Its main interest point may be the metaphysical ideas and organization behind it that truly inspire contemplation, and it fully achieved success with the consistent, smart, and trance-like timbre, which quizzically left the rather plain melodic shapes to come off as a bit odd and the attempt to sound grounded unique yet disenchanting.

This is a very interesting and well thought out album on multiple levels. Perhaps its main interest point is not necessarily anything musical, but rather the nearly dangerously metaphysical ideas and organization behind it that shine through and inspire contemplation while being the band’s highly anticipated final work. Pairing this inner working of deep thought and meaningful care with straightforward and understandable musical elements was a bit surprising but overall worked well to become fully accessible and be a neat experience. The strongest aspect of this album in terms of its musical substance is the constantly engaging background textures that connected each song into one long piece, using small important moments and smart usages of unique sounds rather than unnecessary extravagance. It induced me into a trance-like state by the end, which was quite powerful. While nothing on this album ever came across as unwanted or poor, the backing sound was the only musical aspect that really had substantial worth. I could remark on some specific positives from song to song, but given this work’s first impression to the music world as being an album of the year candidate, I feel like it would be more worthwhile to elaborate on what could have been better. It’s a solid album that I would recommend, but it isn’t a masterpiece. The main reasoning behind that is the overly ordinary and almost mundane melodic shaping. Sounding real and approachable certainly has merit, but it only gets you so far in music without compelling linear drive, to which this album lacked quite a bit of. The plainness of the melodic layer also came off as a bit odd given the obvious experimentation that took place all around it to make this work what it is. The harmonic language was strong and delivered the needed individuality, but the harmony could have been more purposeful with added movement and less repetition, which again gave off a sense of simplicity that was nice but a bit underwhelming. With all that said, know that this is indeed a very cool work, and it has the ability to make the listener let go and forget what’s around them. It’s a next experience overall.

Melodic Intrigue: 33/50
Harmonic Creativity: 37/50
Timbral Effectiveness: 39/50
Intangible Influence: 24/30

Final Score: 133/180

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