sleepmakeswaves – Made of Breath Only
Released: 24th March 2017
Daniel Oreskovic – Guitars
Tim Adderley – Drums
Alex Wilson – Bass
Otto Wicks-Green – Guitars
Sleepmakeswaves has been doing just that; making waves with their music and thereby creating a niche that they can very much call their own. At this point, the four-piece Sydney band have just about mastered their otherworldly post-rock sound but this time around, with a little edge to it on their latest offering Made of Breath Only.
The album opens with the mesmerizing and rather grim ambience of ‘Our Days Were Polar’, instantly giving you visuals of a bleak, icy abyss, something that can instil both fear and awe in you. Without warning, it bursts into an emotive piece, ‘Worlds Away’, you almost think it’s the same track. It is quite reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky with it’s sudden tempo shifts and upbeat, pitchy riffs but only just. The melodic section kicks in and you know that whatever lies ahead, is a true aural treat. What you can pick up on almost immediately is the heavier tones these lads have indulged in. ‘To Light And Then Return’ is a perfect example of this, but the beauty? They know when to slow down too. Midway through this track is a slow-tempo melody with a little punk vibe to it towards the end which I found quite intriguing. This is definitely one that will get heads turning (and banging) live.
‘Tundra’, first single released off this brilliant new record, is sure to be a crowd pleaser and a favourite among both old fans and new. Groove-laden and packed with addictive rhythms, this track is euphoric, dynamic and unpredictable. It’s that sudden shift in sound, speed and mood that will keep the listener hooked and wanting more. Sleepmakeswaves isn’t trying to ‘fit’ into any sort of genre or label – they’re going above and beyond the possibility of categorization with the evolved nature of their music. Continuing this battle between darkness and light, every song maintains elements of both the band’s signature style and the new, improved additions; soon it becomes a quest to find out which one is more prominent.
Title track ‘Made of Breath Only’ is special. It’s the breather of the album. Haunting yet powerful, the sounds of the piano are the standout aspect of this song, guiding your thoughts into a world unimagined, and allowing you to tap into emotions you never knew existed. A section that will pick you up before calming you down again, it’s almost perfect how every little piece of this track fits together. Following this little play around of feelings, ‘Into the Arms of Ghosts’ essentially validates the ‘metal’ tag attached to the band with it’s crisp, aggressive riffage and punchy drums. The soaring melodic lines balance out the heaviness perfectly and just proves how versatile these rockers can be. ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘Glacial’ are also ridiculously magnificent tracks that display the top-notch musicianship, instrumentation as well as uniqueness that the band can boast. Sonorous sweeps that are in timely sync with the dispersed electronic sections make for a pure instrumetal listen as I like to call it.
The flawlessness of this record is highlighted with it’s mystical ten-minute closer, ‘Hailstones’. This song somehow was the one I connected with most. It has everything you could possibly want in a song – breathtaking acoustics, uplifting rhythms, an incredible atmospheric post-rock sound that compliments the sludgy guitars and hardcore vibe; cheeky vocal appearances in spurts. It’s kind of hard to describe this song and what I’ve just mentioned above barely touches the surface – but what I can tell you is the band could not have given it a better name. Ever experienced a hailstorm? Well put this on, and you’ll probably have an idea. Better yet, next term you are in the midst of one, make this the background music. Made of Breath Only is telling a story, one that will evoke the deepest emotions but have you experience moments of inexplicable energy and nostalgia. On first listen, there is a general theme you start to see unfold, one that involves the coldest regions on the planet and the mysteries they hide, but press the replay button, and there’s more you’ll find. Sleepmakeswaves has created an absolute masterpiece, making ‘Made of Breath Only’ an almost spiritual, inspirational experience.
Review by Prarthana Venunathan (@MetalMaami)
Made of Breath Only is out Tomorrow