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Night Verses - Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night: Part 1 review


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Band: Night Verses
Album: Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night: Part 1
Release date: September 2023

01. 8 Gates Of Pleasure
02. Arrival
03. Rose Wire
04. Karma Wheel
05. Love In A Liminal Space
06. Bound To You
07. Séance [feat. Justin Chancellor]

It’s been five years since Night Verses pulled off a hugely successful transition from having a vocalist to being an all-instrumental group; the fruits of their labours in the interim have apparently been so prosperous that their comeback will come in two parts.

The group had already established themselves as a reputable progressive metalcore band with 2 albums under their belt before founding vocalist Douglas Robinson left in 2017; however, such was the warmth of the response to From The Gallery Of Sleep that any initial hankerings among fans for a new frontman likely disappeared instantly. The group’s reinvention as a modern instrumental prog-metal group went down so well that it even pipped Rolo Tomassi’s seminal Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It to the Best Djent / Math Metal Album in the 2018 Metal Storm Awards; therefore, expectations for the group’ second outing as a trio have been set far higher this time around. Perhaps recognizing the magnitude of the challenge, Night Verses have assembled a double album’s worth of material in the form of Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night.

As the category of their awards victory might suggest, the newfangled sound of Night Verses on From The Gallery Of Sleep was within the Animals As Leaders/Cloudkicker sphere of modern prog: technical, crunching and at-times djenty. However, there was more to the band’s sound than virtuosity; some lighter sounds on the record owed more to Plini and other solo prog musicians with a more delicate side, while there were also dynamics that took the album closer to another sphere of instrumental metal, namely the post-metal efforts of Russian Circles and their ilk. With Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night: Part 1 being nearly half the length of its predecessor, Night Verses have had to slightly condense their approach, and the heaviness in their sound arguably takes more of a central role.

This emphasis feels sign-posted on opening track “8 Gates Of Pleasure”; the song does have several more muted, atmospheric moments amidst the destructive djent riffs, but it’s the production of the drums in those quieter moments that really draws one’s attention. The drums were notably boosted in the mix on From The Gallery Of Sleep, which made complete sense given Aric Improta’s outstanding abilities, but the contrast feels even more stark at times here; particularly in a repeated segment featuring a hooky lead guitar motif, but also in some other quieter portions, the drums have such a hench tone that they almost dominate the vibe, especially as Improta casually throws in rapid-fire double bass rolls.

The drums continue to have a fierceness to their tone on subsequent songs; “Arrival” on the whole is quite light and whimsical in tone, but Improta goes absolutely haywire beneath a delicate delay-laden guitar line. However, even as Night Verses proceed to throw out pit-worthy fire in the form of the brutal opening riff to “Karma Wheel”, they’re not averse to more fully embracing levity; the middle of this same song is quite serene with the gentle clean guitar layers, and “Rose Wire” as a whole is a lush voyage of soulful solos and complex-yet-mellow instrumentals. Every Sound Has A Color In The Valley Of Night: Part 1 finds a very nice balance between virtuosity, cathartic groove, and evocative textures, and it means that a track such as “Bound To You” can glide into the clouds on featherweight synth tones, and then just as easily plunge into depths with monolithic grooves.

Probably the most unusual song on this new release is closing track “Séance”, which features Tool’s Justin Chancellor as a guest; its meditative flow, driven by tabla drums (just to give the song that added Tool flavour), is very muted compared to the rest of the record. Additionally, as the song never truly explodes, it very much gives the release as a whole an ‘act 1’ feel; you get the sense that you’re meant to quickly grab refreshments and come back for the rest of the show, instead of cheering the complete performance. As it is, Part 2 is unlikely to come until at least 2024, so there’s quite a long half-time interval, leaving plenty of time to give the impressive Part 1 a replay or few.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9

Written on 24.09.2023 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 1   Visited by: 39 users
26.09.2023 - 07:42

Great review! I was really looking forward to this album and part one hasn't disappointed. I'm cool with waiting for the second part at this stage.
That rug really tied the room together, did it not?

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