It is coming to the end of another year, a time with some celebration you may have heard of on the horizon and, more importantly, for end of year lists, where mostly sane people agonise and debate about ranking excellent things they enjoyed in an arbitrary list format which simultaneously means nothing and everything at the same time. It also means that albums released between now and the start of January will normally get overlooked; which, in the case of Great Falls and A Sense Of Rest (Corpse Flower Records), is a criminal injustice.
It is hard to describe how A Sense Of Rest can be categorised other than that it is challenging both sonically and emotionally. There is an all-encompassing sense of rage, anguish, desperation and the futility of life all across this album in a way that feels utterly sincere, spearheaded by the pained and genuinely uncomfortable vocal screams and angular, twisted passages.
In music terms, it brings plenty of influences to mind, but nothing truly succinctly represents what is going on here. There are the complex time signatures and dynamics of the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan or The Armed, the heart and grit of Converge, hints of Sludge and signs of hopelessness and heaviness akin to the likes of Cult Leader, but it never feels like simply shoehorning elements in, it all flows brilliantly, and packs so many ideas throughout.
Where the likes of ‘Kettle Logic’ are abrasive, short and sharp gut punches, the following ‘We Speak In Lowercase’ is a desolate, drawn-out entry that cuts up the unbridled intensity with a brief but affecting mellowing which emphasises the album’s tone. There is quite simply so much going on here that needs to be experienced for yourself to grasp.
Life is constantly inflicted with hardship and misery whilst even a cursory glance at the news is enough to drive anyone to the brink, and it is this gloomy world that A Sense Of Rest snapshots so excellently and vitally. End of Year season may be upon us and almost over, but this is harrowing and yet beautiful piece that needs to be heard.
Don’t overlook this one.
8 / 10