I spent my day listening to Only Echoes Remain’s debut album. I listened to it once, and upon its finale I just wanted to go back for more.
This happened a few times.
The skill, the variation, the intensity kept pulling me back and made for a different listening experience each time I played it. The Exigent is a highly accomplished, ten track assortment of experimentation and excitement. It contains true depth that cannot be fully embraced in one listen. This is music that I love.
It takes real mastery to evoke such emotion through music, but OER’s impassioned and brilliant musicianship means they have more than what it takes to achieve this. They say ‘we tend to look at it more on an emotional level – the complexities of human emotions, how quickly awe and joy can turn into fear or panic, are themes explored throughout the album but are introduced properly in ‘Aurora’.’ I think the majority of The Exigent is an impressive manifestation of this, and consistently there lies a strong presence of sentimentality.
It starts minimalist and ambiguous with opener ‘Prelude (We Must Move Forward),’ and this sets the solemnly pensive tone that underlies a lot of the album. Light and ‘prettier’ semblances are offered, particularly in tracks ‘Distant Echoes,’ ‘End Transmission,’ ‘Reflections,’ and earlier parts of ‘Aurora,’ and other, more diverse, moods continue to be explored – both throughout each individual track and the album alike as it develops. The darkest part, in my opinion, comes in ‘Interlude (No Turning Back),’ and this eerie-ness that’s interwoven into majority of the record, for me, is what really gives it an edge (but I do love the more sombre side of music)
There are quirks to this album that really take it to another level. They yield variation and distinguish the music from other post-metal bands. OER can clearly master tempo changes, the sudden eruptions of energy, the subtle layering of instrumentation that gradually thickens the sound to epic and inspirational proportions, but it’s the classical sound in various tracks, the voice recordings in ‘Dawn,’ the beautiful bursts of sound in ‘Of Stone and Stars;’- little characteristics like this that really create the album’s unique personality.
Of Stone and Stars is a beautiful round up of all the best features. The stunning sounds that begin at 9:10, mentioned above, generate a beguiling sensitivity just as the album closes. It makes for a lovely ending and last hint of distinction from everything else that comes before.
The Exigent is an album you can get completely lost in. It will satisfy not only post-metal/rock enthusiasts, but anyone capable of appreciating the most deft of musical finesse. It is evidence that OER are at the top of their genre, and truly exemplifies just how well these guys know their instruments.
Favourite track – Descent Impact, Reflections