Back in 2010, the band Elitist unleashed one of the more rhythmically complex records to ever bless my ears. The EP “Caves” bent the listeners mind from start to finish. The Los Angeles based band experienced several line up changes following that release, losing both their drummer Robert Platz and vocalist Jacob Katz (oh, the rhymes). These changes had a noticeable effect on their follow up EP “Earth”. Though it was a good release, it didn’t have the same ‘umph’ that “Caves” did. And after that there were even more line up changes, losing Sean Hall as well. They released a single titled “Dreamwalker” which was interesting, but here’s a shocker… there were more line up changes. Ultimately the band settled with original members Julian Rodriguez, the driving force and lead guitarist of Elitist, and Mike Danese on bass. New members include Chris Balay on vocals (worked with Julian on the Forever Orion project), and Ben Kazenoff on drums. After the last single, hopes for a full length were mounting.
And that full length has finally arrived. But does it live up to the hype and hopes of fans? Essentially, this is a great album. Every song has something to offer and parts will probably end up stuck in your head all day. “Reshape | Reason” is definitely a full step up from the “Earth” EP. But I still wouldn’t say it has quite the ‘umph’ that “Caves” did. Objectively, a few parts may feel lackluster and generic, but overall “Reshape | Reason” is a very good release. You can tell Julian Rodriguez and crew are growing as musicians and it’s cool listening to that evolution.
Right away you notice the serious melodic side of Elitist mixed with the band’s signature rhythmic complexity and creativity in the stand out opener “Unto The Sun”. The band has an impressive sound. This is really the story for most of the album with other stand out tracks such as “Square And Compass”, “Reshape Reason”, “Equinox”, and “Lucid Dream” among others. There are some very interesting and unexpected segments to be found on “Reshape | Reason”. “Transmutation” is an absolutely beautiful melodic interlude and “Sacred Geometry” closes with an awesome, intricate piano piece. Also, this is the first release from Elitist to feature clean singing. This includes a cameo from ERRA’s Garrison Lee. Like I said before, every track on “Reshape | Reason” has something good to offer.
To sum things up, this is a great record. Not perfect, but definitely impressive. I seriously recommend that all you metal heads give “Reshape | Reason” a good listen or two. And if you like what you hear, consider buying the record and throwing some money at Elitist. These guys deserve it.