Given the tastes of the people who write for this site, we tend to focus on the more extreme forms of underground metal. But if you’ve been coming here regularly, you’ll know that there are exceptions, and we’re about to make another one — though not an exception to the general rule against singing, because there’s no singing at all in the song we’re about to present, which is accompanied by an eye-catching video.
The song in question, “Heavy Heart“, comes from the new album by the Athenian post-rock/post-metal band we.own.the.sky. Entitled Home, the album will be released on November 1st. While the song might not be as extreme as most of what you’ll find here, it’s definitely a heavyweight track, in keeping with its title — but that’s only one of its charismatic qualities.
Indeed, “Heavy Heart” is a beautiful tapestry of sound, full of sonic peaks and valleys, darkness and light, and ebbs and flows of energy. It’s a union of muscular, neck-bending rhythms, gossamer-light dancing notes, and dreamlike melodic panoramas.
At the foundation of the song is a syncopated bass-and-drum rhythm that gets its hooks in the listener damned fast. That riveting interplay juxtaposes big groaning tones and jittery percussive fretwork, and integrates them with a compulsive drum pattern. The band then layer in shrill, tension-ratcheting arpeggios, the chiming of crystalline notes, and, in the song’s mid-section, a beautiful piano motif backed by shimmering synths that seem to portray vast sweeping vistas.
Momentous drum reverberations become the herald of the song’s renewed strengthening after that beguiling interlude. The backing shimmers of symphonic sound swell in glorious cascades, paving the way for a gorgeous guitar solo that you can imagine being delivered at stage-front in a large arena. But rather than finish the song in an extravagant crescendo, the band pull back, and send us off instead with slow, spellbinding notes, stripped of those compulsive rhythms, which spawn visions of stars winking in the void.
The “visualizer” video makes for a great match with the music. It effectively draws us even further into the mystical and head-moving dimensions of the sound.
Music is of course an interactive experience. What a listener might feel or imagine in experiencing it might be different than what the musicians intended or felt. But it is nevertheless interesting to learn about a musician’s inspirations, and so we share what we’ve been told by we.own.the.sky about Home. There is an underlying theme that runs through the album, tying all the songs together, as is suggested by the title. “In the troubling times we live in, Home stands for the things we hold dear to our heart, that we consider a safe haven”.
“Whether it be another human being, an actual place or even an object of personal significance, we are in a perpetual chase of that constant, that feeling of familiarity and warmth. Through each individual’s pursuit of happiness, it is the ties we make with each other that shape us, some of which are like threads that cannot be broken. Home is an effort to channel into this human need, symbolizing the journey from darkness towards the light”.
The album covers a lot of ground, both sonically and emotionally, and is meant to be experienced as a whole. But until that becomes possible, we’ll also share with you a previously released track called “We Align“, which has a more pronounced uplifting spirit than the heavier and darker song we’re premiering today.
If you’re intrigued by what you hear (and you should be), the album is available for pre-order now.