Review Summary: It’s The Heartache of Losing Everything You Know
Albums that can convey emotions so raw and helpless are few and far between, sure you get your Sludge and Doom albums that are bleak and ugly (Given to the Rising comes to mind) but when an album like Rest comes along that can leave you flat out floored you want to do nothing more than get everyone else to listen to what you have just witnessed. It has been 4 long years since the critically acclaimed release of Voices of Omens (an album that can be mentioned alongside the genre’s classic albums) and in that time this 4-piece have really honed their craft with a busy touring schedule.
Which brings us to Rest (their second on Relapse Records), I get the feeling listening to this that I have fallen into a swamp of quicksand and when I look up screaming for assistance it is an apocalyptic burning red sky that I see and vocalist C.T screaming and chanting his poetic vocals at me. It’s at that point I give up and let him tell me that I’m ***ed. A word he uses to great effect on the disturbing ending to An Invisible Thread.
To create a wall of twisting ugly churning desperation one minute and then back it up with a monumentally epic, almost acoustic 7 minute intro on the 16 minute monster The Culling and for it to sound completely natural is the sign of a very good band. This is an emotional rollercoaster. I can’t recall an album whereby feelings of utter helplessness wash over me to such effect “If you think you know, then you're ***ing full of ***” is shouted on the aforementioned An Invisible Thread. So the highlight is the vocal delivery and the lyrical content for mine, but that is not at all discounting the impact the rest of the band has here, some of the guitar parts on the 11 minute “it was beautiful, but now its sour” is just amazing, at times bordering on a Jazz/Blues fusion. The Bass is certainly audible, but does not dominate proceedings and the drumming is fantastically well placed. There are some creepy spoken word samples on 2 tracks that further add to the atmosphere on rest. The production job by Sanford Parker (Minsk) is spot on, each instrument compliments each other and if you think 53 minutes of epic sludge/Doom would be a chore, then you probably don’t have the attention span for this anyway.
Quite simply Rest is anything but respite. It requires your attention, it must be listened to as a whole, it requires multiple listens and if you let it; it will do anything but convey a positive outlook on the planet. Contender for sure.