Review Summary: Yndi Halda grant you something you've experienced in your life; in many ways and in many medians.
The usual follows as every other post-rock band begins an album…humming, sounds of silence and isolation; as it slowly rises up, you realize the grand intro is coming, yet you still don’t fully comprehend it. This is what ‘Enjoy Eternal Bliss’ feels like. The front runners of any genre always set a mark, later to be heralded as “one of the best of all-time or groundbreaking”. Still, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Sigur Ros, etc. - anything that you can say is amazing or has reached pure bliss in post-rock - doesn’t prepare you for the sprawling violin intro that drives through like a train with low percussion dancing away. Then, at the exact moment when you want it to break through, it explodes and the listener feels enthralled in the music. It’s special, really.
Yndi Halda hold their own and reach the pinnacle of perfection. ‘Enjoy Eternal Bliss’ is like the album of anyone’s life – your hopes, your fears, your accomplishments, your regrets, it is what life becomes. Once the sprawling violins enter your ears for mere minutes the drumming starts to pick up to carry it through even further. “Dash and Blast” really feels as if you are running through, with every step you take you gain momentum and velocity until you’re out of it, you can’t go any further. Almost at the halfway mark of the intro song this is what it feels like is ensuing. Your low, the end, after your glorious brush of speed and distance you begin to rebuild, seclude yourself to re-organize. You start to feel the lifting of your mind, body, and the awareness of the things around you as you head toward that goal you had in mind, the very thing you’ve been dreaming about for ages. The 2nd half of “Dash and Blast” leads me toward that sensation. And as you realize your dream you truly are in your glory, choirs of people sing and celebrate with you as you burst with joy – they laugh, cry, sing, enjoy the your success of what is to be your dreams.
The aftermath, what can I do…what should I do? I’ve reached my pinnacle I can’t seem to find my place, can I top what I’ve accomplished or is it as good as it gets? “We Flood Empty Lakes” has a sorrowful feel that the violins invoke in the listener. As if you are stranded, as the percussion picks up and the violins keep with the pace you fall deeper in your solitude and misery. You can’t just lie down and die can you? As you pick yourself up and battle through those doubts and fears, push through those uncertainties that are nagging at you the beats gradually picks up. Then nothingness is heard and as the percussion keys in at the 8 minute mark, the xylophone brings you closer to your dreams. You can taste it, it’s not bitter, but sweet and once you’ve reached it you understand how beautiful it is, that it is a truly wonderful feeling. This is what the ending of “We Flood Empty Lakes” feels like, truly epic, truly one of the greatest stop-go moments in any track of post-rock.
You can finally relax and see it through. There aren’t any worries of any kind in your head. “A Song For Starlit Beaches” is what purity feels like. As you go through the motions that you call your life, you can’t help but feel the things you have done and dwell on the past. The things you always wanted to do sting sorrowfully in your body, but your accomplishments bring joy. “A Song For Starlit Beaches” does have a grand rising like previous songs, but it feels truer, more wholesome, and not spontaneous – not to say that the other crescendos were meaningless, but in this song it just feels appropriate.
The closer "Illuminate My Heart, My Darling!" is the culmination of your journey. Yndi Halda’s ‘Enjoy Eternal Bliss’ can be likened to many things - relationships, life, war, a journey - and it’s as beautiful anything you’ll ever hear and more meaningful than most.