The Ascent of Everest
How Lonely Sits the City


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
August 30th, 2008 | 41 replies | 10,777 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A release that looks up to its inspirations and celebrates them together, without failing to find its own character.

Were The Ascent Of Everest ever short of money, I’m happy to say I feel they’d be the kind of person who would ask to borrow your money innocently, rather than sneak around and take it when you suspect the least. Listening in on the band’s debut, the influences appear plainly into the album the way a whole range of post-rock bands seem to accidentally manage; obvious hints of gloomy climaxes, political outrage and atmospheric passages are spread about the five tracks. However, as How Lonely Sits The City plays, it becomes so easily engrossing that it retains a charisma of its own, and counts for something amidst its homage to the genre it resides in.

How Lonely Sits The City shows a band more wanting to connect themselves to their influences than to all too quietly copy them. Unlike the bands choosing the latter path, The Ascent Of Everest present their own triumph in being near-always captivating, even if it isn’t an unprecedented means of doing it. In places, they portray post-rock’s need for something different – “A Threnody” may not bring anything new with Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s intense spoken word flair, however in that it is still a rare sight in the late post-rock trend, The Ascent Of Everest have continued something (for now) that remains brilliant. Mario Cuomo’s words of the 1984 Democratic National Convention float impressively above strings and simplistic guitar and, atmospherically, gift the album with its most charmingly disturbing moments. The pick of Cuomo’s words resemble the climactic music with an intensity of their own; Mr. President, if you asked a woman who had been denied the help she needed to feed her children because you said you needed the money for a tax break for a millionaire or for a missile we couldn't afford to use. finally hands his overtly political address over to uproar and an intriguing session of repetitive cries of Not for honour/Not for country/Not for profit disguised in strings - the piece’s backdrop falling into place and instrumentally imploding with the singing to cause a mesmerising wave that remains both accessible and grand.

Otherwise, it is left down to more typical instrumental domination to hold the album in one piece. In places this absolutely flies; “If I Could Move Mountains” is three slightly differentiated parts stapled together as emptily and darkly as the rest of the album to end it suitable. Bringing with it the atmosphere of the rest of the album crushed together by strings, “Majesty And Awe” suddenly suspends itself in nothingness with only the sounds of guitar and voices left to talk, later reunited by piano and leading into yet more atmosphere. “If I Could Move Mountains” is in this respect varied, and albeit not enough to really make it three separate parts, interludes of speedy guitar and continuous string work add catchiness to a fray of otherwise relentlessly increasing and decreasing loudness. This essentially gives another point to The Ascent Of Everest within their genre – their ability to make songs clocking at fourteen minutes or so less ‘long’ to newcomers of post-rock, a less daunting, more loose sound that can ease them into their superior contemporaries – better still for its still similar length (“If I Could Move Mountains” the prime example of this).

This is not to say How Lonely Sits The City is without problems – its issues realistically are in the album being such a climax itself, with opening numbers in places dull and droning, and unable to disguise being dragged out. Unlike “A Threnody” or “If I Could Move Mountains”, the haze that is “Alas! Alas! The Breath Of Life!” sounds more programmed to the centre of an album, a centre which is taken up by the awesomely sharp interlude “Molotov” – and quite simply, The Ascent Of Everest does not need two central focuses. “As The City Burned…” too indeed feels dragged out, despite being the shortest track to be found – an immediate ‘epic climax’ opening too fast for six more minutes of the basic same climaxes randomly interrupted for effect to be interesting.

Aside from these sadly unavoidable issues, How Lonely Sits The City has a broad mix of tried and tested post-rock ideas from Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s eeriness to subtle vocals of Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock and even slightly Sigur Ros. It also glorifies the epic-scale it can and will be on. The impressiveness of the release is not so much its originality (which is obviously borrowed originality at that), however more its brilliance at making the long-winded feel natural and the first-time listener less apprehensive to the pretentiousness on hand. The Ascent Of Everest’s debut is definitely captivating, and leaves them free of any real expectations for however they wish to move along their ‘take’ on post-rock, if they choose to.



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user ratings (69)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
August 30th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been waiting for this, great review

foreverendeared
August 30th 2008



14678 Comments


the whole first paragraph was an awkward read to be honest. the rest of the review is pretty ace though

marksellsuswallets
August 30th 2008



4848 Comments


If this is anything like Godspeed You! I'm definitely looking into it...

SHOOTME
August 30th 2008



2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I tried reviewing this, but then i realized that i can't write a post rock review for shit and gave up.

nice review.

robin
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



4221 Comments


sorry forever, i couldn't think of anything. :/

foreverendeared
August 30th 2008



14678 Comments


maybe try re-wording some of it so it reads more smoothly? just throwing it out there

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2008



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well, guess I'm not gonna review this now. I guess putting off reviews for months on end isn't the smartest idea.

Anyway, though I feel this album has problems in the originality department, its still extremely solid. "A Threnody" is an absolutely fantastic song, and while none of the other songs match that in quality, no song is truly terrible. Good post rock for people looking for new Yndi Halda or Mono.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

robin
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



4221 Comments


i tried rewording it abit.

foreverendeared
August 30th 2008



14678 Comments


awesome. i like this a lot better

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



3743 Comments


this looks cool, great review

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album's pretty good, decent review.

robin
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



4221 Comments


thanks. just wondering, is the album cover on the site the american release's? the copy i have is this: http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h161/biteintoacloud/41208HLSTC-ALBUMCOVER.jpgThis Message Edited On 08.30.08

Kage
August 30th 2008



1173 Comments


for every single bottom of the barrel post rock album released, there's someone proclaiming, "it's not like all the other post rock!! i swear! THIS ONE'S DIFFERENT"

sickofantsid
August 30th 2008



129 Comments


[for every single bottom of the barrel post rock album released, there's someone proclaiming, "it's not like all the other post rock!! i swear! THIS ONE'S DIFFERENT"/]
lol! Add metalcore, deathcore, hardcore and .........

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
August 30th 2008



6961 Comments


Nice to see that someone finally reviewed this album, Pos'd. The last track is by far my favorite, the violins in the first climax give me chills.

Digging: Perfume Genius - Learning

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 30th 2008



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Robin, when I added this album to the database, I put the original release cover. The cover you found is for the re-release.

robin
Emeritus
August 30th 2008



4221 Comments


oh right, thanks. i probably should've researched stuff like that beforehand. :pThis Message Edited On 08.30.08

spoon_of_grimbo
August 30th 2008



2240 Comments


the re-release artwork looks loads better IMO. i really like what i've heard of these guys so far, been meaning to get the album for a while. great review!

robin
Emeritus
August 31st 2008



4221 Comments


thanks man. have to agree, seems that way with alot of rereleases.

spoon_of_grimbo
September 18th 2008



2240 Comments


got this today, really liking it!!! this is the best mix of "dark/brooding" and "epic" i've heard since the pax cecilia!



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