First Light EP
posted on 8/2006 By:
“The side-by-side association of homologous paternal and maternal chromosomes during the first prophase of meiosis.”
Ireland’s Parhelia – formerly known as Revile – have a string of EPs to their name, and First Light is the third installment, though it’s the first to bear their new name. Musically speaking, the five songs run upwards of 22 minutes, are of an instrumental variety, and pan out wonderfully for those who fancy clean, instrumental compositions. Riveting music, as so many outfits have demonstrated, doesn’t require a dynamic vocal performance, or vocals at all for that matter.
Parhelia are similar to Dysrhythmia insofar as both troupes prefer the clean guitar, usually, to its distortion-soaked alternative, though the former are devoid of mind-boggling intricacy and breakneck delivery. Still, First Light does have moments of speediness, but seems most comfortable when utilizing a middle-paced tempo. Classifiable as post-rock, “First Light” is a concise introduction offering adept musicianship and songwriting abilities that can only be a result of experience. It may appear as if there’s not much to the title track until the 1:30 minute mark, but that’s precisely when the emotion level skyrockets, which is arguably triggered by Parhelia layering their approach so it gains more depth before petering out to calm despondency at the appropriate time. The other highlights – at least for this reviewer – are the Pelican-isms found on the latter half of “A Second Changes Everything” and all throughout “Cloudbreak.” This Ireland-rooted group also resembles Isis and Tides during their loneliest, most isolated moments.
The word that comes to mind – to perhaps summarize the music of Parhelia and EP as a whole – is tasteful. These five songs are well-written, and are therefore worth investing in simply because First Light is a keeper on many levels. The main drawback, however, is not being able to recall what you listened to when the CD stops spinning. Nevertheless, I recommend their official website with a hearty side of mp3.
(Note: Definition pulled from Dictionary.com, and the review format is a good-natured parody of Erik Thomas’s template.)
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