by Nick Mongiardo USER (137 Reviews)
April 30th, 2023 | 2 replies

Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sometimes all a band needs is to veer off the beaten path to get back on track.

Ambient is a style that suites Hammock, but only sparingly. After the release of Everything And Nothing, the acclaim and fanfare quickly died off with their next album. Hammock veered off the beaten path and decided to beat their new path to death. Well, gently and beautifully of course. Mysterium signaled the start of an ambient/drone four piece that definitely lost them some critical eyes. Hardcore fans such as myself stayed and continued listening. What we have here in this series of albums is a whirlwind of minimalism when they typically combine post rock and shoegaze selves. However, the post rock and showgaze were completely dropped, save a few songs on Universalis. Overall, the results were overall predictable, but as a whole for what this series was, this was some exceptional ambient work.

In this series, Elsewhere is a fitting name and end to a series like this. It’s safe to say the album is ripe with sincerity and depressive longing deep below their minimal soundscapes. Songs like “Afraid To Go Home” gently soars in its ambient guitar work and sullen strings, often carrying this vibe throughout the album. Wistful piano melodies soar with an atmosphere of strings and drones in “Before." The same goes for “Heavy Laden.” The album lacks their signature on brand melodrama so sincerely delivered but it makes up for this in subtlety and consistency.

As previously stated, piano was their weapon of choice on this emotional ride. “In The Empty Space…” floats the listener through a watery creek and the strings are the oars. After each track is said and done, it’s clear Hammock had no intentions of “engaging” in the traditional sense and wanted to sooth here. It’s the perfect meditation album and “Someday” is the prime example of this. They maintain a steady percussive rhythm with the guitar and guide the listener through the most ethereal soundscapes.

These trends continue throughout the album and they are able to make their point without going on too long in each song. As amazing as Hammock is, this is their common issue. Not here, with poignant tracks like “On The Way Out Of No Way” and “Someday” being barely over three minutes. In fact, they are able to make their point with a 43 minute record as a whole which is refreshing.

All in all, Hammock’s retreat into the doldrums of ambient sadness mostly paid off. The series definitely lack their signature post rock/shoegaze/dream pop combination that makes them so influential and its good to have that back with Love In The Void. However, their ambient side still takes its worthy place in their discography and Elsewhere reins supreme out of the four. The album is a soothing, meditative, albeit sad retreat into the woods where perhaps all that is needs is a bit of reflection. Perhaps that’s what Hammock needed to get back to what they do best. And they are back.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
April 30th 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

A review for this is long overdue so enjoy peeps! 😊

May 1st 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

This is probably my favorite album from them since Oblivion Hymns. I prefer this style over their post-rock stuff, although they're good at doing both.

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