Aural Method is what happens when a guitarist gets inspired by poetry and writes a haiku to build his compositions around. The haiku itself, even apart from the music, is so image-rich and moving that you immediately find yourself taken somewhere else. Each track of the EP Slumber, Savage Beasts is a line of the haiku, separated by a caesura. In case you're wondering, in poetry, a caesura is a complete pause in the rhythm of the reading. Like a chance to take a breath and compose yourself before you take on the weight of the next line. More importantly, this project is the work of a remarkably talented guitarist and composer named Matthew Kidd from Houston, Texas. The songs he has composed here feel as big as the state he calls home and lend themselves to being played loud. He also opted to record the band live. You can hear the dynamics between the musicians, which is critical in post-rock and rock-based ambient music.
He begins with the first line of the haiku and the title track, "Slumber, savage beasts.” It brings to mind images of evening and the setting sun, the time for activity to begin winding down before seeking rest. The guitar drives the melody with a full rhythm section backing him. Cello and violin fill out the sound, providing harmony and atmosphere. In some projects they can feel superfluous but here they are as integral to the sound as Kidd's guitars. (Caesura 1) is a bit confusing in that it sounds like it was made using keyboards and digital instruments but it feels so organic. There isn't much of a rhythm to the start of the track, though there is the sound of a distant boom that can be heard. It feels more like listening to an active thunderstorm. Here, the guitar takes a back seat and the strings are allowed to really shine as their players guide them through a hauntingly, beautiful melody.
The second line of the haiku, "In lonesome winter forest" begins as a lullaby. It's sung by voices, though there are no words, like something a mother would hum to herself. The main melody of the song is again handled by guitars and evokes the feeling of being surrounded by trees that are without their leaves and appear to be dead. It carries on the sound of the melancholy lullaby, not quite sad but not quite happy.(Caesura 2) is another pause, which includes the sound of what appears to be someone walking in a house. This is a longer break, needed before the final track. Guitars and vocals feature more prevalently here, though the cello still stands at the foreground. Ambient sounds come from strings and guitars played backwards and feel like they were recorded in a cathedral. "Breathe deep your chorus" is the exhale of the entire record. At once calm and with a feeling of release, you feel ready to let go.
Kidd wrote that the EP is a haiku for the end of a struggle and he could not have described it more accurately. It takes you on a journey through grieving stages; when you still feel the stress of the moment, when you feel like you need to hold on to the fight because at least you're still together, when you need to let go and just get some rest before figuring out what your new beginning is.
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