A Storm Of Light
Forgive Us Our Trespasses
posted on 11/2009 By:
Despite featuring Josh Graham who has helped Neurosis with their visual aspects and serves in Instrumental post rock act Red Sparowes, as well as former members of Tombs and Unsane, the 2008 debut from A Storm of Light does not impress me too much, coming across as a rather flat Neurosis imitator. However, there’s something on this second album that makes A Storm of Light a very intriguing prospect and a much more enthralling and mesmerizing release.
Maybe it’s the plethora of guest musicians including Jarboe (Swans, etc) Lydia Lynch, violinist Carla Kihlstedt (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), cellist Marika Hughes providing the brooding string sections layers that gloss the ebbing post rock structures, maybe it’s the delicate female vocals and orchestration that surface here and there or maybe it's simply a shift from the aquatic themes of the debut to the more earthy organic hues. Either way, Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a striking, hypnotic entry into post rock. I’ll admit though, it's all about the music here as Graham’s voice still does nothing for me with his half sing/half chant, but luckily there is so much else going on musically and vocally that you are simply encompassed in all of its doomy elegance that relies on much more varied and almost movie soundtrack atmospherics rather than the usual builds and crescendos of the genre (though there are some).
After the haunting spoken word of opener “Alpha (Law of Nature pt.1)” which surfaces again for “Arc of Failure (Law of Nature pt 2) and “Time Our Savior (Law of Nature Pt. 3),” “Amber Waves of Gray” rolls in like a storm over the mid west plains, thunderous yet beautiful and majestic and that seems to be the theme for a majority of the album's tracks; vast scapes of threatening brooding thunder laced with moments of tranquil elegance – the term the calm before the storm fits the whole album. The aptly named “Tempest” and “Trouble Is Near” ebb, rumble and lurch with orchestrated menace but sandwiched in between are the delicate strings of the simply gorgeous “Light in Their Eyes.” The languid drone explosion of “Midnight” is perfectly tempered while “Across the Wilderness” features Jarboe’s off kilter croons amid its heaving throes.
Twelve minute closer “Omega” ends the impressive album with a poignant control and depth, sending the listener into a relaxed climax with some nice vocal interplay and sense of peace after a storm has passed through and the sun creeps through the clouds.
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