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When Titus Andronicus announced The Most Lamentable Tragedy, (TMLT) the question wasn't whether it would be good, it was how good. The band has proved itself to be incredibly consistent over the past three albums, minus some minor ups and downs. The Airing of Grievances was great, The Monitor was incredible, and Local Business was good. TMLT features some of the band's best and most interesting material, but its spread so thin. The album is fantastic at points but tiresome at others, which makes for an inconsistent, but great listen.
The first thing that makes itself apparent about the album is its length. TMLT is 93 minutes, compared to The Monitor's 65 minutes. To give an idea of how long this is compared to other rock operas, the Who's Quadrophenia and Pink Floyd's The Wall are both 81 minutes. TMLT is 12 minutes longer than these already long albums. To pay attention to an album for 93 minutes is an incredible feat, even if the music is fantastic. While most of the material on this album is fantastic and keeps the listener's attention, not all of it does. The experimental drone tracks are interesting, but don't work too well in the album. The tracks "Sun Salutation" and "Auld Lang Syne" are interesting in theory, but break up the flow of the album. The silent "Intermission" track works better than expected, even if it's unbelievably pretentious.
Besides these weaker moments that are mentioned above, almost every song is fantastic. "No Future Part IV: No Future Triumphant" features incredibly knotty instrumental break-downs that are relatively new sounding for the band. The Eastern-influenced "More Perfect Union is an epic exploration of family. "(S)HE SAID/(S)HE SAID" is one of the best songs on the album, even if it's four minutes too long. "I'm Going Insane" is one of Titus's best songs, despite its repetitive lyrics. "Into The Void (Filler)" is anything but filler and it features some of the best guitar and bass riff's in the band's discography.
Titus Andronicus seems to be trying a lot of different things of this album, some which succeeds and some of it fails. The idea of doing a very personal rock opera was an interesting one, but between bad mixing and growled vocals, it's hard to keep up with the story. It's possible to grasp moments of the story after repeated listens, but repeated listens are hard when the album is this long. Some of the tracks on the album don't work, but for the most part the band has created some incredible tracks that sound like classic Titus songs, but still fresh and new. Recommended.