16th September 2016 – Thrill Jockey
01. Light Falls I – The Mantra
02. Light Falls II – The Light Burns Us All
03. Light Falls III – Light Sick
04. The Gathering
05. Where Have You Been My Lovely Son?
06. Some Were Saved Some Drowned
07. My Lovely Son Reprise
Musical collectives can and have at times become askew when the supposed collective fails to be the sum of its parts and instead becomes a crashing together of egos that ultimately becomes a half arsed vanity project for someone. Fortunately for Wrekmeister Harmonies, the brain child of JR Robinson, this isn’t the case. With a backing band that encompasses a good chunk of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and previous collaborators including members of Minsk and Yakuza, this really is something you should be taking note of.
Light Falls marks the collective’s fifth release, and what a release it is. On the surface you could be forgiven for thinking that Wrekmeister Harmonies are another post-metal band following a tired formula of slow build, catharsis and discordance. This simply isn’t the case. The first three tracks on this record are all one and the same, three parts combined to form the title track. “Light Falls” I, II & III clock in at a total of 20 minutes, but it’s the start of a journey of transcendence, something to take you out of this ceaseless vortex of existence and into something altogether more – free. Psychedelic organs and acoustic guitar passages fall away into electric guitar fuzz and creeping drum fills that really encapsulate the depth and texture of this album.
Light Falls folds itself neatly in two, with twirling guitars and sombre stings being cut up almost surgically by slow fuzzy guitars and bass. “Some Were Saved Some Drowned“ exudes a frenetic panic; a drowning sensation quite suffocating and accompanied by desperate spoken word dropped over the riffs, and we’re lead into death as if by a long lost friend.
Understatedly in their beauty, the pair of ”Where Have You Been My Lovely Son” and “My Lovely Son Reprise” epitomise loss: swelling reverb and softly-spoken work ironically scream of loss and desperation. Whilst neither have the sheer amount of texture displayed on other tracks, they aim to deliver pure emotive depth through what they don’t say just as much as what they do.
In Light Falls, Wrekmiester Harmonies have sculpted something of an anomaly. Its gorgeous textures counterbalance its heaviness whilst still retaining the emotive softness is something that should sound almost impossible, but all of these intricate nuances coalesce into a piece grand yet understated. Light Falls is essential listening for those who seek depth above all else in their listening fare. This album isn’t ingestible in one listen, but once it clicks…