The Cambiata – To Heal
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: February 5, 2008
On January 13th, 2008 – my sixteenth birthday – a new song was posted on Portland, Maine’s The Cambiata’s myspace page. Now, this piqued my interest. I had been somewhat of a fan since buying their first effort, Into The Night, a few months prior. The ten-song effort was a daring blend of hardcore, metal, pop punk, alternative, and even jazz influences to blend one of the best albums of 2006 from the state of Maine. The new song posted was called “All In All (Julie)” and would become the first track on the band’s new disc, To Heal.
“But to heal….what a novel idea!” - “All In All (Julie)”
I have not shut up about this band since buying the record.
Ten months later, here I am, still praising this disc as my favorite of the year. These five tracks have stood the test of time, through the hype of other releases such as Forgive Durden's Razia’s Shadow and Underoath's Lost In The Sound Of Separation. Not to say those and other discs released this year were not excellent in their own right, but The Cambiata has stood out and shined throughout the year.
But enough from me – let me show you what all the fuss is about.
To Heal is a long shot in terms of progression from Into The Night. Fans of the first disc will notice a more theatrical approach to their music, especially from the band’s vocalist, Chris Moulton. It is especially on tracks such as the opener and “Purple” that he lets loose and unleashes an unprecedented fury in his voice, torn by the words he both utters and shrieks in fits of monotony and rage. While there are times when he lets it get out of hand, the composure Moulton keeps is incredible, to say the least. With such potent energy, it's amazing that he manages to control himself.
This is not to say, however, that the band backing behind him does not stand out as well. Overall, percussionist Dan Capaldi, guitarist/glock-rocker Sean Morin and Miguel Barajas and Stan Dzengelewski on guitar and bass, respectively, show their versatility, with prominent xylophone and glockenspiel in “Cut Your Losses.” There’s also some orchestral music involved as well, composed by the band, and the two coincide together beautifully. With all five members contributing to the lyrics, the band is the slickest musical machine on the market.
Now, as for the tracks themselves, we witness a range of what we’ve already seen and what we could have never expected. More contemporary tracks like “Sidestepping versus Splitting Heirs” show how structured the group can make a song while still maintaining their sound. On the other hand, tracks like “Roswell,” the nine minute closer, are slow, but not painfully slow. Moulton sings on “Purple,” with a voice that is affected by the tempo, “All that we see/ Thirsts all that I love/ Shall glow/ Remember my name/ When all this tide is cursive.” He lingers on each word he sings, seemingly unable to continue forth to the next phrase.
But it is the final words spoken on the record that have been burned into my essence. These are words I will never forget.
“Push all the livid out...” - "Roswell"
This is a phrase repeated for three minutes at the end of “Roswell,” a track that no longer holds back at the six minute mark. To heal is to let go, to say goodbye to your strife and your attachment to the elements of your despair. This phrase has helped me out more times that I can pay reverence to, and once you hear it, you will never forget it. I guarantee you that.
To Heal was the only perfect disc to me this year. These five tracks have delivered and surprised me every time I listen. I do more than recommend this to you – I demand these songs to be heard, by anyone who is willing to give this small band a chance. Go on iTunes, get them online, however you can - just get this record.
More people need to listen to The Cambiata. Seriously. It's sad when band's like The Maine get signed and are out on huge tours playing for huge crowds. While bands like The Cambiata are basically stuck in Maine with an obsolete music scene.
I posted on your other review Viva and I'll say it again here. These guys have a real knack for luscious tunage and are progressing musically as a cohesive unit at an astronomical rate. Highly enjoyed and highly recommended by yours truly.