A Dead Forest Index - In All That Drifts From Summit Down - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

A Dead Forest Index - In All That Drifts From Summit Down

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2016-05-01

Following a couple of EPs, this is the debut album of post-rocking Kiwi siblings Adam and Sam Sherry. With a band name and album title like that, you pretty much know what you’re in for before the laser beam hits that silver beer coaster, and the Sherrys don’t disappoint. ‘Tide Walks’ shuffles into the room like an old Cure funeral dirge, Adam’s “is that a man or a woman?”’s vocals breathing life into the procession. ‘No Paths’ is poppier, a strumming guitar dancing around Sam’s propulsive drum rolls. The title track is more magisterial: rolling drums, flailing cymbal crashes, and Adam’s deliberate recitation of the quite poetic lyrics combines to add an air of pomp and circumstance to the album that pretty much continues throughout.

     Adam’s Adele-meets-Alison Moyet’s vocals will take some adjusting to, but once you’re past the inquisitive stage and let them flow over you, you’ll feel an emotional pleading and sensitivity that’s rare as hen’s teeth in these days of overbearing screamers and lip-twitching divas. ‘Cast of Lines’ almost has a stentorian Marianne Faithfull delivery that certainly demands you sit up, stop texting, and listen to the damn album. Elsewhere, a haunting, noirish smokiness hangs over ‘Ringing Sideral’ like something hidden in the depths of Dead Can Dance’s discography. And I love the short sorbets ‘Swims Out’ and ‘Myriad’ that alleviate the otherwise rather gloomy atmospherics.

     Fans of Martyn Bates and his elegant emotional utterances (both solo and with Eyeless In Gaza) may find these tunes right up their musical alley, although comparisons with Antony & The Johnsons are also apt. The harmonium-driven ‘Upon Dark Hills’ will also appeal to Nico worshippers.

     This is smoky, late night music for self-reflective contemplation of the day’s events that proves two guys can create an atmospheric collection of dark noir as much as an orchestra flailing away to the frantic baton wavings of Phil Spector or those wacky Montréalais doomsayers sitting on Mt. Zion with Emperors.

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