Australia’s sleepmakeswaves are definitely a band on the rise. Their first two albums are great examples of progressive post rock. Instrumental, epic, great riffs and dripping with atmosphere. I was curious if the band could maintain the quality of their music but still grow at the same time – always a tricky proposition.
“Made Of Breath Only” is the result of a band not willing to rest on their laurels but rather push their sound and themselves to grow. Much has been made about the album being heavier or even angrier. Even many of the titles are cold and frozen. And yes, it does have heavier riffs which is clear from the start.
Songs like “worlds away,” “to light and then return” and “tundra” are all heavier than probably anything sleepmakeswaves have done before BUT I still wouldn’t call it metal. So yes the album is heavy but the tide turns a bit once you get to the short but beautiful title track.
The final four tracks on the album are my favorites. It’s almost unfair how great these songs are. “into the arms of ghosts” kicks off with some piano which is a nice change of pace and points out that this is not just a heavy album. The song does kick in which, because of the intro and the dynamics it adds, sounds even heavier than perhaps it is. I love it.
“Midnight Sun” starts with one of the best riffs on the album, a classic sleepmakeswaves riff: breezy and driving. The song has a killer groove to it and showcases the band at the peak of their powers. “Glacial” gives Alex Wilson more room for some keyboard work. Ice cold and even a bit like God is an Astronaut. The final track “Hailstones” might be my favorite on the whole album. It has wordless “vocals” as part of a very cinematic sounding track. The song is really an amazing way to end a great album. Just a phenomenal track.
I love when a band truly pushes themselves to take everything they do to a higher level. That’s exactly the case with sleepmakeswaves and “Made of Breath Only.” It’s an album that can be cold yet bold and quite beautiful at the same time. sleepmakeswaves have outdone themselves indeed!
- our days were polar
- worlds away
- to light and then return
- the edge of everything
- made of breath only
- into the arms of ghosts
- midnight sun
Label: Pelagic Records
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