Hammock
Universalis


3.5
great

Review

by Benjamin Kuettel EMERITUS
March 26th, 2020 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A satisfying balance of the shoegaze and genre-bending from Everything and Nothing with the more strings-based ambient music of Oblivion Hymns and Mysterium.

Hammock almost make their brand of neoclassical and ambient shoegazing appear effortless to create. They become more prolific by the year, as their trilogy of albums recently ended with Silencia in 2019. Universalis is the middle album in the trio, being more mellow and reserved overall. While predecessor Mysterium was a solid effort, it veered too often into melodrama and sounded too similar to Oblivion Hymns at times. These qualities are toned down here, allowing for an understated result that comes across more earned and authentic. Everything feels lighter, with opener “Mouth to Dust… Waiting” rooted in subtle atmospherics and slow swells of stringed instruments. “Scattering Light” follows and contains a gorgeous bridge of a shimmery guitar melody and wandering violin melodies. “Tether of Yearning” similarly follows wistful synths, gentle guitars, and violin swells creating a gorgeous atmoshphere. Hammock don’t reinvent the wheel or pull out any big surprises with any of these recent releases, but continue releasing emotionally affecting ambient, post-rock, and shoegazing music. Universalis channels their strengths of this past decade, mainly by emphasizing the more melodic side of Everything and Nothing and its presence of guitars. “Cliffside” is an album highlight, essentially a solo guitar track slowly joined by more instruments in the second half for a resounding climax. The album mainly stays laid back though, as Hammock are content to pursue a more ambient direction in recent years. Despite being understated and subtle, Hammock’s music continues to be moving and among the most consistent musical projects of the decade.



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user ratings (60)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
TalonsOfFire
Emeritus
March 26th 2020


20969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I noticed that my favorite release of their new trilogy didn't have a review, and decided to correct that.

Pangea
March 26th 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's nice to see a review for this. Cliffside is great, possibly my favourite song of the triology

TalonsOfFire
Emeritus
March 27th 2020


20969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That’s probably my favorite too

Iamthe Nightstars
March 27th 2020


2975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know their sound has never really evolved much but for me this was the first time a Hammock album felt like just another Hammock album. It almost felt like a self parody at times. The ending of "Cliffside" sounds a lot like the ending of "Losing You To You" and "Always Before Your Eyes" is almost the same as "Passing Away". Were these things supposed to be intentional? I liked Mysterium the best out of the trilogy. "Tether" was my favorite one on this and the only song I have really returned to.

Mongi123
March 27th 2020


22040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hell yea dude finally! This is my fav in the trilogy.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2020


10304 Comments


correct review length, short and sweet

glad to see hammock still chugging along

edit: oh wait, this isn't a new LP ... derp

Mongi123
March 30th 2020


22040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha yep, this is the best of the trilogy for me. We Are More Than We Are and Thrist are breathtaking.

Mongi123
March 30th 2020


22040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I will say though Without Form And Void is the best song of the whole trilogy

TalonsOfFire
Emeritus
March 30th 2020


20969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to hear the new one a few more times. Didn't leave much of an impression I remember.

Pangea
March 30th 2020


10604 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

mysterium is my favourite of the triology. the new one is my least favourite, it didn't leave an expression to me either



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