Drawing from his inspirations from outside his constraints as a classically trained musician, Bryan Deister has called upon his influences that range from the eclectic sounds of Kurt Cobain and Radiohead to produce a layering of music that will entice audiences to continue to follow the singer/songwriter in his musical adventures. The challenges that offset Deister’s journey may have entitled Spines of the Heart to become the solo project that he may have been looking forward to. Originally from Redondo Beach, California, Deister has kept to the heart of the mainstay of the populace by catering to the area’s appetite for metal and fusion progressive rock. He is currently going to school at Berklee College of Music, keeping up with his Writing and Composition Scholarship in Boston, Massachusetts. The haunting and wandering sounds that comes from his recently released album, Spines of the Heart, might easily tap into keeping true to his roots and his patronage in the West Coast while continuing his repertoire and studies in a new area. Yet Deister’s latest endeavour is resonant of both coasts, keeping in tune to the vibrant mountainous grounds of the Pacific while keeping time to the healthy greens of the Atlantic.
The album title centers on the heart as an anatomy that coincides with keeping a place relevant, while also ambivalently being pulled from another area of discourse. The brooding rock reflections on, Spines of the Heart, consequentially says that Desiter’s sound, though melancholy, is melodic enough to be coined as “pop-worthy”. With far reaching harmonies, Deister’s great whispery vocals continue to jolt throughout the album like a backbone to a true story.
In “Have You”, the fourth track to the album does similarly to that. It instead of screams, is meditative in a moody manner with winding vocals that give a memorable twist to the track. “Silent Screams” is a bluesy rendition that allows a roaming, wandering quality to pull through from the modern style. From Deister’s sound you get the sense that he upholds a disbelief against covers. In the case of his sprawling project, you can tell Deister relishes in original compositions and highlights those in his album, Spines of the Heart. The harmonies are grandiose with a flowy, lullaby-feel, while there is a brief orchestral moment in “Brighter Dawn” that offers a cathartic and gratifying aftermath to the entire album. Adding to the sense that the songs off this album assuages any unwanted negative feelings, “Into the Sky” makes a big move toward turning out choral vocals that finish with a great melodic twist. And toward “Nobody Angel”, the James Bond quality will chill listeners by its edgy and suave connotations.
This is a solid release. With 22-tracks off this 2-disc album, there is a lot to listen for and to strive to understand. Those who thrive under ambiguous settings and atmospheric listens will be gratified by the mind-bending course this album takes, giving it a, 7.8/10.