Review Summary: A truly evocative and masterful piece of post rock.
I'm sure everyone on this site has heard the incredibly cliche claim about how post rock belongs in a movie soundtrack. Even though that phrase is very overused, it still couldn't be anymore spot on. The beauty of post rock is how it makes you use your imagination to find out the overall meaning of the album. Much like Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven
by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, this album really sells how music can have even more to say than music that has abundant lyrics. All Is Violent, All Is Bright
is that powerful of an album all the way through. The album is a emotional roller coaster from the start of the extremely inspiring opener and it continues as such all the way through to the heart wrenching closer.
The album cover is simply a blurry view of a man standing in snow and it fits the mood of the album perfectly. It's best listened to while walking around on a sunny day in the aftermath of a snow storm. The shiny white snow glistening in the sunlight best symbolizes the mood and atmosphere that this album effectively hoped to accomplish and indeed it does. From top to bottom everything comes together perfectly. Every texture and every powerful performance gives the album and listener an overall feeling of being larger than life. The guitar riffs are extremely dynamic and they build into beautiful crescendos in songs like "When Everything Dies" and the title track. The sound of the guitar playing is also incredibly unique in catchy songs like "Fireflies And Empty Skies." They often work hand in hand with the piano melodies to create these immense build ups. The ironically titled "Forever Lost" due to its happy and awe inspiring mood serves as the best example of one of these incredible builds and one simply wouldn't be able to function without the other. Though the song is repetitive, all of these textures mash together so remarkably well that you will forget about that and be mesmerized instead. The piano also serves as the centerpiece instrument in the albums sad place, "Remembrance Day." It has such a vast build up into a section that showcases some otherworldly sound effects that is sure to stun the listener.
"Suicide By Star," the best song on the album, utilizes extremely ominous and compelling rhythms that really sells the mood of walking into impending danger. The chilling, claustrophobic nature of the song epitomizes the overall feeling of anxiety so well and the climax evokes the exact nature of having a panic attack. The drums quickly build with every other texture and it soon explodes into a crescendo that you won't soon forget. The double bass coupled with the soaring electronic sound effects in the background are simply breathtaking. The tear jerking album closer, "When Everything Dies," utilizes the same aspects of 'Suicide By Star' using a much slower and less accessible build up. The piano quickly swells into an evocative rhythm slowly followed by a guitar that builds on the piano melody beautifully. The faint strings, soaring guitar riff, and stunning piano coming full circle is the perfect way to close out an album of this magnitude.
All Is Violent, All Is Bright
is the reason I listen to music. These two songs are a testament of how music is not just simply a form of entertainment. Catharsis comes in many forms, but music is perhaps the best form of catharsis. I know this may seem a bit hyperbolic when you read it, but this is really how All Is Violent, All Is Bright
makes me feel and I hope this is how it makes you feel too.