Lights Out Asia
Eyes Like Brontide


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
October 30th, 2008 | 136 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where Is Your God Now?

When Chris Schafer cries ”Where Is Your God Now? He Isn’t Here…” on “Psiu! Puxa!,” the atmosphere of Lights Out Asia’s third album Eyes Like Brontide is fully realized. The sheer beauty, anger, doubt, and ultimate isolation delivered in that twenty second climax embodies the spirit of the entire record in such a way that it practically defines Eyes Like Brontide. Drenched in white-knuckled trepidation, it emotionally delivers both as a culmination of the tension and as a product of the hypnotizing melodies, chilling the listener’s spine and announcing the force behind Eyes Like Brontide with a deafening resonance.

Gay as that sounds, it’s absolutely true.

Very much in the spirit of Mogwai (but with more beats and less monotony), Lights Out Asia doesn’t so much present their record as they do immerse their audience in it. From the wary opening tiptoes of “A Day Towards Other Days,” Lights Out Asia mesmerizes to the point of total submersion, as they envelop the listener in a cold, desolate atmosphere that, despite its obviously foreboding nature, is completely arresting. Eyes Like Brontide puts itself firmly in the throes of the Cold War (the obvious examples of that being song titles like “The Wrong Message Could End You” and “Radars Over the Ghosts of Chernobyl”) and somehow makes the concept completely engaging. By subtly playing to the paranoia and fear of the age, Lights Out Asia creates tension, which is where Eyes Like Brontide thrives. On “MIR,” Lights Out Asia engrosses by inserting mumbling space transmissions over intertwining guitar lines and an echoing drum groove. As the song drifts away, it never delivers a soaring apex, instead hauntingly dying out with a deceptive cadence that leaves the ear begging for conclusion, yet one never comes. It doesn’t seem right, but the unresolved hangover of the piece serves as a perfect example of Eyes Like Brontide’s strength. It uses expectation of something wonderful or terrible or both to make its character absolutely gripping.

Lights Out Asia’s reserved take on the genre aligns itself more with the slowly blossoming styles of relaxed post rock a la port-royal rather than bone crushing, overtly epic post rock, and the adherence to the former makes Eyes Like Brontide as emotionally powerful as records in the style of the latter. In line with the uneasy vibe, Lights Out Asia rarely exert themselves past mezzo forte, making the spare moments where they crank the volume even the tiniest bit all the more chilling. “Six Points of Fire” closes the album with clipping drum pounding and inevitably climactic guitar smashing, but even as the loudest song on the album, “Six Points of Fire” doesn’t bust too many guts, which isn’t a bad thing. The album’s reserved/tense nature isn’t conducive to a symphonic crest or anything like that. The closest moments to epic Lights Out Asia have usually center around Chris Schafer’s extremely capable but criminally underutilized voice. The aforementioned “Psiu! Puxa!” serves as the greatest example of this, but basically any appearance Schafer makes is a strong one. For example, at a short two minutes, “If I Die, I Wish You a Horrible Death” could have been filler, but Schafer’s performance makes the track as solid as any one of Eyes Like Brontide’s eight. With that attention to detail, Lights Out Asia never lets quality drop on Eyes Like Brontide, and they ensure every track of the record can stand on its own merit.

It’s that kind of consistency that proves Eyes Like Brontide’s greatest asset. X-Factors like the buckets of samples and Schafer’s voice drive the album to fantastic status, but Lights Out Asia never allows the integrity of their album to suffer. Every track is immaculately crafted, and every new theme introduced is as entrancing as the one preceding it. Early in the album, the eerie string introduction to “Radars Over the Ghosts of Chernobyl” is moving in its own right, but its power is sustained through nine minutes with a synthetic chorus, swirling guitar phrases, and eventually a powerful vocal theme. No moment in the one tempo, nine minute track is dull, and that’s saying something. In many ways, the song parallels the record; On Eyes Like Brontide, Lights Out Asia hit a high and sustain it for a spellbinding fifty minutes, never once growing tedious in its isolation and despair. That alone makes Eyes Like Brontide worth listening to. It’s everything else that makes it worth listening to again and again.



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user ratings (196)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
McP3000
October 30th 2008


3941 Comments


wait the people on this album actually say "Where is your God now? He isn't there..."

how fucking stupid :lol:

lunchforthesky
October 30th 2008


1039 Comments


Nice review. This sounds promising. I'll check it out.

Crimson
October 30th 2008


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Want.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2008


17213 Comments


you spelled Brontide with an m in the intro.
Amazing album.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

brandtweathers
October 30th 2008


2007 Comments


Gay as that sounds, it’s absolutely true.
hahaha what??
nothing about your opening paragraph gave off that impression tho it was slightly hyperbolic.
change it to say that: hyperbolic as that seems, it's absolutely true.
or do whatever you want being that you're a smart kid

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2008


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

wait the people on this album actually say "Where is your God now? He isn't there..."


how ****ing stupid

Still rules your opinion is wrong

nothing about your opening paragraph gave off that impression tho it was slightly hyperbolic.

change it to say that: hyperbolic as that seems, it's absolutely true.


I guess what you suggested makes more sense, but I was trying to keep it light before I got all srs business about the album.
This Message Edited On 10.30.08

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

brandtweathers
October 30th 2008


2007 Comments


Still rules your opinion is wrong
dude mcp, youre a metal fan. don't talk about ridiculous lyrics

NortherlyNanook
October 30th 2008


1285 Comments


this is v. v. good. glad to FINALLY see a review.

rasputin
October 30th 2008


14544 Comments


great review, this looks good

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
October 30th 2008


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's good but like, not that good.

rasputin
October 30th 2008


14544 Comments


3.5 is still pretty good. I'll give it a listen anyway.

BallsToTheWall
October 30th 2008


44387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet. Good job Downer. This is in my top list.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

Serpento
October 30th 2008


2351 Comments


yeah it's not like whoa immediate royalty, but still great

jimay333
October 30th 2008


433 Comments


Gay as that sounds, it’s absolutely true.

For the win.

marksellsuswallets
October 31st 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=rasputin]3.5 is still pretty good. I'll give it a listen anyway.[/quote]

Yeah definitely do that...this is a really strong 3.5 for me and its a really great album but I just don't get that feeling of "woah that was awesome" enough to warrant a 4...This Message Edited On 10.31.08

Fina1e
October 31st 2008


123 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

MIR is fucking awesome.

willfellmarsy
October 31st 2008


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^I agree, aquiring now...arg

willfellmarsy
October 31st 2008


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing up to and including Psiu! Puxa!, starts to drag a bit after that, especially with The Wrong Message Could End You which is pretty meh, but pretty good throughout, needs more time to bake

Bsmith7
October 31st 2008


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review is great. Album is great.

robin
Emeritus
October 31st 2008


4248 Comments


have you heard tanks and recognisers?



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