Glassing
Light and Death


4.0
excellent

Review

by Claire Q. CONTRIBUTOR (51 Reviews)
February 8th, 2018 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Light reflecting off the shard at your throat

Light and Death, the debut LP of Austin-based Glassing, might take place near a precipice on a sunny day.

The record feels suffocating - its guitar feedback, taking the form of thick crystalline dust, chokes within the first second of inhalation. The particles are abrasive, not kind to the eardrums nor the lungs as they settle in; the clouds they form are blinding in this high noon. Glassing’s riffs descend mercilessly, serrated blades slicing through the earth. At the lowest reaches the bass rumbles, distorted by its depth.

And Dustin Coffman’s vocals - if I were to call them keening, I might be implying the presence of grief. Grief doesn’t seem right to describe the pain I hear; I don’t know if any losses are being mourned. Mourning - this is too subdued a term to be used, considering Dustin’s intensity. But it’s also not anger, which is too vindictive - whatever bears down on Light and Death suppresses its capacity to be hostile. There’s a sharp edge of desperation to Dustin’s shrieks, which never sound strained despite the forcefulness with which they’re expelled. Inhuman, I think, how he sustains this performance throughout the record.

What unites Light and Death is a callous disregard for predictability, expressed in atypical song structures and the fluidity of its drumming. Rhythms and tempos shift erratically in the span of a single song; “Safe Hate” moves from breathless triple-time to slow, sludged-out hits. This rhythmic malleability means the record is oddly nimble - odd, I say, because Light and Death also features a crushing weight, a sensation of having been subjugated and bound. The onslaught of every element in “Memorial” - screeches, cutting guitars, breakneck drumming - demonstrates the paradox.

Interestingly, Glassing begin and end Light and Death on quiet notes - ambiance seeming to settle in on “Life Wrecker”, a serene plucking on the latter half of “Memorial”. It’s surprise on both ends, the sudden blow and then the removal of the harshness we had habituated ourselves to. I don’t think this sort of manipulative beauty is unique to those parts - for instance, the moment before “Heavy Donor” falls back into a chasm, it peaks with tortured hope. It’s a short passage that seems to have disappeared as quickly as it came, but near the very end of the song it makes a triumphant return before ceding once more. The reappearance is so startling because of how inconsequential the passage seems to be - a lot of the motifs are short-lived, after all. To hear it soar and then tumble down again is strangely heartbreaking.

Light and Death dangles at the precipice. The tension - of fraying rope and nerves - remains near breaking point. I don’t think acceptance of its fate has been reached yet. Maybe it never will be - the rope sways, there’s still lashing out.

The skies are clear. Sunlight beams down at full force.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
clavier
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2018


790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Stream: https://glassing.bandcamp.com/

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Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2018


17892 Comments


holy

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Firework
February 8th 2018


12 Comments


Not fair I can’t pos this review either ugh

Dedes
February 8th 2018


5837 Comments


Fantastic review!!! Core and post metal sounds like a sexy blend.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2018


8870 Comments


Don’t take this the wrong way; you’re good, scary good. Please stop.

never ever stop





clavier
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2018


790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanks everyone! this album's really underrated, and the band deserve more love. really promising debut

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2018


8870 Comments


The reappearance is so startling because of how inconsequential the passage seems to be - a lot of the motifs are short-lived, after all. To hear it soar and then tumble down again is strangely heartbreaking.


Brilliant writing

Sniff
February 8th 2018


4886 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how sexeh is this album on a scale? I'd say 4/5

Papa Universe
February 8th 2018


17633 Comments


why did they wait so long for this contributorship?

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Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2018


1785 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dope review, gonna download this on spotify when I get a chance.

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neekafat
February 8th 2018


12481 Comments


This is soooooooo good (the review I mean)

VaxXi
February 8th 2018


4356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Methinks this is just alright

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
February 8th 2018


24223 Comments


this doesn't sound like my type of thing at all, but the review is awesome. you definitely have a way with words

teamster
February 8th 2018


3153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my thing. Big time. Thanks for the putting it on the map.

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