The Boston, Massachusetts-area seems to hold fertile soil for creative independent bands to spring from; the firm ground of the American Northeast surely forms a secure basis from which many inspiring acts set foot into the wide, wide world. One of these bands is Glacier, who recently released their fourth record Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. With its unreasonably long name—even for post-rock/metal standards—and only two songs that amount to 30 minutes of experimental post-rock, Glacier have come up with a remarkable release that invites the listener to revel in its amalgamation of excessive sound and profound conceptual basis.
RELEASE DATE: 07 July 2017 LABEL: Self-released
This autumn will see Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet… released on vinyl, and pre-orders are up now on Glacier’s Bandcamp.
The album starts with a minimal, drone-inspired groove that hits hard as concrete, setting a mood that cuts right to the bone. Once the band proceed however, the music unfolds into sequences of complex textures and layerings, exposing the influence of early post-metal bands such as Neurosis. The combination of drone, doom, sludge and post-rock/metal in any proportion is at times prone to sounding uninspired, but Glacier manage to pull it off in a very convincing fashion.
Conceptually Your Sins Be As Scarlet… listens like Jewish Midrash writings, in which rabbis compare one piece of scripture with a second, completely unrelated verse in order to come to a whole new interpretation of the first text. In this case the album title refers to a verse from the prophet Isaiah:
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
As a contrasting piece, the first song contains a spoken word fragment from the Gospel of Matthew, which is seemingly unrelated to the verse from Isaiah, but which invites the listener to contemplate the meaning of different metaphysical concepts such as love, healing, and redemption.
The title of the record is actually a perfect demonstration of a literary device found in Jewish poetry, where a statement is repeated in slightly different wording as to give it greater emphasis. In the same manner, Glacier deliver two songs that are great in their own right, but which gain greater relevance and strength in their juxtaposition.
This notion of duality is carried through in the fine balance between riffing and atmospherics presented here on this record. The music flows nicely through a diverse array of tempos and moods, making Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet… a great album to dream away to, or to put on while getting some work done. This atmospheric quality is being reinforced by the relatively laid-back lead guitar playing and the humble production. The sound of the guitars, and the balance between drums and bass are rudimentary but effective in this regard.
With its rich conceptual basis and strong composition Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet… makes for an overwhelming experience that is made readily accessible through its understated production values. Glacier deliver a fine one-two punch of sound that cements the band as a veritable contender in the experimental post-rock scene.
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