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With Our Arms to the Sun: A Far Away Wonder

Arizona rock outfit With Our Arms to the Sun (Josh Breckenridge - Guitars/ noise/ vocals, Joseph Leary - Guitars/ Programming, and Joseph Breckenridge - Bass) are releasing their latest album A Far Away Wonder in collaboration with film composer Jonathan Levi Shanes, who adds some colorful synth passages to their otherwise heavy hitting sound. Mostly instrumental, A Far Away Wonder mixes post rock, prog, some metal, and electronica, for a very intriguing blend of styles. "Cosmonaut" almost sounds like an instrumental track by Anathema, with its brooding dynamics, insistent rhythms, and chilling synth work. Soaring progressive rock can be heard on the engaging "Great Black Divide", while "Walking Through Walls" tosses in plenty of metallic, hard hitting & complex passages. "Syndicate" is another winner, as crunchy power chords & shimmering keys blast your senses, the yearning vocals floating in the background just to provide some extra color. The most impressive track though might be "Tessellation", a powerful progressive metal outing that sees intricate guitar work collide with tricky rhythms and loads of synths, as the song fluctuates between heavy & atmospheric.

A Far Away Wonder is ultimately pretty rewarding stuff. I would have liked for With Our Arms to the Sun to spend perhaps a little more time adding vocals to some of these songs, as in a some spots they almost sound thrown in just to add something. When they do flesh them out, the vocal passages are quite well done, it just seems that these songs could have warranted more of them. Otherwise though, this is a very fine album from a band that has all the tools to really make a name for themselves. Fans of melodic & atmospheric rock/metal/prog would be well advised to check into this one.

Track Listing
1. Where Silence Dwells 3:17
2. Tessellation 7:44
3. Cosmonaut (feat. Jonathan Levi Shanes) 5:59
4. Great Black Divide (feat. Jonathan Levi Shanes) 6:31
5. Walking Through Walls 5:38
6. After the Storm 4:30
7. Syndicate (feat. Jonathan Levi Shanes) 5:44
8. Die for You

Added: December 24th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2070
Language: english

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With Our Arms to the Sun: A Far Away Wonder
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-12-24 10:58:45
My Score:

Initially released in 2014 and reviewed at that stage by my colleague Peter, above, Arizona's With Our Arms To The Sun have teamed up with Fade to Silence Records to give their A Far Away Wonder a wider physical release. Believing this album makes a statement of where the band were at the time of its creation, the duo of brothers Josh and Joseph Breckenridge have decided not to add any new compositions to this reissue, and while I can't comment on what any future music from the pair will consist of, it is a decision that makes total sense once you immerse yourself in what's on offer here. The reason for that comes from the sense that this is a continuous journey, a mainly instrumental story of time and place delivered through a cleverly paced selection of songs which ebb and flow from track to track.

The mood on this post-rock-prog-electronic album is heady; dense passages interspersed with wailing voices or soaring keyboards, a, in the main, lack of vocals negated by swooping atmospheres and intricate rhythmical pulses. Interestingly, with this album verging on a couple of years old, the cinematic quality with which it is infused reminds of the much more recent offerings from Nordic Giants, a dreamy undercurrent constantly injected with threatening plot lines and grandiose themes. In ways it's almost possible to extract an Oriental feel, the imagination taking the vocal noises from "Cosmonaut" and adding them to a surreal Studio Ghibli like landscape of wonderment and other worldliness.

Therefore it's no surprise that where With Our Arms To The Sun make their strongest mark is at their mind expanding best, themes stretched and played with as a Spiral like eeriness often comes into play, but without the same level of dank, depressive oppression that other band specialise in. Right across the album these themes play out, "Great Black Divide" creeping and slithering into a slow melodic release, "Die For You" a patient avalanche of guitar, voice and drums rumbling slowly, deliberately and yet with much more control than the stoner, or drone, it could easily have become. However add in the riff and tumble of "Walking Through Walls" and the wilful contrasts shown on this album are impressive.

Featuring some stunning artwork in its four sided booklet, the eye for detail stretches beyond simply crafting some enigmatic music, the feel of a multifaceted collection of sounds, art and ideas coming together to make a stronger sum than its separate parts. Therefore if you're looking for a low key, but full of high aspirations release that strongly suggests great things, take A Far Away Wonder alongside With Our Arms To The Sun.

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