Despite all the proper elements being present to create an album destined to wrest the ideal of the rock anthem from Chris Martin's over-eager grasp, Apse has unfortunately birthed a technically stellar record that lacks personality. In the group's attempt to display restraint and to not bludgeon the listener with every possible emotion in the time it takes to perform a four-minute pop song, I'm left feeling quite passive about these tunes. For every instance where I'm brought to my feet with excitement ("3.1," "Rook," "The Return," and "Closure"), there are cuts like "In Gold, "The Age," "Tropica," and "Lie" where I'm merely content to sit for a spell and wait for what might possibly happen next - Dryvetyme Onlyne
As Dryvetyme mentions, there are stellar songs on this album. And it's because of those songs that this album made the cut. That, and a lack of much else good coming out right now (early December, 2009).
...No matter how intricately the band aspired to construct themselves, they retained a level of humanity and spirit as people and as objective artists that was not just reassuring, it was inspiring. To this end they cultivated a sound that matured into something truly unique. For a period of time, Apse literally had no peers to speak of. Nobody else was capable of technically crafting albums like Spirit, but on top of that nobody else was gifted enough to look far enough around musical corners to be able to break such ground.
So with such a pedigree to hold, Apse always has and always will have their work cut out for them when it comes to releasing new material. I mean hell, the fact that their heads didn't all collectively explode after creating Spirit is impressive enough by itself. And this, dear reader, is why Climb Up, flaws and all, stands on sturdier legs than anything we're likely to hear this year - The Donnybrook Writing Academy