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Assembly of Light - Assembly of Light (At A Loss Recordings)

By: Matthew Bowling

[8/10] Initial thoughts upon seeing the band name was “alright, some avant-garde black metal group like I typically wind up with, no problem.” After opening up the promotional materials and seeing only a large group of women standing in a circle and holding hands I admittedly found myself awash in uncertainty – “What the hell has he gotten me into?!” As it turns out, however, the group is an all-female choir from the northeast utilizing these overlapping and fantastic harmonies to convey all manner of moods. Across the six tracks and an almost too brief 28 minute run time, the listener is treated to an enchanting use of the female voice en masse.

From the get-go the listener is introduced to the most glorious function of the group, songs awash in undulating waves of female voices. These in general stay wholly in the pretty/melancholy territory covered by opener “Insides” and highlighted by three-part closer “Into the Woods.” The most curious piece on hand being the apocalyptic and outright industrial laden “Transitions,” the themes inherent in the first part very akin to the most desolate of 80s synth-works dedicated to dystopic visions. The relative heaviness of this opening contrasts mightily with how it ends, all the weight and tension being shed as the voices take on a decidedly pure tone – purification at the end of the wasteland.

One never knows when a release will surprise them and this one fits that image to a tee, in truth winding up being particularly haunting after repeat listens. Abstract and unnerving at first, it evens out over time and eventually warms to feature tremendous impact once the barriers of the listener are let go. How in the world this found its way to a metal centric webzine is beyond me, but I’m certainly better off for it. For lovers of the peculiar and exotic, Assembly of Light have unleashed a gorgeous little outing.

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