Hurrah it’s almost autumn, yeah piss off summer you had your turn and made us all hot, sticky and uncomfortable as well as spreading all your nasty allergies and dishing out some strange and severe weather of all sorts. Favourite time of year autumn really and when it dawns I am happy as the colours are lovely and it just all makes me feel all chilled. So who are this band heralding on the autumnal equinox you ask before I turn this into a bloody weather forecast? Well it’s actually none other than our good friend Tim Yatras again teaming up with Matthew Bell this time so we have the combined talents of Anguish and Sorrow to give them their non de plumes. The quick thinking of you will be right as they are Australian although the album will be coming out just as we head into autumn, they will be running into spring, baffling eh?
Enough of that, Yatras should need no introduction but if you are hoping he has gone back to his roots with this new project you are going to be disappointed, this is much more in a Germ mindset than the likes of Austere, Woods Of Desolation etc etc. I guess he couldn’t put it under the Germ moniker as he has Bell from likes of Rise Of Avernus, Troldhaugen and Bane Of Isildur accompanying him on bass, guitar and keyboards too.
As first track Ashes Of A Life bounces in it is obvious this is no doom and gloom exercise but one that is jubilant and uplifting embracing a ‘sunny day’ as the seasons blend into each other. Melody wise I am reminded a bit of Friday I’m In Love’ by The Cure, it’s got that vibe and you could almost imagine Robert Smith singing along to this. Yatras is adopting his clean and hypnotic tones again this time around on the whole but does unleash a few full blooded and very triumphant sounding high pitched feral rasps. There is a very Indie feel to the fret-work and the gaze elements one would expect are there however all songs are completely trimmed of fat and never go in excess of the 5 minute mark. Beautifully poetic titles such as ‘Until My Heart Corrodes with Rust’ see an angrier rasping start but all this does is make the powerful main melody and uplifting croons of the number all the more delirious and lush when they come in completely lifting the mood. The two styles flirt with each other both corroding and bringing joy to the heart in equal measures.
‘Into The Cold’ serves as a statement not really in need of words and adopts an instrumental stance and jangles away awaiting the onset of a crisp, fresh chill to the air. The album continues with a sense of purpose and huge melodic thrust at its heart, there is no way to approach it than be prepared to be uplifted. The harsher moments bring a sense of gravity to counterpoise the charge and allow you to head bang and lose yourself in the instrumental sections complete with some exuberant soloing. Maudlin tones set in with ‘When The Sun Sets For The Last Time’ (the titles are highly descriptive to the expected moods that the songs convey), starting as a depressive sorrowful ballad and rising into indignant yells it’s another excellently expressive affair. There’s something about the vocal delivery on Blank Stare, Dead Eyes, that reminds me of Wayne Hussey as they hit the rafters. There’s definitely a feel that takes me back to the late 80’s going on here. It’s probably the reason I like it so much.
At a perfect 36 minutes running time things are not overstretched before we get to the final title track ‘Gone’ a glistening and passionate end to a gorgeous album. This has really made want summer to die fast and the tentacles of time to move into autumn, partly so I can put this on an MP3 player and go for a long walk with it on repeat. Nothing I can say against this, I knew it was going to be good as soon as I saw who was involved and the label it was on. Excellent!
(8.5/10 Pete Woods)