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We Lost the Sea - Triumph & Disaster CD (album) cover

TRIUMPH & DISASTER

We Lost the Sea

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.00 | 1 ratings

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TCat
4 stars "We Lost the Sea" is an Experimental/Post Metal band from Australia founded in 2007. This band, through it's career has suffered several line up changes and the suicide of vocalist Chris Torpy in 2013, but still continues to remain active. Their 4th full length album, released in October of 2019, is called "Triumph & Disaster". The line up for this album consists of Matt Harvey, Mark Owen and Carl Whitbread on guitars, Kieran Elliot on bass, Matthew Kelly on piano and synths, and Nathaniel D'Ugo on drums. There are also a few guests adding some mellotron, trumpet and even vocals on the last track.

Triumph & Disaster is a concept album telling the story of the collapse of the planet Earth as recounted through the experiences of a mother and her son on their last day on Earth. The story is all illustrated through instrumental tracks, some of them quite lengthy. The music is loud, harsh and dark. The album is made up of 7 tracks and has a run-time of over 64 minutes.

The music comes on full force at the beginning with a loud and guitar heavy riff in the 15 minute track "Towers" and continues that way until the 4 minute mark, at which point it suddenly softens and the piano starts to shine through as the guitars drone and sparkle along. After 6 minutes, a more deliberate beat comes in as music gets a bit more rhythmic, but follows the same theme. After a minute, this all comes crashing down as a desending drone blows everything away, leaving only the piano, a slow, but constant beat and a soft atmospheric drone and occasional guitar effects wailing in the distance. Around 10 minutes, the music builds, encouraged by a fast ascending/descending guitar riff, a steady beat and a heavy, fuzzy guitar pushing it forward. This culminates in a sudden burst of . . . silence, a pause, tapping percussion . . . and then a sudden explosion of the slow, sludgier return to the main theme, underlaid by a moaning synth.

"A Beautiful Collapse" (7:34) portrays the end of everything, the beauty that the people of the Earth have ignored gets blown away by the wind and violence of the weather and of our ignorance. The music starts soft and thoughtful, but soon, a grinding drone starts to increase in the background. The simple guitar line that was established starts getting hit with drums and then a sudden onslaught of the heavy guitars with the synths holding it all together. It's hard and heavy again, but with an undertone of sorrow and regret. The music continues to build and finally ends on a start/stop pattern that seems like natures final statement to the entire destruction, a disaster that to nature, will only signify as the move towards a rebirth. "Dust" (4:00) represents humanity living in regret with only memories and dreams. The music is pensive and nostalgic, the slow guitar and sparse piano notes give a feeling of loss. But people breathe in the dust and try to move on. The trumpet is playing in the background conjuring a feeling like heartbreak for experiences lost, and the guitar plays while a droning, dark wind ebbs and flows around it all. It sounds sparse and regretful.

"Parting Ways" (12:43) has a very noticeable positivity to it in the bright guitar strumming and a rhythm that is a little more upbeat. The track is portraying the hope that humanity feels that they are moving on and have a new future to look forward to. Everyone realizes that they all had faith in the wrong things and now that they understand, they hope for change by letting go of the past and parting ways with old habits. But is it too late? The music stays with a positive tone as it moves on and this time the development seems to represent the willpower to move forward. "Distant Shores" (4:23) is a nice and melodic track, sort of like an interlude, thoughtful and lovely. It represents a boat floating on a lake, another object of hope because no one knows why its there or what it's purpose is. The organ that supports the guitar later makes it almost sound hymn-like. A slow drum beat soon joins in later. These last two track are a lot less like the typical post metal sound and seem more atmospheric and melodic.

"The Last Sun" (14:40) has the full volume of the band coming back with a vengeance, representing the Earth's final retaliation. This time humanity knows it is doomed and that the forces of nature can't have rebirth without a total purge. As is noted on the band's Bandcamp page, "We pushed it too far and it pushed back". Humanity messed with its environment and there is no going back or second chance. Around 3 minutes, the heaviness breaks down, there is mostly silence and then a lone guitar comes in softly with echoing notes. There is a sense of sadness, yet a beauty to it all. Mother and child have to say their last goodbyes but move on knowing that it's the only way for things to get better. By the 7 minute mark, the music has developed a bit, and a marching style rhythm accompanies two guitars playing contrasting variations of the theme. One guitar stays in staccato style while the other is more sustained through fast repetitive strumming. The music continues to build slowly pushing through ascending chords. "Mother's Hymn" (5:42) starts off with a pensive vocal melody sung by guest Louise Nutting along with simple piano accompaniment with soft clapping percussion. The music is surprisingly beautiful with amazing vocals and a building instrumental background. At 3 minutes, a more solid background comes in, the trumpet returns to strengthen the melodic ending, which sounds more triumphant than sorrowful even as she sings "Are we really too late?", but then the music quiets as she sings the final words, that express emotion, regret and pain for having to come to a final realization that the end is here. It's quite an effective ending.

This album does a very nice job of portraying its story and message, and the ending is very powerful and emotional. The music can be loud, but it can also be very expressive and dynamic. The band utilizes some of the post-metal/rock formulas, but not exclusively as they also go beyond the formulaic as needed, also portraying hope along with regret and loss. The album is aptly named and the music definitely portrays both triumph and disaster effectively. While the opening track is quite long , the time is well used, but I did notice that later, "The Last Sun" almost seems to drag on a little bit too long, expanding the build of the music over way too much time. However, this is not always the case, and the album moves along quite well in most other sections. It would have been nice to have a bit more originality in there, but the music is mostly quite effective in telling the story. The addition of the trumpet really adds to the few sections where it appears, and I would have liked to have heard it used a little more. And that last punch of the final track and the telling lyrics and vocals pretty much sums up the bittersweet feelings of how destruction brings about new hope in an overall grand scheme of things. This all ends up with a strong 4 star rating.

TCat | 4/5 |

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