Review Summary: Sometimes the grass truly is greener.
Rising from the ashes of post-hardcore band The Sleeping, vocalist Doug Robinson wasted little time lamenting his old project before forming Night Verses. Leaving a successful project to initiate a new one is a risk which sometimes sees artists fall off the musical map, but when such boldness is channelled correctly and substantiated with the skill to execute it then success stories are born - and it hasn't taken Robinson and Night Verses long to establish themselves as one such story. After testing the waters in 2012 with debut EP Out Of The Sky
, the reaction was such that a full length album has surfaced little more than a year later. Lift Your Existence
sees all the seeds which were sewn on Out Of The Sky
nurtured and in full bloom, and the finest qualities of their debut have been exorbitantly expanded on.
Not only do Night Verses have a lot to say, but they have a bucket load of technicality and talent to say it with. Averaging over 4 minutes per song, Lift Your Existence
screams, riffs and pounds it way through fifteen expansive tracks, leaving ample room for Robinson and co to flaunt their technical prowess and song-writing chops. You barely need to scratch the surface to taste the full flavour of the album in one song, opening track “Introducing: The Rot Under The Sun.” The style and impetus of the album are made perfectly clear from the outset – colossal riffs, breakneck drumbeats and dynamic heavy vocals greet you with open arms and encourage you to outstay your welcome, and baring few exceptions they’re indicative of the content which follows. Reminiscent of what The Fall of Troy might sound like fronted by Deftones’ Chino Moreno, Lift Your Existence
always manages to feel both strangely familiar and remarkably fresh – all whilst showing a wealth of ambition.
Of course, with so many songs consisting of lengthy durations the ability to stay varied and interesting throughout is a must, and the duplication of riffs and the banal use of hooks is a dangerously tempting escape route which is well avoided here. The acapella screams on the accurately titled “Rage,” the delicate xylophone which opens “Celestial Fire” and the haunting, distant vocals on album highlight “Cathexis” all hint at the variety which lies within, and these moments prove to be the most memorable and effectual, perhaps even more so than the anthemic choruses which underpin almost every song. The fact that the songs hinge on so much more than catchy choruses lends high praise to the band’s rhythm section, and the acute fills and licks which pepper the brash meat of the songs tantalisingly elevate them to new levels, with every niche of silence snugly filled with inspiration.
If you like your post-hardcore big, bold and engrossing, then Lift Your Existence
effortlessly ticks the boxes. In a time when post-hardcore has been accused of going stale, archetypal choruses are avoided, breakdowns are swerved and painfully formulaic song structures are shunned. Instead, delicate touches, intricate riffs and one frighteningly efficient drummer all combine to prove Doug Robinson and the clichés of the world right - sometimes the grass truly is greener.