We Lost The Sea – Triumph & Disaster (Album Review)

We Lost The Sea – Triumph & Disaster
Released: October 4th, 2019

“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.”Jerzy Kosiński.

This statement from the famed Polish-American novelist is arguably the ideal summation to the fourth studio album by NSW post-rockers We Lost The Sea; their second LP utilising their instrumental formula. It is to a degree, understood that music of this calibre could be perplexing to try and decipher a story or meaning with the absence of the narrator, or in this form of art, lyricist and vocalist; but that is not We Lost The Sea’s purpose, especially not with Triumph & Disaster. For this six-piece, the mission is the emotive response, the expedition the observer undergoes through this elegantly dramatic barrage of magnificent musicianship and their personal interpretation of what has inspired the sextet.

Similar to how Departure Songs negotiated the painful and distressing loss of the band’s former vocalist Chris Torpy, though his presence will always be known as a benefit to mankind; Triumph & Disaster is inspired by a heavy topic also: The fragile state of the world and its demise through climate change. Conceivably this has brought about a more metallic undertone through the lush soundscapes the six members bring to their formula; however this isn’t an identity transformation by any means, more-so an added aggression and it is magical.

The 15 minute opener ‘Towers’ is potentially the guideline for the entire record, but in saying that, it is still only the introduction. Varying between theatrical devastation to sombre intricacy; there is no denying that WLTS demand attention and send the listener on the path of where their mind can endlessly guide them. ‘A Beautiful Collapse’ to a degree, feels like the beginning of the apocalypse, not in an accelerated manner, just substantial happenings that the Earth is suffering. Which is then followed by ‘Dust’, a particularly eerie and atmospheric gloomy number that could be the soundtrack to the aftermath of a devastating event, although the subtle yet remarkable addition of trumpet suggests hope and even a sentiment of courage.

‘Parting Ways’ in some measure follows the prior theme but with a “war cry” element that is both inspirational and disturbing in the sense that we actually have to fight to try and save our home; where ‘Distant Shores’ suggests a calm in finding that there is still a lot of beauty out there. ‘The Last Sun’ could not be a more suiting title to this second-to-last track, it seems to combine everything that had been decorated with the album’s journey so far and builds into a near eruption that is actually met with not an outburst, but a musical representation of a “cave in” – brilliantly frightening and enrapturing.

We Lost The Sea. Photo by Josh Groom

To close, a curveball of sorts: ‘Mother’s Hymn’ is an austere ballad featuring the breath-taking vocals and lyrics of Louise Nutting which cements the notion of the planet dying and that we are responsible. The sound of hope though, is far from lost, with the addition of trumpet and Louise Nutting’s truly uncanny talent, it isn’t a jubilant song but it comes with aspiration.

Following Departure Songs would have been unthinkable, however We Lost The Sea have not only accomplished this, they redefined it. This isn’t the sequel, it is the stimulation. These six New South Welshmen are not portraying a story, they are evoking a response, they are using a reaction to bring about action and this is more than art or politics: Triumph & Disaster is beauty amongst destruction.

T&D Cover 300 dpi

We Lost The Sea – Triumph & Disaster tracklisting

1. Towers
2. A Beautiful Collapse
3. Dust
4. Parting Ways
5. Distant Shores
6. The Last Sun
7. Mothers Hymn

Rating: 9/10
Triumph & Disaster is out now. Grab a copy here
Review by Will Oakeshott @TeenWolfWill

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