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Until Sunrise - Frozen Stars CD (album) cover


Until Sunrise


Post Rock/Math rock

4.23 | 11 ratings

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4 stars Some years ago I had the luck of being introduced to Until Sunrise, a young band from the United States that entered to the post-rock realm back in 2010, with a nice self-titled debut album. Five years later, in this 2015, the band returned with "Frozen Stars", their second full-length release in which we can truly appreciate a step forward, a more mature sound and a quite more adventurous journey. This album offers 7 compositions that make a total time of 50 minutes, so be ready for almost an hour of great post rock!

It opens with "Driving Down the Golden Highway", which actually starts with a heavy sound, but later it becomes gentler with the violin sound. This time Until Sunrise added a new guitar player, and also the violin has strengthened its importance on the band, you will notice it. Both instruments (guitars and violin) will make you feel trapped into Until Sunrise's world, and be fulfilled with emotions that are perfectly complemented by drums and bass, of course. "The Elysian Fields" is a beautiful song they composed and released as single years ago. The heavy side of their sound vanishes here, instead, we listen to cute, melancholic post rock that may remind you of Mogwai.

"Frozen Stars / Up Autumn Hill" is an addictive and challenging track that offers the soft and the heavy sides of Until Sunrise, and I like how they manage to make those abrupt changes without harming the music, I mean, you are listening to a soft melody with hypnotizing guitars and then all of a sudden the music gets explosive, with some guitar distortions, but you keep listening and enjoying it, because you have embraced it. After five minutes the music changes, seems that a new structure is being built up, a spacey atmosphere appears and we can enjoy a couple of chaotic minutes. But then, a short pause, silence, guitar appears softly and then the other instruments join and it all starts again. Wonderful!

"On the Second Story" is a nice short song that brings acoustic passages that might work as an interlude. It is nice, and maybe it has a special meaning to the band, but I would have not included it, honestly. After this short weak passage, the music returns to its best with "Perry Smith (Driving Down the Frozen Highway)", a 9-minute track whose sound produces a lot of emotions, the piano is repetitive, drums create some tension and the bass sound is simply amazing here. The first three minutes are in the same path, but then it makes a sudden change in which violin adds its charm and the atmosphere morphs into a relaxing journey where symphonic prog and post rock meet. But as you can imagine, later they introduce new sounds, new nuances and a rich blend of noises and emotions, letting us know about their great compositional skills.

The longest track is "At the Splinters on the Bridge", a composition that catches your attention since the first seconds. The first two and a half minutes are a bit tense but exciting, I love the drums here and the different figures that strings introduced; that starting passage might be one of my favorite moments from the whole album. Then the music changes, it is an experimental post rock sound with hard bass notes and moments full of energy in which Dorsey delights us with the keyboards. Then another contrast, a short stop and seems a new song begin with soft guitars, like if they decided to put together different songs into this one. Then the song flows, progresses and little by little it becomes more intense, leaving for moments the post rock fields and touching other styles, you will notice it when the guitar solo appears. This is a very good song, but not the best, though it is challenging I believe it is uneven in moments, so in some passages I had to say my attention was lost. Frozen Stars finishes with "Down Autumn Hill", another short piece in which we can appreciate both acoustic and electric guitar in a very melancholic way; later piano, percussion and violin join and all together say goodbye to the listener.

Though the last part of the album did not leave me that happy, I think overall this is an excellent release, definitely a work that I will listen frequently and recommend to my friends, and I hope Until Sunrise keeps doing this great effort and maybe in the near future they'll give us an unforgettable work of art. My final grade, four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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