Album Review: Touché Amoré – Stage Four

When it comes down to it, there truly isn’t a “correct” way of dealing with tragedy and sooner or later, the person or people affected will have to face it the way that works best for them. Some decide it’s easiest to open up to others and share their grief, while others bottle it up and hold it in. This is where music really makes its mark in the way it works and becomes a beautiful representation of humanity and how people deal with various aspects of life, such as being a coping mechanism, not only for the people who listen to it, but for the artists who create it. Touché Amoré are already well known for the emotion they deliver in their music, but on their fourth album, they take it one step further reaching a new plateau as a band. When faced with the diagnosis of stage four cancer and the consequent death of his mother, vocalist Jeremy Bolm went into the studio to record the band’s fourth full-length, Stage Four. The result? The band’s most emotional album yet.

[tw-toggle title=”About Touché Amoré”]
Genre:Post Hardcore
Label: Epitaph Records
Release: September 16, 2016
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: Kings Road Merch | iTunes

With the idea of catharsis in mind, Stage Four’s Touché Amoré is different and it’s noticeable from the beginning, quickly making itself shown in the album’s opener “Flowers Like You”.  Starting off with the strum of guitars and hi-hat cymbals before exploding into the sound the band is known for, there’s a slight punk edge present thanks to Elliot Babin’s frantic drumming. The album sees the band being less focused on frantically going through 1-2 minute songs, instead using more traditional song structures that give way to longer songs. Additionally, when the first single was released, we were introduced to a different side of the band with the addition of Bolm’s singing. At first glance one might think that clean vocals take away from the Touché Amoré’s sound, but it only adds to it. “Benediction” sees Bolm’s singing prevail in the song’s verses, which only makes the screaming in the chorus sound much more powerful.

Touché Amoré – “Palm Dreams”

Listen to the full album: “Palm Dreams” by Touché Amoré from the album ‘Stage Four,’ available now Order the limited deluxe edition here: Official Site: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Stage Four’s closer, which features the wonderful Julien Baker, closes with the last message left by Jeremy’s mother ending on an emotional and personal note. It’s a simple message about picking up a prescription at CVS, which doesn’t give the feeling of being impactful, yet it resonates as one of the album’s most emotional and powerful moments. It becomes even more powerful as the track “New Halloween” closes off with the line “I haven’t found the courage to listen to your last message to me”, a sign that Bolm hasn’t come to terms with accepting his mothers passing. With the playing of the last message as the record comes to a close, it feels as if it marks the moment he’s finally accepted it, starting the process of moving on.

Without a doubt, Stage Four is the best sounding record Touché Amoré have created thus far in their career. While it’s obviously a personal record for Jeremy, it shows how much can truly help not only listeners, but the creators themselves come to acceptance with tragedy, by tackling themes that people go through surrounding someone’s death. It’s truly a step-by-step process as the band travels from grief to eventual acceptance, resulting in a record that very well may be one of this year’s most emotionally devastating albums.

What Are Your Thoughts!

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