From the moment the text to the title of Our Ceasing Voices debut EP hits the eyes, the overall feeling is that something special awaits (no normal band would call their first ever record 'Steadied Stars In The Morphium Sky').
As the EP starts, gentle, tonal echoes stir quietly to life: sparse and otherworldly, sucking you inwards and downwards to unknown sonic landscapes. Layer-upon-ominous-layer of music slowly starts to fold and entwine around itself before eventually morphing into some form of noticeable rhythm.
The lightest hum of a distant instrument confirms the beginning of the next track but never once does the listener leave his audible tomb to notice. Of Lives Once Lost starts with just a single, simple guitar string which resonates for the first four minutes before rumbling, deathly-black clouds appear and darken the entire scenery. Heavy drums and a guitar crafted from the depths of hell devastatingly unfurl as the track progresses, becoming both menacing and ghostly. Imagine the captain of the Titanic’s face when he first heard his vessel scrape against the side of that iceberg and then somehow transpose that to a compositional form and you’re somewhere near (but not quite) the emotions that the song elicits.
Post-rock is known for its epic crescendos, distorted, echo-drenched guitar-work and atmospheric, instrumental nature and even though this EP has ample amounts of all, there's still something wholly unique about Our Ceasing Voice. Maybe it’s the sparsity that their music possesses or the way in which they arrange their songs. When you’re actually consumed by the music at hand, completely enveloped by its rich tapestry of textures, it is an experience like no other.
They seem less inclined to continuously destroy the listener’s ears, instead focusing on the quieter side of the field: building drastic, yet light introductions which float like an eerie but welcome mist around your feet. As the song grows, so too does the fog, rising higher, thickening and eventually smothering the listener in an impending but vastly entertaining haze.
Just look at the structure of track four (and the final song from the EP) Dazzled Eyes Are Shut; it begins with a timid and hesitant persona that hypnotises and moans for the better part of four minutes yet not once will does it ever become tedious. So warm and ethereal it is that it’s almost impossible to escape; when the latter half of the song begins to build, so too does the listeners craving for the mandatory crescendo. By the last two minutes, there’s nothing to focus on but overwhelmingly epic guitars and wildly entertaining instrumentation and it demonstrates why post-rock should be your favourite genre.
Our Ceasing Voice have created a four-track EP that stands up to most full-length record’s these days and that’s really saying something about the band's talent. It’s almost thirty minutes in length which is fantastic for any EP and the fact that it happens to be one of the most intensely enjoyable thirty minutes one could ever hope for should be enough to illustrate the importance of each and every person in the world purchasing it.
Both significantly original and incomprehensibly beautiful, Steadied Stars... has taken that bar and not just raised it, but cast it deep into the heavens. When a band shows this much promise on their debut EP, we weep for the future of said bar, elevation will not be likely next time, they’ll be destroying it!
You can download a track from Steadied Stars In The Morphium Sky via our free-of-charge sampler here - Strange Glue and the Post-Rock Underground