Night Verses

Lift Your Existence

Written by: TL on 13/09/2013 16:25:33

When viewing the music scene at large, it's probably poignant to say that Night Verses arrival on it wasn't as big as other band's have been, granted, but if we zoom in on the post-hardcore locality and its surrounding area, it's fair to say that the continent-spanning quartet made quite a splash with their debut EP "Out Of The Sky". Formed when singer Douglas Robinson was so impressed with the remaining trio's former band Archives, that he immediately asked to join as a vocalist and giving him a new creative vessel to substitute for his own band The Sleeping (which was on its way on its current indefinite hiatus), Night Verses debuted with a sound unlike any before, and hence came from out of nowhere to have their debut LP "Lift Your Existence" become one of the most anticipated releases of 2013.

Recorded with the assistance of arguably the genre's best producer Kris Crummett, "Lift Your Existence" then arrived on June 25th with a whopping fifteen tracks ambitiously seeking to fortify the band's dark-yet-explosive, state of the art progressiveness, and as with "Out Of The Sky", it is a lot harder to pinpoint similar contemporaries than it is to simply marvel at it for being such an uncanny production of sound. Imagine though, if you will, the intricately dramatic atmospheres of much-missed The Receiving Ends Of Sirens, added a cavernous, powerful low-end comparable to that of Tool or Deftones and topped off with Robinson's highly recognisable vocal style, and that's about as close as I think we can come with letters.

The point is that Night Verses sound unique, dark, exotic and powerful, and most successfully so in a song like the second track "Rage": The song starts out with several stabs in the dark from the guitar, only to launch into a memorable back and forth between Robinson's desperate singing and one of those rare guitar riffs that just straight up slays, proceeding to go hard until the end. A cool detail is the constant presence of a very organic bass sound, nicely contrasting the futuristic and crystalline machinations, as can be heard particularly well on "Pull Back Your Teeth", which sounds especially Tool-esque in its main riff. Meanwhile, those not already accustomed to Robinson's characteristic vocal-work are likely to spend a good while marvelling at how he sings with a roundness and rawness in pitch that's deceptively high.

Alas, the reason it has taken me more than two months to write about "Lift Your Existence" is that it's plagued by what I find to be a frustrating and ultimately flawed case of "more is more" attitude. Frequently there's such complex things being played on all three instruments simultaneously that it's hard to notice all of them, let alone feel like they compliment each other very well. On one hand, you only have to strain your ears at any given moment to hear something awesome, but on the other, it becomes a tiresome exercise. The instrumental progressions are often too busy for my taste, and the vocal melodies can feel like they were written last, seeming a bit simple and hindered compared to the lush backdrop.

Eventually these drawbacks handicap an otherwise spectacular release in the sense the true highlights, such as the immediately catchy refrain of "Yours" or the desperately wailing guitar of "Antidepressants", feel too far apart when you expose yourself to the full 75 minutes of this mammoth endeavour. Furthermore, my hesitance towards writing about "Lift Your Existence" in the first place, stem from my being all too aware that these perceived downsides may be entirely subjective. For considering the sheer complexity, variety and virtuosity of this epic body of work, I suspect this could still be an album of the year candidate for someone more attuned to the dark frequencies of the band's atmosphere. Then again, maybe my instincts are right, and the big things Night Verses could be destined for might just yet still be in front of them?

Download: Rage, Yours, Antidepressants
For The Fans Of: The Receiving End Of Sirens, Letlive., The Sleeping, Tool

Release Date 25.06.2013

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