It’s an age-old adage that the second album is the most difficult, but Night Verses have proven that with the right team, LP #2 needn’t be that tough.
Their 2013 debut Lift Your Existence was a stellar piece of work, but there was a feeling of unease about it; like they didn’t quite know what their sound was. It toed the line of sounding more like a compilation than a body of work by a single band.
But now with producer extraordinaire Ross Robinson (Slipknot, The Cure) on board, they have been able to focus on their strengths and really hone their sound on Into the Vanishing Light, which has paid dividends.
Album opener ‘The Future As History: I Love You Dead’ is a moody, atmospheric ride that sets the tone for the album. You’re getting hard-hitting post-hardcore/alternative metal, interwoven with dreamy shoegaze, which is expertly executed in seamless alternation through the first 4 minutes. From there on out, the line is much less blurred and alternate between the two sounds.
Truth be told, the post-hardcore tracks feel much stronger; ‘Connecting Hexes’ and ‘Faceless Youth’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Beartooth record. The passion and emotion is palpable, and the breakdowns will have you stomping the Earth, wherever you may be. It’s this side of Night Verses that is responsible for the highlight of the album, ‘A Dialogue in Cataplexy’, which has been released as the first track from the album. It’s nothing new or unheard, but they have perfected the execution of the ‘shouty verse – clean chorus – atmospheric bridge – epic breakdown’ formula and guitarist Nick DePirro is let off the leash to deliver an absolute face-melter in the final third.
The shoegaze-influenced side of Night Verses allows frontman Douglas Robinson to flourish on vocal duties and we get to hear some innovative instrumentation across the band, all resulting in that previously mentioned atmosphere they have created so well. That said, ‘Drift’ can feel a little long at a running time of over 5 minutes and ‘Vantablack’ errs on the side of forgettable.
‘Phoenix III: Into the Vanishing Light’ is a prog-rock behemoth to end the album; 10 minutes and 39 seconds of swirling brutality and yet more of that delicious atmosphere. It really is the sound of a band trying to tempt you down the rabbit hole and just become entangled in their sonic universe.
There is a little more settling down to be done and it would be nice for Night Verses to agree on their sound. They have a lot of strengths here though and it will be exciting to see the direction they choose to take, but for now, Into the Vanishing Light is well worth a listen and you may well find yourself allowing it to loop for a few days.