake or Zomby. But these two artists serve more as representations of what "Total Strife Forever" lacks moreso than any kind of logical musical predecessor. Both of the aforementioned artists have an eye for brevity, either in song structure or in lyricism. Both know when a loop's looped too much or when a nice synth riff can evolve to something greater. Unfortunately for Doyle, this sense doesn't appear to be present on this album. The best parts of the album, the parts where Doyle opens his mouth, are the shortest, while unevolving synths and drum patterns are allowed to sit for minutes on end unfettered. Songs like "Hinterland" give their best shots at meaningful trance/synth pop, but ultimately collapse in on their own repetition. If Doyle were to let his tracks breath, or at least comfortably inhabit this grief-stricken world he's evoking, his music would be quite extraordinary. Doyle has the production chops to make something great, but he just hasn't mastered the sequencing/compositional element. Expand
  3. Jan 22, 2014
    5
    Its nice, interesting, mostly instrumental music. Nothing that really catches my attention though. Not bad, but not good. It might be one of those albums you have to listen to a couple times. Expand
  4. Jan 20, 2014
    4
    A mere exercise in electronic producing, this album does not stand up to its critics' score. Neither the instrumental nor the vocal tracks have anything to add to an already immense repertoire of this very same kind of music. Total Strife Forever just feels like it's riding the wave failing to deliver something not only not original, but also not beautiful. Expand