Album Review: Light Falls by Wrekmeister Harmonies
Great, Based on 6 Critics
musicOMH.com - 90 Based on rating 4.5
Wrekmeister Harmonies’ JR Robinson is in some kind of creative whirlwind at the moment. It’s only been a year since the quite phenomenal Night Of Your Ascension, and already he’s back with another album that somehow not only matches but perhaps surpasses its predecessor. Whilst Wrekmeister Harmonies serves as an outlet for Robinson and to a lesser extent his co-conspirator Esther Shaw, Night Of Your Ascension was the product of an ensemble of around 30 musicians.
On Night of Your Ascension, the excellent 2015 record from Wrekmeister Harmonies, JR Robinson and Esther Shaw—the core of the group—enlisted roughly 30 musicians from all corners of the musical landscape to make an epic record. It still plays like something at times soaring and at times impossibly heavy, a record with extremes that can’t be outdone. So Robinson and Shaw don’t try to top that record on their new LP, Light Falls.
Given the abundance of heavy music that addresses theatrical horror, it’s a shame how only a tiny fraction of it confronts the real-life horror that lurks under our noses. With Light Falls, Wrekmeister Harmonies help offset this imbalance for the third album in a row, as bandleader J.R. Robinson continues to hone-in on the mundane roots of evil. Along with likeminded acts such as SubRosa, Wrekmeister Harmonies weave chamber elements into metal-based forms.
Light Falls is the fourth Thrill Jockey full-length by J.R. Robinson's ever-evolving Wrekmeister Harmonies in as many years. His m.o. has been synonymous with the epic in conception, scale, and depth. To realize these excessive yet spacious visions, Robinson has utilized a variety of musicians ….
Light Falls, Wrekmeister Harmonies' newest offering of experimental drone and heavy metal, is not an easy listen — but then again, it's not supposed to be.On the album, lead composer and musician J.R. Robinson sonically examines an overarching theme of horrific change and, as on 2015's Night of Your Ascension, he includes a historical narrative. Light Falls takes its name from If This Is a Man, a memoir written by Primo Levi, an Italian-Jewish Auschwitz survivor who was imprisoned at the concentration camp from 1944 to 1945.
The latest release from variegated drone outfit Wrekmeister Harmonies, Light Falls is inspired in part by the writings of Italian chemist, writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi. The album begins with the restrained ethereal folk of Light Falls I: The Mantra. The mantra itself is voiced by bandleader JR Robinson, who gruffly intones “Stay in. Go out.