Wrekmeister Harmonies - The Alone Rush review



Reviewer:
9.9

20 users:
7.00
Band: Wrekmeister Harmonies
Album: The Alone Rush
Release date: April 2018


01. A 300 Year Old Slit Throat
02. Descent Into Blindness
03. Behold! The Final Scream
04. Covered In Blood From Invisible Wounds
05. Forgive Yourself And Let Go
06. The Alone Rush


Whoa, there, that's a big fucking rating; certainly a paid shill wrote this, right?

Wrekmeister Harmonies are constantly changing their game. They used to create songs spanning the entire album's run time; then on Light Falls they shrunk them to more "normal" lengths and such is also the case here. They also used to have large ensembles of tens of guest musicians, but here there's only one. This is also an album marked by personal tragedy, related to deaths and illnesses of those close to the band, leading them to isolate themselves somewhere in Oregon to heal. And these are just the differences one can see without even listening to the album. There's more.

One thing easy to notice is that a lot more emphasis is placed on vocals, even though the instrumental part is still incredibly significant and more than just a vessel. Much of the album is marked by Robinson's sombre baritone crooning, sounding like a mix of Michael Gira and Nick Cave. The tragic background of the album can be clearly felt in the lyrics, detailing pain and solitude, but also very vivid images of death and murder as if taken straight from Cave's Murder Ballads. But as hopeless and desperate a message as the lyrics may convey, Robinson's voice remains strong and unscathed, as effective as one-dimensional. Closely behind his are Shaw's ethereal backing vocals, calming and soothing, sans the bloodcurdling scream sometimes during "Behold! The Final Scream".

The music is also much more minimalist than previous releases, cutting back on the sludgy drones and resting more upon piano, keyboards, and Shaw's violin. Assisting the band's core of Robinson and Shaw is Thor Harris, ex-Swans drummer, handling the percussion on the album, which, although minimal as well, gives the album a dying pace. The subdued sound creates a slow-moving album, burning slowly rather than exploding into crescendos and drones right away. These moments come, like the one in "Descend Into Blindness". The arrangements are rather sparse but become much more effective in that haunting and subtly crushing atmosphere. The cathartic, 14-minute piece "Forgive Yourself And Let Go" is the climax of the record, is dark and almost jazzy in its explosive dissonant crescendo filled with samples, something of a blend of John Coltrane, Dordeduh, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. And finally comes the title track, as the ray of hope at the end of the gruesome tunnel. Finally, healing.

If that is not praise enough, the album has amazing flow, thus it was fairly unnecessary to divide it into tracks, as the old approach of one-track albums could've potentially worked here. The album clocks in at just 46 minutes, which isn't that much of a stretch from their longest song. Also, it is amazing that the album is that short considering that it feels close to experiencing Swans's The Seer in just that little time, thus it actually makes me wish the album was a little (or a lot) longer. The production is also top-notch, handled by Martin Bisi, who worked with artists from Unsane to Herbie Hancock and from Helmet to John Zorn, so he's partially responsible for the expansive sound that the album has.

I can't find anything that I do not love about this album, or anything to criticize it for. It is just such a cathartic experience that I could easily put it side by side with F#A#∞ and Soundtracks For The Blind. Wrekmeister Harmonies have always been impressive, even though Light Falls was slightly subpar. But now with The Alone Rush, they are truly on the same level as their peers and forerunners I kept mentioning.

Time to heal.


 



Written on 23.04.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 327 users
23.04.2018 - 11:36
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
Good you like this album and this band, and imo they needed a review here.

Ive tried on several occasions and albums to get in to them, and its good but it stays there for me. I liked the addition of vocals here but its a bit one-dimensional. This review is probably gonna make me listen to the album again though.
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23.04.2018 - 18:20
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Guest on 23.04.2018 at 11:36

Good you like this album and this band, and imo they needed a review here.

Ive tried on several occasions and albums to get in to them, and its good but it stays there for me. I liked the addition of vocals here but its a bit one-dimensional. This review is probably gonna make me listen to the album again though.


I actually didn't mind at all that the vocals are one-dimensional, in fact, I think there's quite an unsettling vibe to it, how they're so unshaken and almost calming despite the obvious catastrophic and tragic theme of the album.

