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While every bit as sonically vitriolic as their past endeavors, Painted attempts to focus its energy rather than lash out blindly. Songs like “Greenland” and “It’s The Water” still weigh in with bottom-heavy instrumentation, but lyrically look towards brighter horizons. Though the band seeks to close the emotional divide it basked in on their debut, the primary meaning behind New Distances couldn’t be more pertinent to the band’s sophomore album. The U.S. Department of Immigration recently denied entry to Cox, forcing the recruitment of temporary guitarist Mark Holcomb (Aeges, Undertow, Shift) for Narrow’s 2011 tour with Helms Alee. While the global nature of the band already limited their opportunities for touring, this additional roadblock further exacerbated the difficulties of writing and recording an album with members spread across the United Stated and Europe.
Despite the difficulties of recording across two hemispheres, Painted sounds like a band locked into a singular vision. Matt Bayles (Mastodon, ISIS, Minus The Bear) recorded the album at Red Room Studios with Cox’s guitar overdubs tracked by Wayne Pennell at Bunker Studios in Brentford, England during late night Skype sessions with the stateside members of the band. Due in part to the constraints of time and distance, Painted is a streamlined record. With eight songs clocking in at just over 27 minutes, the album wastes no time exorcising its demons. And while part of New Distances’ allure stemmed from it’s marriage of primal metallic hardcore with the effects-laden art rock approach of guitarists Cox and Frederiksen, Painted harnesses power from curtailing more of their experimental moments in favor of big meaty riffs and voracious tempos.
01. Under The Guillotine
02. TB Positive
03. Absolute Betrayer
05. "It's The Water"
06. Face Paint
07. Final Mass