RIYLCult of Luna
Explosions in the Sky
2. Out of Ruin, Misery
5. The House Where You Were Born
7. Everything That Rises Must Converge
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Ladies and gentlemen, here is the cure to Russian Circles Disease. This album's sound is perfectly wrapped up for you as a belated Christmas present for your ears. Every note is the antithesis of the sheer boredom of last year’s Empros. To top it all off, this may be the best Christian release since Jesus Freak, but to limit this album by those terms (hell, any terms), would be utterly useless. This isn’t just a great album; it’s a work of art.
Here is the recipe for an amazing post-metal release. Take the best parts of The Alchemy Index-era Thrice and latter-day As Cities Burn and triturate them vigorously into a mixing bowl. Then fill a two-cup measuring dish with post-rock/metal, pouring over a sifter to ensure no Russian Circles residue remains. Now add that into the mixing bowl. Sprinkle intelligent lyrics over the mixture. Stir slightly and refrigerate, letting the mixture cool and mature overnight. Serve in a quiet room with coffee or alcohol, if desired.
One of the biggest successes of In Abstraction is the astuteness of the lyrics. Every song takes a deep look into the psyche of man, be it through nautical metaphors (“Tides”) or through fire or earth. The beauty in the lyrics, though, is that while there is a stylistic similarity to The Alchemy Index, In Abstraction is its own entity. Each line hits deep to the truths of mankind, but they also flow perfectly from the moods of the music. The calmer pieces are more poignant than powerful while the fiery phrases are like a blowtorch to the brain. Lines like, “Forever we break and cannot mend, as crowns fall from the heads of men,” ring true in more ways than one and add another layer of depth to an already profound release.
I cannot stress this enough: the album must be experienced. In Abstraction isn’t an album that is perfect for road trips, working out, or as background music to keep you awake during late-night study sessions. A Hope for Home has crafted a work of art that needs to be taken in on its own with no distractions, save for the lyrics sheet. That in itself is the only flaw of the album: that it is a selfish bastard. It needs to you pay attention to it; no, it grabs you by the throat and demands attention. And with each new listen, the listener is more and more appreciative of the album’s demands. This is a crowning achievement not just for post-metal or Christian music, but for a band that was once decried as an Underoath rip-off. Welcome to the release you wished you listened to more last year.