And So I Watch You from Afar – ‘The Endless Shimmering’ (Sargent House) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Marc Leach   
Thursday, 02 November 2017 04:20

ASIWYFA artworkI will say this, while I was never much of a fan (until I seen them live) there is no denying the influence a band from the North Coast of Northern Ireland have had the music scene in the decade they have been together. Especially for a band who are solely instrumental with little to no vocals (more like chants) being used throughout their songs. But the hallions of And So I Watch You From Afar (ASIWYFA for short) are back once again to blow your mind with their fifth release, ‘The Endless Shimmering.’

 

Ogres and onions aren’t the only ones that have layers, the band’s music for once is full of them. ‘Three Triangles’ (in reference to their logo) has plenty of layers that go from drummer Chris Wee’s huge but simple drum intro to the technical but heavily effect guitar work from Rory Friers and Niall Kennedy. There is one thing that can be said about ASIWYFA, while the guitar work may be considered the main focus to their music, it’s their rhythm section which is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best in the world.

 

Evident through the likes of ‘A Slow Unfolding Of Wings’ and ‘Terrors Of Pleasure,’ Wee and bassist Johnny Adger show off a wide variety of time signatures and a sound that shakes the universe itself. I mentioned effects already haven’t I? Yes? Good. Because the band, especially Friers and Kennedy, sure do love their use of effects, from delay to octave pedals the just help add an extra dynamic to their overall performance during these pieces.

 

From the creative side of using effects to the technicality, Friers and Kennedy are so quick to switch from guitar harmonies to fast paced tremolos that cut right through the bone; ‘Dying Giants’ and ‘Mullally’ are the strongest examples of these. Of course, there is only so much of this fast paced guitar work anyone can take, so thankfully the band quiet things down during the jazzy yet atmospheric ‘All I Need Is Space’ and ‘The Endless Shimmering’ where once again the use of the delay/reverb effect just help the listener go off into a trance and feel at peace while listening. Who needs whale song hey? Good listener, don’t take the slower final pieces ‘I’ll Share A Life’ and ‘Chrysalism’ for granted because once again that massive, off-time rhythm section is back once again to do plenty of damage to not your speakers but your very foundation; all while the band’s guitar work aims to make one final attempt to rip their audience to shreds.

 

 

I mentioned at the start, until I seen them live I was never much of an ASIWYFA fan who never appreciated both their sound and their talent - until now. ‘The Endless Shimmering’ is without a shadow of a doubt the most phenomenal record I have listened to this year; and I am not saying that because I am biased to Northern Irish bands. Things like the overall mix help make this album what it is, while it’s sometimes hard to get a perfect balance when it comes to the mix, with this album the listener will get to hear every note from every instrument as clear as a bell here. Will I be adding this to my ‘album of the year’ list? You bet your sweet ass I am.

 

‘The Endless Shimmering’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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