And So I Watch You From Afar

The Endless Shimmering

Written by: LL on 13/04/2018 17:07:54

The UK math/post-rock group And So I Watch You From Afar has belonged to the elite of that genre of music for several albums by now and with their most recent release, "The Endless Shimmering", they only solidify their status. It has been hailed by some as their very best release so far and indeed, it is a consistently great record. It sees them taking their style a bit further from the eclectic and playful tone of their previous two albums and into more massive territory, with no vocals in the mix at all this time around.

At first, "Three Triangles" frames the dark and immense sound of the record and leads us into the heavy math rock style with upwards sliding arpeggio-like melodies and danceable beats that take over halfway in. It's catchy and headbang-inducing at the same time and as always, the energy from the musicians having all the fun in the world with their instruments beams right out at the listener with every riff and change in rhythm throughout the album. As the introductory track gives way and evolves into the massive first single "A Slow Unfolding of Wings", calmer sections appear and let the album, as well as the listener, breathe for a while before continuing into big, open riffs later on. In general, this is a stellar quality of the album in general, that the songs are well-placed in connection to each other making for a great flow. At the same time, they are also well-composed enough each that they can be thoroughly enjoyed outside of the arranged order as little worlds in themselves.

There's a whole streak of great musical experiences here that continues with the upbeat, super dynamic and very mathy "Terrors of Pleasure" that brings memories of a band like Mutiny on the Bounty before we continue straight into the highlight of the album, the beautiful "Dying Giants". This song opens up in a new echoing style that feels like the tight, energetic space of before opens up and we're instead left racing through unfamiliar atmospheres, driven forward at times by insisting beats and strong, repetitive guitar figures, while at other times left to float along more calmly and contemplate the serenity of space. This tour de force of a track keeps growing more intense until it finally disperses into a melancholic string-filled ending and is followed by the somewhat more grounded and comforting "All I Need Is Space".

From here the album takes it all the way down with the title track and starts building anew into the high-energy, playful and fast "Mullally" that, to me at least, provides the stand-out moment of the second half of the album. The flow of "I'll Share a Life" has more of a loose jam-like quality to it, again easing us out of the intensity of what has gone before until the album finally phases out in the closely knit noise of "Chrysalism". As you can hopefully tell from my walkthrough, this is an album that is well-balanced and thus pretty much all the songs are worth mentioning in some regard. Yet, some of them stand out as stronger and just a bit more memorable than others but due to the great flow of the effort as a whole, I don't find myself wanting to skip over many of them during a playthrough. Certainly a worthy addition not only to the band's discography but to the mathy rock genre in all its different incarnations.

Download: Dying Giants, Terrors of Pleasure, Mullally
For The Fans Of: Mutiny on the Bounty, Tides From Nebula, Totorro, Maybeshewill

Release date 20.10.2017
Sargent House

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