We Lost the Sea
Departure Songs


4.5
superb

Review

by Mongi123 CONTRIBUTOR (133 Reviews)
February 10th, 2016 | 288 replies


Release Date: 07/23/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Look beyond the mountains and into the sea.

When things are taken at face value, sometimes we manage to avoid the point said thing is trying to make. Judging by what we see or hear on the surface is often ill-advised. We can never truly know what people go through behind closed doors or why they made a piece of art. Whether we know it or not, we are all guilty of this at some point in our lives. Therefore, the benefit of the doubt must be given in some cases. When regarding Departure Songs by We Lost The Sea in this manner, the ultimate reward is simply handed to us: A new found multi-dimensional view of a work of art. On the surface, Departure Songs may appear as a tedious work of post rock with long buildups that drag. However, its true potential unveils after repeated listens. Instead, the album is a passionate, dedicated and organic send off to a dearly departed friend.

The death of a band member can definitely make moving forward one of the most difficult tasks. Judging from the profound picture of mountains and the sea Departure Songs paints, the band clearly dedicated the music to their dearly departed member. Knowing this, it places an immense amount of weight onto the music and puts the whole product into perspective. The decision to carry on without a vocalist also proves how much versatility We Lost The Sea possesses. Not only did they succeed in adapting, but they also achieved an often futile goal of creating a unique and imaginative final product. Their determination can clearly put to rest that cliche claim that post rock is stale or dead. Granted, one uneven track holds it back, but Departure Songs exists as our answer to post rock that sounds like nothing else.

“A Gallant Gentleman” immediately gives off the impression that the album will require lots of patience. The lush textures truly simmer, but it all pays off when the melodies swell to an inspiring climax of beautiful guitar textures and a soaring choir. All of this happens under its organic production, allowing all of the instruments to shine in the natural atmosphere. “Bogatyri” also features well written guitar work, but it builds upon its more ominous textures. It gradually constructs a brooding rise that uses its beginning melodies as a blueprint. In addition to this, it continuously tacks on layers of reverb, making for an extremely cathartic crescendo. Both of these tracks are a testament how passionate and engrossing post rock can be.

As we move forward, the album requires a bit more patience, which will in fact turn people off. However, if given a chance, it makes for quite the rewarding experience. “The Last Dive Of David Shaw” opens to muffled sounds of running water and radio signals that bring to mind submerging in the sea. After a while, it gives way to a moving atmosphere of layered guitar and cymbals that sound stunning in the mix. It slows down to take a different route in an unexpected turn of events. With the combination of multiple guitars, moving strings and exceptional bass work, it’s evident that everyone has a chance at the spotlight here. It acts with a sound reminiscent of Cult Of Luna without a vocalist when its lengthy climax rages on. Yet another fantastic testament to how heavy crescendos can sound beautiful instead of brutal as the sorrowful piano sends it off.

However, “Challenger part 1 – Flight” happens to be where a bit of uneven pacing comes into play. A lengthy five minute section of William S Burrough samples guides the vast ambient background, giving off the impression of floating through space. As stated before, it requires lots of patience, but it pays off as it leads to thought provoking guitar picking that’s large in scope, with riffs that are eager to break through the background. They finally break through, which is empowering nonetheless, but it all stops for some reason when the song finally goes somewhere. Essentially, this song is two in one, which gives us a large feeling of uneven pacing. Thankfully, the second “song” gets us back on track in a thrilling manner, but if the middle section was altogether cut out and it was split into two, it would have been more satisfactory.

Thankfully, Departure Songs closes the story book with a tear-jerking call back to “A Gallant Gentleman.” In "Challenger part 2 - A Swan Song," they're clearly saying a loving goodbye to their band member. When this is all said and done after the first listen, it can be a real head scratcher for some. After a couple more listens, it’s much easier to essentially look deeper. It’s a dense post rock album with many layers. Multiple listens help us to further examine what makes this piece of music tick and all of its moving parts. Its many moving parts make it profound and creative. Instead of looking at face value, look beyond the mountains and into the sea. This is Departure Songs in its purest sense.



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user ratings (439)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
PortalofPerfection (5)
The Voice of the Sea has been silenced, but their passion rings out loud and clear....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Late review is very late, but this record has really opened my eyes to what multiple listens can do in some cases. This is amazing.



Any critiques are welcome and I hope you enjoy the read!

guitarded_chuck
February 10th 2016


13646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

aoty2015

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


13290 Comments


defo gotta get round to this eventually

great review mongiman

Digging: Slowdive - Pygmalion

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


2596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome review as always man! Album hits hard

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. This is one of those I'm so glad I gave a bunch more listens. David Shaw hits hard

Gyromania
February 10th 2016


23420 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this album blows

TheFantasticDangler
February 10th 2016


1772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its unfortunate you cant enjoy it

Digging: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree. You don't think Swan Song is one of the most beautiful things ever?

Gyromania
February 10th 2016


23420 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

idk man, to me this is the boring side of post-rock, it epitomizes the stereotype of post-rock being slow and boring and homogeneous. don't get me wrong, i love the genre, and i even quite enjoy the first track on here, but the rest is an epic snooze. everything blends in so well that it might as well be one long, dull song

Toondude10
February 10th 2016


11599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

went from a 3 to a 4.5



There's a lot to really like on here. I just think it's missing something that prevents it from being a masterpiece.

Digging: Face The King - Once More Is All I Am

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's not missing anything honestly. It's just Flight that holds it back. When an album hits me out of nowhere, whoa it hits hard. It's amazing.

Cygnatti
February 10th 2016


31989 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Snooze rock

adr
February 10th 2016


11791 Comments


5.0 classic
This may just be the best Post-Rock album since F#A# (Infinity)



TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2016


16765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This looks like something I'd love, nice rev Mongi.

Digging: Tame Impala - Currents B-Sides & Remixes

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2016


10178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is so fucking gorgeous

dbizzles
February 10th 2016


10384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been meaning to check this for a while now. Good review.

'When this is all said and done after the first listen, it can be a real head stretcher for some.'

Did you mean head scratcher?

Digging: Summoning - Oath Bound

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks talons. Yea give it a shot it's a massive album.



And yes I did good catch.

Prognoz
February 10th 2016


292 Comments


Yep, i guess I really need to check this out now. Albums inspired by a close one's death really play with my emotions.

LunaticSoul
February 10th 2016


977 Comments


Nice mongiiii. I've been jamming this and the disc before for a couple of days.

IDK if it's 4.0 material. Need to delve more on the excerpts/inspiration behind the songs as I know they're all somehow related to death.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2016


18881 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice man yea keep listening. Yea they use stuff like space and the sea to highlight that aspect. The album's crazy dense too.



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