Monday, December 19, 2011

Album Review: Across Waters - More Light Is Never Ending

Album Rating: A
Across Waters is an interesting post-rock band that developed out of the heart of Denton, Texas. Four guys, with a juvenile burning desire to play music for fun, came together and matured into a group that spreads the Christian word of love and creation, and the beauty of the entire world. Their vision is truly reflected in More Light Is Never Ending, the debut album from this funny band in Texas. This album is a wondrous work of aural literature, drawing up passions and tales from far past, and emotions that run deep within the soul, feelings that have existed for thousands of years, since biblical times and beyond; they conjure up affects that make us feel and know that we are human, and that itself is a powerful and moving idea.

The eponymous opener begins with a cool synth and a passage from Genesis. The spoken word passage is followed up by a cavernously echoic guitar that sings praise to enjoyment in living - not only to the pleasures, but to life itself, and to the everlasting vision of life supernal. As a second guitar, a silky smooth bass line and eventually a grandiose drum rhythm strikes up in the back, Tyler Burditt and Sterling Archer hold the listener captive with guitar melodies hand in hand in a humble tone that croons not flamboyantly, yet still carries with it a bold taste and a sweetness that can only be an unprejudiced fondness for their fellow man. Passionate drum hits on every beat in the bridge lead into an outro verse that rings beyond beautifully, and again in the conclusion of the song, ending on a final chord that rings with a positive, undying static.

"40 Days Of Rain" has another spoken word passage - much like every other track on the release - that discusses the great flood as its subject matter, and while the synth and guitar in the first two minutes reflect the start of the gloom and rain, it begins to pick up at around two minutes, with faster drums and a back and forth rhythm shifting between casual calm and a frenetic frenzy, creating an uneasy turbulence in the song's feel, an out of control whirlpool of sorts. However, around five minutes, there begins some heavy riffing in the guitars, with the tremolo strumming adding some real power behind what's occuring, and creating a minor keyed chaos that adds real tension, particularly towards the end, where Leighton Pustejovsky begins to go all out on his drums, hammering the tom like no other, and finally, the song ends on a very shaken note, with one final, dubious chord on guitar.

This has been a wonderful record. Musically, there's a lot of influence from many bands, from te' to Explosions in the Sky, from The Appleseed Cast to Mono, from American Football to Minus The Bear, and embodying many more along the way. The influence is very Christian, but if that's not your thing, don't let it drive you away - there's really so much behind this album that it really can't afford to be missed by such a surface level detail. Deep down, Across Waters wants to portray the message that we as humans can look around and enjoy the world for what it is, and while they believe in a Creator, and you may or may not share that opinion, we all live on this Earth together, and appreciate the same things in some of the same ways. Love and compassion is the real message here, and More Light is Never Ending brings so much of it to the table that it's physically moving. I'm so excited to see where the band goes from here, they've established a great foundation with this debut and really hit everything in exactly the right spot.

You can pick up this album on their bandcamp here.

Track Listing:
1) More Light Is Never Ending
2) The Spoken Earth
3) From Dust and Flesh
4) The Fall of Man
5) 40 Days of Rain
6) All Creation Groans

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