Ruthless Antarctic Empire is a solo-project inspired by a summer trip to Iceland by multi-instrumentalist Brett McAtee. The trip influenced him to creatively envelop sounds and effects that were drawn from his time in the coldness and serenity of the country. While listening to Rebuild, you can definitely pick up on these tones, as they are apparent. Each song has an echo-feel that seems to stretch on for miles and miles as far as the eye and ear can sense. There seems to be a rigidness in the air of the music; something that is pleasing in the sense of beauty, but a reminder of the reality that encapsulates us all.
The first track on the album “Rebuild” shares the same name as the title starts off very melancholy and has a mysterious and intriguing appeal to it, not fully letting the listener know what to expect next. After the first bridge, the lyrics show they are centered on the concept of rebuilding. Now reflecting through both the sound and the lyrics, this song is the perfect embodiment of the act of rebuilding; it is slow and honest, a bit saddened, yet has an air of positivity and progress to it, as any rebuilding process does.
Another track titled “The Edge of the World” starts with the lyrics “it felt remote” and jumps into a bit of a ballad-like song. This song is obviously influenced by the artist’s stay in Iceland. There is a meaningful guitar riff that rises and then gently falls and all the while is accentuated by passionate vocals. As the song grows on, the melody and lyrics become infectious, “it has to be dark to see the stars.”
The songs that make up Rebuild are all very unique not only in sound, but in sentiment; they create a one-of-a-kind space for your mind to wander, a place wide and vast and a place where you can be resistant to the cold starkness of the world. One thing that could be improved within the album is the quality of recording as it is a bit lacking. Some of the songs sound a bit foggy. Yet again, this could be an attribution to the artist’ style and embodiment of the conceptual metaphor.
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