Originally formed clear back in 1991, Envy started out by creating thrash metal before expanding their palette and mixing in more melodic and grandiose sounds. By the time they released A Dead Sinking Story a couple years back, the group had gained a following not only for their own unique sound, but for their possible influence on instrumental post rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and others.
Because of that latter statement, I suppose it's fitting that Temporary Residence is the label releasing (well, re-releasing, technically) Insomniac Doze, the latest album from the group. Over the course of seven tracks and almost an hour in running length, the group kicks out their widescreen brand of emotional hardcore with a vengeance, and while at times it sounds downright enthralling, it does tend to wear a bit by the time the album hits the two-thirds point.
Opening song "Further Ahead Of The Warp" gives you just about everything you need to know about the group as soaring cascades of guitars give way to more melodic, yet still driving sections before totally blasting into screamo mode as Tetsuya Fukagawa shreds his vocal chords over epic refrains. As it turns out, this becomes a rather familiar cycle of events, as long tracks (between six and fifteen minutes long) swing between whispered, downright pretty moments and thundering assaults of full-bore rocking.
The long "Crystallize" is a perfect example, as Fukagawa sing/speaks some vocals during the simmering middle section of the track (that arrives after a full-bore opening assault) that slowly but surely leads into another pummeling close. The follower "The Unknown Glow" is even more slow-burn, twisting and turning through quiet passages for a solid two-thirds of fifteen minutes before unleashing a staggering screamo blowout for an ending.
As mentioned above, the group seems to run their range pretty quickly, then forge on for the rest of the release with minor variations on the overall theme. While I admit to not following the hardcore scene too closely the past couple of years (my recent high water mark still belongs to Refused's The Shape Of Punk To Come), Envy certainly gets high marks for atmosphere, but not for overall variety. If you're a fan of melodramatic hardcore, you're probably not going to go wrong here.