There's a knack to producing deliberately-awkward, wildly experimental alt-metal that makes people want to put in the substantial effort required to get to grips with the songs. Djevara haven't quite got the hang of that yet.
To their credit, they make no efforts to ease the listener in gently. Album-opener 'Jesus vs. Mohammed (Ali)' is warped metal awash with love-them-or-hate-them, cartoonish vocals. Jabbering frontman Bass runs amok through the swaggering, shambolic guitars and great, churning waves of aural chaos that make up 90% of 'Jesus vs. Mohammed (Ali.)' A vengeful-sounding beast of a track, underpinned by crunching riffs and topped off with lashings of chord-mangling. There's plenty of talent and musicianship on display here, but you'll suspect Djevara aren't fully in control of the chaos they are creating.
Second track 'Lines in the Sand' would benefit from a subtly unifying underling beat. An introduction of fluttery, nervy chords, stop-start riffing and sharp, angular vocals lay down a jagged landscape of sound, which then accelerates into a punkish clatter, where every hint of empty space is quickly packed in with jangling drums. There is the occasional hint of a tight, throbbing bassline that has the potential to transform 'Lines in the Sand' into a darker, more intense beast - especially during the bass-drenched closing moments, where paranoid vocals are thrown into the fray to brilliant effect - but, overall the unifying potential of this bass line isn't used nearly enough, and 'Lines in the Sand' sounds like it's in danger of careening out of control.
Thankfully, the rest of the album takes steps towards coherence - or what passes for coherence in Djevara-land. 'Once More with Feeling (Best Supporting Actor)' backs the usual vocal and guitar shrapnel with a persistent, churning guitar line that ties all the song's extremities together, creating a recognisable whole. However, those rap-rock yelps of "once more with feeling!" do become very irritating, very quickly.
There's something almost elastic about the riffs that stretch, strain and snap back into place throughout 'View From a Glass House.' The guitar's measured lunge and recoil, is perfectly complimented by Djevara's twitchy vocals. One of the easier songs to digest, and recommend for those with a penchant for art-metal.
Djevara make a full-on bid to weird the listener out, with album-closer 'Rising Tide of the Disconnected.' This track creeps to life with a full cast of voices all intoning a child-like rhyme against a spider-web of silvery chords. 'Rising Tide of the Disconnected' quickly expands into a stream of static-soaked sound, where you'll be vaguely aware of frontman Bass squealing away somewhere in the distance. This song ends as it began; with a hoard of voices all whispering against a shivery bit of guitar-work. This is the sort of tie-in Djevara need more of. Expect to be left chilled to the core.
With this album, Djevara push the listener away a little too forcefully, whilst offering them very little to ensure their first experience of 'The Rising Tide (Part 1)...' is an enjoyable one. A few more unifying grooves and hooks, would have give the listener that much-needed helping hand in untangling this album's complexities. As it is, 'The Rising Tide (Part 1)...' has a tendency to feel like too much effort, for not enough reward.