It really is the most cathartic musical experience of this year, on par with seeing Motorpsycho live a few weeks ago
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




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23.04.2018 - 22:43
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Pic related, me and Robinson
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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24.04.2018 - 00:44
qnick90
This album made me feel very similiar as while listening to Death in June - But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?... New thing for rainy days to listen to
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24.04.2018 - 05:55
Lord Slothrop
I was pretty skeptical going into this one, but goddamn... I am really loving this album. Very haunting and moving in ways that are difficult to define. Thanks for bringing attention to this as I doubt it would have shown up on my radar.
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24.04.2018 - 09:37
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Lord Slothrop on 24.04.2018 at 05:55

I was pretty skeptical going into this one, but goddamn... I am really loving this album. Very haunting and moving in ways that are difficult to define. Thanks for bringing attention to this as I doubt it would have shown up on my radar.

Yeah, it was difficult at first to find the words to define it, but now it seems like this is my longest review instead

Pretty sad that it has a rating of below 7, I can't imagine what it's like to listen to this and dislike it that much.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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24.04.2018 - 17:14
Drekavaц
Account deleted
Overrated. Just no. 9,9? Come on dude...
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24.04.2018 - 17:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Guest on 24.04.2018 at 17:14

Overrated. Just no. 9,9? Come on dude...

I just love it. It ticks pretty much every box that music does that makes me love it. It reminds me of why I love music so much. Maybe I was a bit too enthusiastic, but I really wouldn't go lower than 8.5, maybe not even lower than 9.0
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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25.04.2018 - 18:36
BORT
Did not like that.
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26.04.2018 - 04:41
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
This album is a snoozefest. The vocals are way too prominent in the mix too.
----
14:22 - Marcel Hubregtse
I do your mum
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28.04.2018 - 21:17
ZOMBIESiTellsYa
Not for me. Also not a metal album, judging by the 2 tracks I listened to.
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29.04.2018 - 16:15
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by ZOMBIESiTellsYa on 28.04.2018 at 21:17

Not for me. Also not a metal album, judging by the 2 tracks I listened to.

Indeed. Also not for me and not metal.
But that's ok.
----
2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
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29.04.2018 - 21:15
LuciferOfGayness
Account deleted
After listening to this album again its easy to see that this review is spot on. Influences, informative, bands earlier sound and so on...

I probably wont score this album as high as the review but I am really starting to like this.
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30.04.2018 - 10:07
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Guest on 29.04.2018 at 21:15

After listening to this album again its easy to see that this review is spot on. Influences, informative, bands earlier sound and so on...

I probably wont score this album as high as the review but I am really starting to like this.

I'm starting to think I may have gone a bit overboard with the rating, but I still would rate it above 9.0 and it's still my AOTY
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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30.04.2018 - 12:32
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by RaduP on 30.04.2018 at 10:07

I'm starting to think I may have gone a bit overboard with the rating, but I still would rate it above 9.0 and it's still my AOTY

Why do you let others influence your opinion so much? You rated it 9.9. stand by this rating, don't retract under pressure.
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30.04.2018 - 17:31
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Daniell on 30.04.2018 at 12:32

Written by RaduP on 30.04.2018 at 10:07

I'm starting to think I may have gone a bit overboard with the rating, but I still would rate it above 9.0 and it's still my AOTY

Why do you let others influence your opinion so much? You rated it 9.9. stand by this rating, don't retract under pressure.

My opinion isn't set in stone, even though I doubt it will change much. I'm just surprised most of the people listening to this album rate it so lowly, I can't really imagine anyone listening to it and thinking that this isn't good music. Perhaps some might find it a tad one-dimensional and boring, but definitely not a snoozefest or anything.

But I get your message. I still stand by everything I said in the review, but I'm willing to admit I may have been a bit too enthusiastic with the actual rating.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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01.05.2018 - 05:44
Lord Slothrop
Written by RaduP on 30.04.2018 at 10:07

Written by Guest on 29.04.2018 at 21:15

After listening to this album again its easy to see that this review is spot on. Influences, informative, bands earlier sound and so on...

I probably wont score this album as high as the review but I am really starting to like this.

I'm starting to think I may have gone a bit overboard with the rating, but I still would rate it above 9.0 and it's still my AOTY


I'm not sure where I would place it yet, but it's easily in the top ten of the year for me so far. I've listened to it six or seven times and it continues to grow on me.
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01.05.2018 - 13:06
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Lord Slothrop on 01.05.2018 at 05:44

I'm not sure where I would place it yet, but it's easily in the top ten of the year for me so far. I've listened to it six or seven times and it continues to grow on me.

Yeah, there's a lot of other great albums this year like Them Moose Rush and Pocket Knife Army and so on, but this is the only one that made me think "this is a great album" rather than "this is a great 2018 album"
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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