Herephemine is the debut album from London based The Ever Living. This release follows up from the self-titled EP in 2016. With the post-metal genre taking centre stage with releases from many artists exploring this style, have The Ever Living managed to create a sound that will stand out?
The dramatic opening to The Great Defeatist, the first track on the new release, establishes the band’s dark atmosphere that is explored throughout the album. Dark, heavy chord progressions, echoing percussion, accompanying strings and piano create a full sound. With Chris Bevan Lee’s distorted vocals, aggressive and harsh, the gentle scalic piano melodies create an epic contrast. By merging contradictory instrumental patterns, the track has many dimensions to it. Lee stated “[w]e wanted the album to give the listener an immersive experience with multiple layers, changes in style and different types of colour”. Such a powerful beginning to the album sets an expected standard for the following tracks – this expectation is most definitely met.
Epic, atmospheric instrumentation not only immerses the listener into the music but transports them beyond it. Track two, New Mutiny, gradually builds up the immersive sound through heavy progressions and echoing backdrops. The resonating percussion beats are a central focus point drawing the instrumentation together. Distorted vocals are used sparingly throughout this track – the instrumentation is the centre piece in this work. When the vocals do appear, the harsh edge acts as a reminder of the dark themes being explored through the music. For the rest of the track, the atmosphere replicates that of space and expansion of feeling. Optimistic energies are portrayed through the music.
Incandescent Array continues the themes and instrumental style established in the previous tracks. The faster tempo and more prevalent guitars give this track a different tone. The drum beats and chord changes are prominent hitting the same beats creating an energetic atmosphere. The continuous eerie, high pitched melody and piano, similarly to The Great Defeatist, bring contrasting sounds to the forefront. Apex Minor opens with eerie minor chords – this is perhaps not too surprising. The piano melody accompanied with the haunting motif maintains the dark and light contrast. The bass is more in the forefront of the mix in this track, adding to the tone and emphasising the contrapuntal melodies – the piano, guitars and bass performing different riffs.
Fifty Metres Deep explores other instrumental ways; the bouncing, ‘heartbeat’ style effects supported by low range strings forms an introduction that differs completely from the previous tracks. The build-up of distorted guitars and vocals once again leads to an incredibly full sound, that creates the incredible atmosphere that The Ever Living have proved to be masters at conceiving. Their ability to create dramatic chord progressions across their instruments that combine perfectly with heavy motifs and more delicate melodies illustrates that they understand their sound completely.
Interrotron begins with suggestions of doom metal influences. Eerie sounds and dark atmospheres resonate through this album. Achieving eerie effects can be accomplished is different ways. Dissonant chords and clashing melodies create an uncomfortable sound. When manipulated effectively this can produce an astounding atmosphere. The Faceless’s most recent album, In Becoming a Ghost, is an excellent example of manipulating dissonance to create something artistic and unique – that can still be listened to without wanting to run and hide.
The Ever Living have not only developed an extraordinary sound, they have found the means to execute it. Each track on this album conveys the dramatic atmosphere that they have refined. The ability to experiment with contrasts in tone, pitch and tempo and merge it all to create a cohesive sound reveals their skill. With such a high standard of writing and performance on this album, it is astounding that Herephemine is The Ever Living’s first full album.
For fans of: Vola, TesseracT, Haken
Words by Holly Royle
‘Herephemine’ by The Ever Living is out now on Chromism Records.