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Thursday
Jun042009

AOE Split Reviewed in The Silent Ballet

pretty decent review of the new AOE release in the silent ballet. a little rocky at the beginning but hold out till the end he has some nice things to say. i think we won him over and hopefully a few other folk too.

 


We All Inherit the Moon
The Ascent of Everest
Future Recordings
Buy

Score: 7.5/10

The Ascent of Everest never got my attention, as if they were riding in post rock's trunk along with the dog and some stuff we still haven't moved into the house. To me, they were too much like A Silver Mount Zion, a band I can't stand. I guess I'm one of those stubborn people who would prefer to have Godspeed back and won't accept the torch being passed. The Ascent of Everest have now released a split LP with ambient/experimental band We All Inherit the Moon, and I mustered up enough energy to put it on, and give it a chance.

The first track by The Ascent of Everest (TAoE) made me seasick with its drunk minor key string arrangements and crooner vocals, and all I could think was "Here we go again." The apathy! The wincing! At its core, the music of TAoE is intimate, honest, concerned about humankind and the way civilization does things - things I care about - but I couldn't get past this first song. I folded my arms, furrowed my brow and wished I was doing something else.

The split album is often a great way for two bands to acquire new fans by coupling together for a release. In this case it was nice to to flip the LP over and have We All Inherit the Moon play their dense and dreamy songs. It was a relief, and a completely different feeling from side Everest. We All Inherit the Moon (WAItM) range from fuzzy, blissed-out drones to twinkly, star-flecked drumscapes to chamber music led by violin and cello. Beginning with the gentle skitter of drums, warm tones and sunrise-accompanying guitar melodies on "Our Hearts Forever Like the Sun. Part I", the horizon melts, the landscape in the distance transforms into something familiar, like a story I've known from long ago. On "...and ever. Part II" wet, low-end guitars ebbing like tides and a gentle piano meet up with a soaring sea bird in the form of an e-bowed guitar. This pretty exchange gives way to more guitar play, frenetic and squiggly, distorted and tortured, like a cuttlefish encased in formaldehyde, reanimated. All of a sudden this album was coming alive. This is ambience with conviction! We All Inherit the Moon's half of the split abounds with sumptuous narrative as they showcase a wide range of musical styles.

I went back to The Ascent of Everest's half of things with a new perspective and listened to the second track, "The Journey Forever Long", and wow, my brain woke up. What a doozy of a song! It is mixed very differently from the other track, solidly blending everything together into a much less bombastic attempt at telling an epic tale. Eleven minutes in length, the song has so many pleasing movements it plays out like a short film soaked in reverb. The climax is a wondrous thing to behold - it really is a CLIMAX. With vocals like a confident breeze through a willow tree, guitars that light the sky and a drummer who suddenly explodes with inspired fills and downbeats to boot, the end truly feels complete, cathartic. You can download this album for free, and for this song, I highly recommend it. This song is better than most "big" songs I've heard any band play. That first track now deserves another open-hearted look. Hey, you know what? The split album converted one more jaded mind!

Despite the presumed disparity, there are common threads between the two bands. The chamber music of WAItM's closing piece "...and ever. Part III" mirrors the two string players in The Ascent of Everest. The latter band uses ambient bits to create atmosphere in select moments, while the other employs them as a general rule. Where one band remains consistent, the other dabbles, and it unifies the album in a way I didn't see coming. Featuring two different bands with kindred spirits, this release exemplifies the beauty of the two-sided LP. They are like night and light, but combined they create the cycle of an entire day on earth. If these two acts went out on tour together, listener satisfaction would be at a premium.

-Nayt Keane


Reposted from the Silent Ballet

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