Review by Ryan Getz
Post-rock has developed quite the dedicated niche fanbase over the past few years. This has happened such that niche markets are starting to develop this already-a-niche-market realm. You can thank bands like This Will Destroy You for inspiring heavy ambient music. Rest follows in that group’s footsteps with their own brand of reverent ambient heavy music.
In Returning is plainly meant to move you. As such, I took notes upon first listen of the tracks, when emotions are likely to be the most raw. I am kind of a pensive person anyway, so I welcomed the challenge of reviewing a project sans lyrics. So friends, here is what I felt during the duration of In Returning:
“Behold” – One can almost picture the clouds parting as the prelude of this heavy post-rock service begins. Ah, who am I kidding? This ain’t no simple clouds-parting prelude – this is more like a “Wake up look at the awesome power of the LORD” surge of adrenaline. So much bass right out of the gate! The ambience calms down; the intensity doesn’t.
“Capacity” – The triumphant mood of the prelude gives way slightly in intensity but not in emotion. Guitar licks are slightly reminiscent of “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Yup, I just compared an indie post-rock band to U2. No apologies for that!
“Finding Him” – The crescendo-ing chords to a climax formula often used in post-rock appears here, but it is appropriate. Streams of consciousness like “aggressive yet peaceful” and “clouds parting” (actually mean that this time) bounced around my brain before I was startled by a sudden wave of electric guitar.
“Where We Stand In Awe” – This tune takes a more contemplative stance. I feel like the strings are enveloping me.
“The Time Has Come” – Here we hear an acoustic theme echoing the electric theme presented in “Where We Stand in Awe.” It’s a neat effect that makes the pair of songs complementary.
“Here” – This desperate sounding track flows seamlessly from “The Time Has Come.” I did not realize the song had changed until nearly a minute in, I think. This is the most steady, driving track thus far. Things get intense again.
“Calm” – This song seems to be telling a wound up person to relax. It’s almost a conversation between the two parties. Basically, it is the antithesis of the end of “Here.”
“Our Eternity” – Unsurprisingly, this has a reverent theme – this sounds like worship. The song makes me want to rock out the most of anything else on the album. It almost seems like the whole thing is one big crescendo. Noise/distortion carries us out; a bit indulgent perhaps, but acceptable. Things get a bit rough with just how much is going on but a child singing brings the album to a simple, pretty close.
There you go. Plainly this album is meant to be listened to from beginning to end, in order. Try it!