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Epistasis: Light Through Dead Glass

It's hard to describe this album, so I'm going to try a couple of different tacks. The first comes from the band's own promo materials: "The quartet, while impossible to define or describe in few words, culminates a wide range of eclectic influences into a bizarre, otherworldly soundtrack of unrestrained creativity with an edge of pure lunacy." I particularly like the use of "soundtrack" in that description because this album, like a movie soundtrack, may bring to mind various images and thoughts and feelings, all of which should point to something else, an experience at a movie, a feeling about a particular time, or something else entirely. The sounds on Light Through Dead Glass, however, do not hook on to anything in particular. Instead, the music swirls through various sounds and moods; it's purpose, it seems to me, is simply to evoke, to fill a particular kind of space with a particular kind of sound.

My second attempt at a description draws on the title of the album itself—Light Through Dead Glass. I assume that most people can bring to mind an image of light barely coming through, the kind of light that casts eerie shadows in a horror movie. The music here, like that tiny light, also puts things in a new and possibly frightening perspective. The effect, ultimately, is uncanny, that frightening experience in which one experiences a disturbance in understanding what ought to be familiar, and what strange. To me, listening to this album is precisely that—a pulling apart of familiar musical ideas drawn from things like death metal and progressive rock and putting them together in new and complex ways. The result is a strange and fascinating experience.

Moving away from attempts to describe the sound, the best thing about this album is the way it draws on a kind of ambience from time to time. Much of this is accomplished by Amy Mills' trumpet playing (she also provides vocals), but the other musicians are never far behind. To be clear, the trumpet is less blaring than it is calming. Trumpets have many uses. In Mills' hands, it evokes a strange and powerful timbre, one that creeps up in various places. The nice thing is that it suits the music beautifully. For those interested in checking this album out, I recommend "Finisterre," "Witch," and "Candelaria." "Witch," probably my favorite track, draws on the various sides of this band's sound perfectly, creating an uncanny sound that is both seductive and repulsive. I was reminded a little of The Blair Witch Project, particularly the way that film stirs an interest in documenting supernatural beings only to find that death always gets in the way of complete human understanding.

Track Listing:
1. Time's Vomiting Mouth
2. Finisterre
3. Witch
4. Candelaria
5. Grey Ceiling
6. Gown of Yellow Stars

Added: August 2nd 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1277
Language: english

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