Here Dead We Lie

Written by: DR on 28/10/2010 18:19:14

From Belguim we have Cecilia::Eyes and their sophomore album "Here Dead We Lie". This sextet were formed in the autumn of 2004, they have one EP and one LP to their name, and certainly haven't been shy in declaring their influences - to nobody's surprise are Mogwai, Mono, Godspeed... and My Bloody Valentine mentioned. They don't sound exactly like the sum of their influences - they have more ambition than that, as this album proves.

"Here Dead We Lie" is notably darker than your average post-rock release, and the reason for this is the central concept: war. Tracks with titles such as "For The Fallen", "Four Lost Soldiers" and "No Prayers, No Bells, No Homeland" don't exactly imply soaring, sweeping climaxes now, do they? "Anthem For The Doomed Youth" aside, as it repeats the Ulysses S. Grant line "The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on." over and over, this album is mostly vocal-less, so they convey their concept and attempt to invoke feelings through their music. For instance, I have words like "haunting" and "melancholy" noted. Think less ethereal and more funereal.

"Like Wolves" is a lifeless, hopeless opener (in the way they intended), and the tracks that follow, particularly "Four Lost Soldiers" and "For The Fallen" keep things poised. "The Departure" and "Fifty Years Under The Tent" hint at better times through their initial use of uplifting piano, but that slowly fades away with each passing second, as they get darker and more dangerous. Closer "Death For Treason" is the best song on here, with the best crescendo. This time they use the piano in a gloomier context, and over eight minutes it gradually gets louder and more distorted.

Does it succeed? Not entirely, but for a long while it does. Obvious shoegaze influences are used to good effect; plus there's the usual one guitar searching for the atmospheric while the other lingers. It's cleverly constructed, but it doesn't overwhelm the listener - it feels too much like they're holding back at certains moments, when they would really benefit from a final push.

"Here Dead We Lie" lasts almost an hour, which is long by the standards of any genre, and in that period it doesn't quite manage to keeped the listener gripped. Otherwise, it's a fine example of how to envoke emotions from a listener - it almost feels like a story is being told, which is still a truly excellent achievement.

Download: The Departute, Death For Treason
For The Fans of: Mono, Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 16.04.2010
dEPOT214 Records

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