No Devotion
No Oblivion


4.2
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
September 12th, 2022 | 107 replies


Release Date: 09/16/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: still travelling, but not really

Have you ever wondered if the art we make in dreams is greater than anything that can be captured in the real world, after it's fed through fallible equipment by fallible human beings, after countless hours of compromise and editing? A few months ago, I had a dream that I was hearing the second album by No Devotion, a then-theoretical piece of art that may have been humming between the layers of my subconscious since "Night Drive" wormed its way beneath my skin seven years ago. My dream album was truly masterful, gorgeous and heartbreaking and immediately memorable, though now I can't remember a word or melody - or anything beyond a vague impression of what sounded like Geoff Rickly singing over The Cure's Disintegration.

What's funny, and kind of eerie: I got to hear No Oblivion some weeks later, and it's not all that different than what I dreamed of. Hell, for all I know "A Sky Deep and Clear" could be the exact song that played on my trip through the Sandman's realm: it's an instant classic, not dissimilar to "Plainsong" filtered through the sensibilities of No Devotion. Then there's the oddly fitting imagery scattered all across the album: Rickly repeats "that was just a dream" like a mantra over the glum "Love Songs from Fascist Italy", pines to wake up in the breathtaking close of "A Sky Deep and Clear", sings of resurrections and "a floating life where nothing can touch you". Maybe my stress-drenched, dopamine-starved brain naturally ran along similar lines to the artists' when they were making No Oblivion. Maybe I really did dream this album into existence - who am I to rule anything out, when music already seems to defy all restrictions and limitations of physical space, when it feels like a living thing come to comfort or unsettle us whenever we need it most?

Music is weird like that. I know plenty who will be disappointed at No Oblivion's more glacial, considered pace; or lack of "Permanent Sunlight" type bangers, give or take the Tears For Fears-esque "The End of Longing"; or its subdued and introverted stylings; or its brief runtime after so many years' wait, and on and on. The album is not above any of these criticisms, but nor is it beholden to them or any theoretical bars we may have set in our heads in the years of waiting. Much like everything Geoff Rickly ever put his pen to, No Oblivion is another transmission directly from his heart to ours, the exact album he needed to make and nothing else.

The words of Portugeuse poet Fernando Pessoa are said to have acted as the maxim for No Oblivion, inspiring music which embodies the feeling of "you're still travelling, but not really". The poet was referring to a taxi ride home from the airport, but I think the words just as well describe that feeling halfway between waking and sleeping, where you can see the real world and your dreams side by side but neither is fully in focus. This liminal space is exactly where No Oblivion takes place, a half-awake world that feels like nuclear fallout shelters and busted transmission radios and ships slipping away into the night. May we always be as lucky to have an album like this to cling to as we face down the night, and its darker dreams.



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user ratings (69)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

comes out on Friday, but spoiler alert: it absolutely rules. worth the wait

onionbubs
September 12th 2022


16298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

god i am so excited for this. phenomenal review too

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2022


4229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just a fantastic review, Rowan! I'll have to check this one

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 12th 2022


50461 Comments


you may say ur a dreamer
but i think ur the dream

Jamdbz
September 12th 2022


1354 Comments


So excited for this

Project
September 12th 2022


5554 Comments


wow what a fun way to find out that this band exists, very intrigued

ashcrash9
September 12th 2022


3210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was holding out hope for something more in the vein of Permanence's bangers but knowing this won't necessarily have those ahead of time should allow me to adjust my expectations a bit. Either way, that record is wonderful. Interested to see how this one stacks up on its own merits

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

yeah, I'm not too cut about the lack of Permanent Sunlight/10000 Summers type songs because those are my least favourite on that album, but no ragers in the vein of Addition was a bit of a bummer at first. this album is such a complete journey it's hard to want more from it tho

ConcubinaryCode
September 13th 2022


6607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm so excited for this. [3]

Nbehre11
September 13th 2022


262 Comments


Ahhh hype - can’t wait

Fearlessflyer1986
September 14th 2022


139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The released tracks so far, automatically put me in the atmosphere they were aiming for. Permanence is such a fantastic album, but once I hear the entirety of the new album, I can potentially see them as being two different journeys of their own.



Great review btw!

MCJACKDAHL
September 14th 2022


205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

superb review, been geeked for this for like 2 years now.

tommyhoover64
September 15th 2022


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like this.. reminds me of electric youth a little bit

onionbubs
September 15th 2022


16298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yea this album fuckin ruled. think i prefer what its goin for over permanence

Pikazilla
September 15th 2022


24553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not as good as permanence but still great

FuzzyThoughts
September 15th 2022


113 Comments


Was obsessed with Permanence back when it came out... can't wait for this! Haven't listened to any singles.

OverSlyZed91
September 15th 2022


223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh god the chorus of the title track is just so fucking out of tune...

Slex
September 15th 2022


14777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What I've heard of this sounds better than the debut which I thought was just okay

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2022


9762 Comments


Album cover drew my attention, bookmarked.

Slex
September 15th 2022


14777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

T/T is so weird and noisy holy shit it's awesome



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