, a second album that bends the boundaries of screamo, metal, and punk with a little experimental action of its own. Detached electro clicks perforate the intro and ghostly interlude of "Tensioning," while singer Jim Ward resembles Mark Kozelek as a futuristic metalhead on "Lines in Sand" -- a yawning highlight steeped in the bombast of towering guitar spirals that bears a vague resemblance to Guns N' Roses' "Estranged."
Still, like Sparta's first full-length, Wiretap Scars, Porcelain thrives on contrast: "Travel by Bloodline," a pummeling yowl, segues directly into "P.O.M.E.," a jazz-inflected, 47-second drum interlude, and "Guns of Memorial Park" is a metal song imagined by hardcore heroes Thrice. Although the sprawling and challenging nature of the album might throw off some listeners, Porcelain harnesses its aggression in creative and exciting ways.
When it comes to At the Drive-In offshoots, the members of Mars Volta have a lock on conceptualizing unexpected detours into weirdness. But Sparta gives the prog-freakers a run for their money on