Joy Wants Eternity – The Fog is Rising – 84%

The Fog is Rising cover art
Representing my home town of Seattle, Joy Wants Eternity have been around nearly 10 years. “The Fog is Rising” is their follow-up to “You Who Pretend to Sleep,” an absolutely mind bending album released back in 2007. A lot tends to happen in a five-year span and the post-rock scene has evolved quite a bit since then so let’s get into the review and see if this album is worth the wait.

The album begins with no frills as “Our Backs into the Wind” starts heavy from the opening second with systematic drumming and climatic cymbal crashes before settling down in a flurry of ambient beauty. Despite the heavy opening the finish is quite the polar opposite as a beautiful piano segment plays us out. The title track follows and is a beauty of a track that has it all. Deep ambiance and well textured crescendo guitar work their way in and out of the mix combing to create bliss for the ears.

The sound stage is too far small and compact meaning certain instruments tend to disappear as tracks become too dense. The album as a whole has a much darker tone to it production wise. While beautiful, I can’t help but feel that the equalization process in the mastering could have been better. For example in the first half of “Dark Heart of the King” the spiraling crescendo guitar hides behind the predominant drumming. That’s not a knock against the band per say, I suppose that it’s just uncommon to see a more ambient release with technical qualities better suited for a heavier release.

Technical mumbo jumbo aside, there is something to be said about the work of a band who has been around the scene for a while. The synergy¬† both between the instruments themselves and the album tracks is incredible. The album is extremely refined and the band never tries to do too much¬† with their build ups or break downs, a common mistake found amongst younger post-rock bands. The album wraps up with “In Camera,” a sentimental keyboard track that provides a perfect ending to one of the more mellow post-rock releases of the year. It’s great to see a band put as much emphasis into their keys as they do with their guitars. “The Fog is Rising” is as solid as it is beautiful and it is well worth your time to check it out. 7-20-12

Available for $5.94 at http://joywantseternity.bandcamp.com/