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Bryan Deister’s ‘Spines of the Heart’ Brings Dark and Compelling Journey to Listeners [Album Review]

Bryan Deister is a California native and current student of Berklee’s famed College of Music. His two years of dedicated discipline is displayed brightly in his latest two disc album “Spines of the Heart.” The album was digitally released on December 22, 2015, and won a silver medal at the 2016 Global Music Awards. Trained in all things classical, jazz, blues, progressive and rock, Bryan is a performer of all trades. Bryan writes, sings and composes all of his own music, drawing inspiration from the likes of Thom Yorke, Roger Waters, Kurt Cobain and the darker, more brooding side of life.

‘Spines of the Heart’ takes listeners on an emotional ninety minute long experimental rock journey. The album takes a haunting dive into the depths of Deister’s soul and passion, channeling a super Radiohead-esque vibe. The opening track ‘All That I Have,’ presents a solid stage for the rest of the LP, which has its notable ups and downs.

‘Have You’ has you floating in a sea of melancholy, eyes open to the vast and ominous sky, dependent on the fundamental chord to keep the beat alive before Deister flips the pace completely upside down with ‘Silent Screams’ quick and eccentric instrumentation coupled with Deister’s muddled vocals.

The album mellows back out with ‘Approaching,’ a tinge of hope-filled ‘Brighter Dawn’ and then picks up with lead single ‘Into The Sky,’ filled with lovable piano chords and enjoyable melodies. The next few tracks take an even more perilous plunge into the unknown of Deister’s soundscapes, bleeding together to create a slow-paced, yet steady journey through a bleeding soul’s tale of sadness.

‘Nobody Angel’ opens with beautiful finger work on the piano and some of the more relatable lyrics of the album. Layering beautiful instrumentation with drums and gnarled guitar riffs, Deister’s experimentation in this song really shines through…and works wonderfully.

‘Always Further’ slides the listener further down the rabbit hole, with high-pitched vocals and ominous sinister drum beats, as ‘Spines of the Heart’ slingshots into the most peculiar and mind boggling track of the album, ‘Seven Eight,’ as futuristic, experimental rock meets classic rock in this odd number.

The album ends with 13:29 minute long ‘Apart Of Me,’ a hugely expressive and impressive show of Deister’s talent and range of musicianship. The song leads into ripping guitar solos laced with mellow down-tempo mood swings and finally into funky key hits to round out and complete the album.

‘Spines of the Heart’ is truly a testament to Bryan Deister’s hard work through schooling and evolving as a musician and forming his unique sound. The album is filled with complicated emotions and dark hues of release, leaving the listener to empathize with Diester and his darker side. It will be very interesting to see what the musician creates for our ears next, but until then, listen for yourself and find out more about this experimental rock artist.

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