HarborLights - Isolation Ritual (Deathwish Inc.)
There is something deeply and instinctively alluring in Isolation Ritual. What it is, specifically, is hard to pinpoint though. Perhaps it is HarborLights’ mastery over melodic but powerful chord progressions, which calls to mind some of Touché Amoré’s Is Survived By best moments. Or maybe it is the bittersweet nature of the clean vocals that so nakedly expose the raw and emotive lyrics that make up the heart of the record, even though several of its tracks are in fact instrumental. And the instrumental palette of the record, while not being groundbreaking whatsoever, is very effective in conveying emotion: the beauty of the melodies that carry the songs are given a boost with the reverberated ambience of Post-Rock and the more muscular humph of Post-Metal at times, and there is enough spirit of adventure to throw in some surprises like blast-beats (“Eternal Return”) or a piano coda (“Ego Ideal”), for instance, all leading to an inevitable climax with the nearly 8-minute epic “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and its explosive screaming towards the end.
With their sophomore album, HarborLights show that there is beauty and strength in vulnerability, and we can only hope, given that the band has signed to Deathwish, that its profile continues to grow.