Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Into The Vanishing Light
Written by: TL on 31/07/2016 14:46:27
It's been three years since the Los Angeles band Night Verses debuted with the in many ways monumental "Lift Your Existence": A record of dark, progressive post-hardcore that sounded like nothing else, yet was also so long and dense to listen to that it was almost too much. At the same time then, it lifted expectations - if not existences - while also saturating the listener to such a point that a couple of years break before the follow-up isn't such a bad thing. That being said, though, memories of both the record and the band's live performance have been fond and the new record, "Into The Vanishing Light", is one you'd have done right to have looked forward to.
Down from fifteen songs and an hour and thirteen minutes of playtime, to now eleven songs over 54 minutes, Night Verses have actually limited themselves somewhat this time around. Not that self-restraint is a concept that otherwise comes to mind when you pop the record on because you will very rarely hear as abundant and freely flowing instrumental creativity as that which courses through this album. Nick DePirro, Reilly Herrera and Aric Improta simply crush it on guitar, bass and drums to such a degree that your jaw frequently drops when you realise instruments can sound like this while wondering where these guys get the inspiration to play like this from.
A popular description seems to be that they sound like a cross of Tool and The Cure, which does come close to giving an impression of both the ambiance and the weight that's at play on here. Throw names into the mix like Underoath, Thursday and maybe The Mars Volta and you get a clearer image of the futuristic brand of sci-fi 'artcore' Night Verses have developed. The album's exquisite production has an enchanting sense of cavernous spaciousness to it, while the guitars screech and wail, drenched with expertly applied effects. It sounds something like you imagine the coiling, stabbing arms of a hunter-killer robot from The Matrix would sound like musically - alien and futuristic, yet fascinating - and in many ways, "Into The Vanishing Light" feels equally ahead of its time as a film like that was in its day.
On top of this, and in between it, former The Sleeping frontman Douglas Robinson pulls out every trick he's got to give an already perfect soundscape a vocal component. To his credit, he has enough charisma for the job, chanting, singing and screaming with a presence that lends emotion and an organic feel to the beautiful, dark and raging atmosphere. Through him the listener gets a breather; a branch of familiarity to hang onto at times where the ride might otherwise become too dizzying. This all being said, Robinson stands no actual human chance of providing an equally musically mind-blowing counterpart to the masterpiece performances on the instruments. His performance has the emotion, the charisma, and the necessary reckless abandon, but not quite the tone or technique to be on par, although that is also an almost impossibly tall order.
This figures as the only real thing you could point at and imagine room for improvement on a record that otherwise floors you completely. If Night Verses achieve balance in this, there's hope that songs on future releases from them might grow even more wholesome and individually long-lived than the ones on here. As it is for now, though, "Into The Vanishing Lights" is the kind of record where there's no point in picking out separate pieces of the continually dazzling puzzle that is the whole. Just put on your best headphones, tie yourself to something sturdy and let yourself be torn and pulled at by a record which should rightfully determine the agenda for boundary-defining bands in the next years to come.
Download: Connecting Hexes, Faceless Youth, Panic And Pull Your Heart Our
For The Fans Of: Underoath, Thursday, Tool, Eidola, Hidden Hospitals
Release date 08.07.2016