The Ascent of Everest From This Vantage

The Ascent of Everest are doing it wrong. Not with the music they make- ‘From This Vantage’ sounds smarter and more confident than any sophomore effort should- but in the way they sell it. From that band name to talk of mountainous music and walls of noise see, the Nashville outfit are lying to us.

Instead of booming riffs here, there are guitar lines that shimmer and echo. Instead of myriad distorted layers there are lone, dark melodies and rather than post-rock clichés there are gentle, almost-orchestral gems of songs. In fact there are no monolithic standout moments at all. But what there is, is a whole album’s worth of music that will slowly creep into your brain like shadows into the day. Hell, they shouldn’t be called The Ascent of Everest at all; they should be called The Descent of Marianas or something, if only that wasn’t so terrible.

Opener ‘Trapped Behind Silence’ is only a little louder than its title suggests, ‘Return to Us’ sounds like Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ being played on proper instruments (and that includes harpsichord and violin) and the title track is a cinematic treat. Oh, and despite what you may have heard the party at the end of the world isn’t some bass-thumping half-orgy but a candlelit room of people realising they might never see the sun again and it sounds just like ‘Dark, Dark My Light’.

This won’t smash your house down or anything like that, it’s not got the power of some natural disaster or other that some people say it has. It won’t subvert the mainstream, it won’t change the world. Hell, it won’t even change the post-rock scene. But for anyone willing to give in and get lost, this is a record with limitless power. Don’t believe what you read. Believe what you hear. And hear this album.

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