| If you arenít familiar with The Sound of Animals Fighting, read this for a review of TSOAFís debut The Tiger and the Duke, a stellar prog-indie rock concept album.
For Lover, the Lord has Left Us..., fewer than half of the animals return, while a few additions are made, including the singer of Chiodos (am I allowed to say that?). Yeah yeah, Anthony Green is back, however singing less than before. Unlike the previous album, electric guitars, bass, and drumset appear only occasionally; instead, most of the music is created on synthesizer, digital engineering, sampling, atonality, electric drumbeats, and female vocals in Sanskrit.
The difference between both TSOAF albums is shocking. Almost no resemblance can be found, besides the guitar parts in "Horses in the Sky" sounding similar to "Act I" from the debut. This album is much longer and without "interludes," though the songs vary in length, from 39 seconds to 10.5 minutes.
It is hard to even classify this album as rock. In fact, the album has no rock parts except the chorus in the sixth track. It is far more abstract than any other works of "experimental" bands, including Pink Floyd and Mars Volta.
While still having experimental rock influences, this album delves into Klangfarbenmelodie (music based on timbre, not tone). For example, there are no musical notes in "Chiriacho Summit" or "Golden Boy;" it is the sound or resonance that creates the music. "Stockhausen" is an amazing combination of non-tonal sounds as beats and harmony, while a piano, guitar, and vocals create the tonal center.
Throwing a concept like Klangfarbenmelodie, as well as having no song in conventional musical modes, might make Lover, the Lord has Left Us... sound pretentious, nonsensical, or utterly brilliant. Almost everyone can agree that its complexity is too overwhelming for the indie rock scene. Many listeners have rejected this album as pure noise; one critic went as far as to call it "The Sound of Animals Shitting." Others have gone on to say that this album is a whole new realm of sonic beauty.
Iíll admit, it is ridiculous to expect a regular rock fan to absorb music not made of notes. However, the melodic moments of the album, though abstract, have peculiar beauty. "Un'aria" is Anthonyís lone, raw, alto voice singing a mystic melody. "Skullflower" is the indescribable highlight of the album. "Horses in the Sky" is in the vein of the first album, "St Broadrick" almost sounds like Radioheadís more experimental works, and "Heretic" features a piano line that sounds like Satieís Gymnopedies.
It seems like Philippe Leroux, Kraftwerk, Thom Yorke, Impressionist composers, and Indian music all had a hand in creating this album. What does that mean for you? No idea. Thereís no way of telling whether youíll abhor or adore this album, just give it several listens. Itís not rock and itís not consistent, but itís something youíve definitely never heard before.
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| LOVER, THE LORD HAS LEFT US...
Equal Vision Records
4) My Horse Must Lose
5) Chiriacho Summit
<< 6) Horses in the Sky >>
7) Stockhausen, Es Ist Ihr Gehrin,
Das Ich Suche
8) Prayers on Fire
9) The Golden Boy That Was
Swallowed by the Sea
10) This Heat
11) Un'aria Ancora
12) St. Broadrick is in Anarctica
13) The Heretic
14) There Can Be No Dispute That Monsters Live Among Us