I’ve never seen a glacier in real life, but I can tell you the following things that I know about them:
– My dad proposed to my mum at Franz Josef Glacier, down the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand (yes, imaginative place names, I know!). Funnily enough, Mum turned him down! Fortunately for my existence, she gave in when he asked her again the following day.
– A fjord is a glacial valley filled with water, whereas a sound is similar, but was forged by a river instead.
– There is a Boston post-rock band named Glacier who are about to drop an album which earns them the award for the release with longest title that we’ve reviewed for Will Not Fade (up until now Red Hands Black Feet held that position).
Said release is quite the mouthful. Try say this ten times really fast: Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet, They Shall Be White as Snow; Though They be Red Like Crimson, They Shall Be As Wool.
The release runs just shy of 30 minutes, despite only having two tracks. It’s set for vinyl pressing and I can imagine that it would work perfectly on the format, with each track taking up an entire side.
The two tracks are ominous and heavy. Think along the lines of Junius and Isis (am I allowed to reference that band without being put on some federal watch list?). You know the deal – washy cymbals, distorted guitars, powerful drumming, thundering bass – all combining to create something devastating. It helps that the band features three guitarists (two of whom are named Ryan), which helps them to create their expansive layered sounds.
Given the style of music they play, Glacier have picked a suitable band name. It’s like they’ve harnessed something brimming with power. Like Glaciers, their songs slowly make progress, ripe with danger, full of icy crevices and threatening avalanches. Ok… so maybe I’m taking the simile a bit too far…
There are a few vocal pieces included, and like the Lost in Kiev album I reviewed last year, I’ve had a good attempt at trying to make out what the sampled passages are saying. But with the mix being the way it is, can only clearly hear snippets.
In typical post-rock fashion, the band clearly have a theme that inspired the release, but choose to stay cryptic when asked about it, wanting to leave interpretation up to the listener. I’m fairly certain that Christianity comes into discussion, with the biblical song names and the samples within the songs. New drummer, Jesse Vengrove [Tim Schmoyer is the drummer on the recording, who has since moved to New Mexico to start his own recording studio] shared that
“On this record we wanted to convey the juxtaposition within organized religion that encourages the best and worst in people, by using the unsettling nature of our songs paired with the message of street preachers and religious zealots.”
In fact, biblical is an apt description for the overall project. This could be the soundtrack to a great flood wiping out all civilisation except Noah and those on his ark, or the Red Sea crushing Pharaoh’s armies in wake of the fleeing Israelites, or ushering in an apocalypse of some description. This doomsday feel definitely sets in during the second track, as the drums speed up and add blistering urgency. Have a listen and see if you agree that this imagery fits.
This two-track album is a mammoth release. Dark, unsettling, and with great sonic depth. Pre-order the vinyl record for the full experience, and allow yourself to be lost within the heaviness.
Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet, They Shall Be White as Snow; Though They be Red Like Crimson, They Shall Be As Wool. will be officially released for download/streaming on 7/7/17. Glacier will also launch a vinyl pre-order (through Bandcamp) with vinyl expected to ship in early fall.
Site – http://www.glacierband.com/
Bandcamp – glacierma.bandcamp.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GlacierBandMA/
Instagram – @glacierband
Twitter – @glacierband
Ryan Traynor – Guitar
Ryan Dooley – Guitar
Matt Vincenty – Guitar
Derek Dooley – Bass
Jesse Vengrove – Drums