One side-effect of writing music reviews on a weekly (or more) basis, is that sometimes the enthusiasm for new releases can wane. While this is something that isn’t unexpected, it can still be a bit of a bummer. One upside to this, however, is that when you hear a song or a record that really excites you, there’s a solid chance that it is exceptional. When I first heard “Ruined” from relative newcomers, Lesser Glow, their intense interpretation of post-metal and doom smashed together with some genuine intensity was thrilling. Releasing on June 8, Ruined is their debut release and has shaped up to be one of the most interesting records that I’ve heard in the first half of 2018.
The title track opens up the record with a spacious, deliberate, but still energetic instrumentation. The vocals verge into the manic at times, but only in little moments and allow restraint to pervade. This approach creates some real tension that is let out by some of the more melodic sections. Both approaches are executed masterfully. What really drew me into this song initially, and even still, is the starkness of it. While LLNN on their most recent record explored space (literally and figuratively) with a myriad of effects and massive walls of sound, Lesser Glow do so in a much more minimalist fashion.
The energy of Ruined only picks up as things progress with “Vacant Throne”. Clocking in at just under five minutes, the song takes on a more soulful tone as melody leads the charge on this one. That’s not to say that the intense and relentless vocals refuse to show themselves along the way. The contrast is ridiculously satisfying. “Tel Meggido” takes things down a notch, but is still an engaging song from start to finish. With some grunge-like movements, the melodic doom becomes a thing of beauty. What becomes clear this far along on the record is that Lesser Glow have mapped out their sonic footprint and refined it to a near trademark level already. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t confuse them for anyone else if I happened to overhear them at any point
A track that bears mentioning is the two-minute instrumental, “Fall On Mortal Decay.” There’s a real sense of purpose to this track as it ends up as the fifth of six total songs on Ruined. It’s a concise but lovely track that while nothing terribly original seems warmly familiar. Often these instrumental songs are placed at the start or the end of an album as a way to set the tone. This track, however, is placed specifically to introduce the final song, “Under The Polar Shade.” Filled with a strong post-metal DNA that cascades and crashes, and the newly-minted Lesser Glow trademark, this is a real standout composition that wraps up the collection of songs quite nicely.
With a never-ending cavalcade of new releases hitting our music services and record stores on a weekly basis, finding that new must-listen can be a difficult task. Well, I’m here to help you with your chores this week; go buy Ruined. Simply put these guys are doing something worth paying attention to. The eerie hollowness of their songs is a massive differentiator for them, along with their massive walls of sound and the energy that oozes from every track. As far as debuts go, you’ll be hard-pressed to hear anything better. I can’t wait to follow Lesser Glow’s career and see how they continue to evolve and shape their sound.
Notable Tracks: “Ruined”; “Tel Meggido”; “Under The Polar Shade”
FFO: LLNN, Abraham, Neurosis