Wednesday, 4 January 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: If These Trees Could Talk - “The Bones of a Dying World”

By Brandon Green

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 03/06/2016
Label: Metal Blade Records




This record is a fluid-flowing masterpiece that builds upon complex, progressive dreamscapes with brilliant artwork reminiscent of the music within. It is clear the band, although instrumental, is thematic in the sense they are making a statement regarding environmental concerns and climate change. The music feels bleak, hopeful, and wonderfully introspective.


“Bones of a Dying World” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Solstice
2. Swallowing Teeth
3. Earth Crawler
4. After the Smoke Clears
5. The Here and Hereafter
6. Iron Glacier
7. The Giving Tree
8. Berlin
9. One Sky Above Us

The Review:

Few bands are capable of capturing the icy and frigid atmosphere of the winter months while inspiring hearth-fire warmth in song structures and rhythm. After many listens of 2009’s “Red Forest,” I found myself frequently thinking it was a release that was hard to top, however, “Bones of a Dying World” does just that. Many people may think this release is repeated territory for the band; but this album feels like more. This record is a fluid-flowing masterpiece that builds upon complex, progressive dreamscapes with brilliant artwork reminiscent of the music within. It is clear the band, although instrumental, is thematic in the sense they are making a statement regarding environmental concerns and climate change. The music feels bleak, hopeful, and wonderfully introspective.

Bones of a Dying World” is an hour long journey full of melody, melancholy, and cinematic post-metal. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, If These Trees Could Talk takes advantage of deep, layered sound full of reverberation and crisp guitar passages weaving in and out of the intense rhythm underneath. Overall, the album has a steady moderate pace with the majority of the songs maintaining catchy, melodic, clean guitar passages. The album also introduces a welcomed amount of distorted and heavy riffs built on top of the clean compositions, something only attainable with their trio of guitars. The group seems to stick to utilizing delay effects with long feedback trails; however, the band delivers a higher understanding of complexity by letting the effects organically enhance the amazing compositions.

The group’s strength relies on intense build up before pummeling the listener with overwhelming and hauntingly powerful riffs. Variation is a strong component of their songwriting, and can be seen throughout the compositions on the album. “Bones of a Dying World” goes by quickly, and I frequently found myself pressing play again for the ominous reverb-soaked journey. The album’s second track, “Swallowing Teeth,” heavily showcases the band’s ability to make the listener lose track of time.  The atmosphere created in their song structures make the listener frequently feel like time passes so much slower as the music sets in, filling the brain full of visions of wandering an icy lake under intense grey skies.

The drums were an interesting touch for me on this record specifically from their simplistic yet huge sound emphasized by the heavy hitting playstyle of Zack Kelly. The massive ambience created by the cymbal work added a ton of character to the guitar textures, and the careful construction of rhythms locked in with the bass really drove home some extremely heavy moments. My only slight criticism of the record is that I wish the bass was not so buried beneath the beautiful guitar work.  There were some extremely inspiring moments between the bass and drums that I wish would have shined through a little more.

The impressiveness of this record really set in during my favorite track, “Iron Glacier.” The song underneath all the ambience and build-up is immensely catchy and extremely heavy. While the performance is deliberate and borderline monstrous at times, the band throughout the album displays just the right amount of aggression. I can only imagine that a live performance from this band would not only be amazing, but could potentially be deeply personal and spiritual for many listeners of post-metal/rock. For a genre somewhat still in the infant stages, If These Trees Could Talk conducts with absolute authority and delivers a potentially timeless record. An album perfectly suited for the winter time; throw on your headphones and check this one out. They absolutely deserve your support.

“Bones of a Dying World” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

FFO: Pelican, Russian Circles, God is an Astronaut, This Will Destroy You

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