Review Summary: Approaching Silence is certainly not perfect, but it does have a wonderfully hypnotic, understated effect on the listener.
As a fervent lover of many types of music, I can honestly say that I am always looking for music that blows me away. There is an insatiable thirst for the next classic album, and the somewhat monumental discovery of the next release that just speaks to me with immediacy on a personal level. So I pore over music for hours on end, many times getting frustrated when I can't find an album to connect with for months at a time. It inadvertently becomes a vicious cycle in and of itself, as it becomes easier to criticize and harder to praise when holding it up to those albums that scream perfection out of the gate. Approaching Silence
is certainly not perfect, but it does have a wonderfully hypnotic, understated effect on the listener. Yoma play an amalgamation of meandering post rock and driving post metal, with their minimalist attitude being the most memorable thing about them. Instead of the valleys-and-peaks songwriting formula present on many post rock acts, the band opts for a much more subdued, introspective approach most of the time.
"To The Fall" begins contrary to the more atmospheric sound present on the rest of Approaching Silence
, favoring uptempo guitar riffs and lively drums. As the song progresses, it settles into a sludgy groove that fades out halfway through the track, leaving a lone guitar with plenty of reverb. Instead of using the entirety of the song to build on one idea and reach a climax at the end, the band quickly and efficiently transitions from idea to idea in a very natural fashion. Eight-minute "Tides" illustrates this perfectly, as the hopeless and melancholy vibe in the beginning quickly dissipates into a slow, heavily distorted passage; less than two minutes later the calm and reflective clean guitar lines creep back in, and therein lies the genius of Approaching Silence
. Yoma simply aren't afraid to change the tempo on a dime, and it pays off handsomely in terms of keeping the listener's full attention. And that is certainly a necessity here; with most of the tracks clocking in at six minutes or more, the probability of retreading the same paths is fairly high. Luckily, the band steps lightly around that potential problem, with "Stasis" being the only track that descends into anonymity.
is a modest, quietly powerful album that highlights a band that has a bright future ahead of them. The excellent songwriting and ability to break out of genre restraints so early on in their career relegates the lacking production to a non-issue. Sometimes, it's the album that lacks bombast and hype that you keep coming back to over the years, slowly but surely becoming a classic over time.