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WLM Reviews: Outrun the Sunlight – Terrapin

February 1, 2015

OutrunTheSunlight_TerrapinChicago, and Northern Illinois, has a vibrant music scene, as you may have read here recently. One of the younger bands in the city, Outrun the Sunlight, has a DIY ethic and play the music they want to hear on their second full length album Terrapin released late last year on Rogue Records America.

Much in the vein of Cloudkicker, Animals as Leaders, Periphery, and Scale the Summit, OTS is an instrumental act playing a brand of Metal in the Progressive vein, a style some would classify as djent. No matter the genre, OTS is a talented band with a tremendous upside. They intend to pull the listener into their world, taking us on a journey that just goes deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole that makes up Terrapin.

Much like the case with yesterday’s review, this band is very good at that they do, excellent in fact. Despite being Progressive, though, they aren’t doing much different or anything we haven’t heard before, aside from new melodies and song structures. They are masters of the odd time signature and execute the complex as if it were second nature. There is a lot to like about Terrapin, especially if you’re a fan of the downtuned, chunky style overlayed with technically proficient tapping and interesting chord progressions.

There are certainly some gems here, whether specific passages of songs or complete tracks. I find myself drifting off at times while being immersed in the soundscape. Opener Laughing with Such Abandon starts the trip aggressively as well as with a fair amount of technical prowess. Definitely a nice way to start the album. Spirit entails some well executed syncopation and just enough complexity to make for an interesting musical experience, while the middle section of Stars in the Ocean seems deceptively simple. It is not, but it certainly is heavy and well done. Personal favorite Diminishment cranks up the rhythmic intensity with syncopated interplay among each of the instrumentalists and a compelling use of odd time signatures. Nearly as good is the hammering track that follows in Permancence. A mid-paced track, it has all the hallmarks of a great song with outstanding melodies, dynamic playing, and some great periods of tension and release.

From the band: Our goal with this record was to create pieces that were dynamic, focused, and tie back to a common musical theme. At the same time, we wanted to push ourselves as musicians with forceful rhythms and odd timings. Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams” was a helpful tool in channeling visual metaphor into sonic metaphor, and many of the song titles are quotes from his book. Each illustration coincides with a song in the album and a chapter in Lightman’s book. Without concrete lyrics, there is room for more imagination, which is why we find such beauty in instrumental music.

Check out Spirit:

In the end, Terrapin is a good listening experience and will take the listener to some pretty cool sonic places. I enjoyed my listening time with it and look for more from these young artists in the future.

Terrapin: 6/10 – Good

I hear the sound in a Metal way.


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