Let’s all agree Wait For Red Skies is a cool name. Can we also agree that this name shouts post-rock? At least those were my first thoughts when I heard their name. When I started listening to their debut The World in Grey there were definitely some post-rock tendencies but let's not limit the band by one genre. The band mentions ISIS, The Elijah, Rinoa and This Will Destroy You as some of their influences, which you can definitely hear but that wasn’t the first thought that came to mind. This band can go from serene atmosphere to hard hitting metal without much warning very much like underground demigods black metal/post-rock hybrids Deafheaven.
After giving The World in Grey a couple of spins it was obvious to me that the band put some thought in the sequential order of these songs. There is a dynamic flow and while not perfect I will say that this is an album you don't need to skip any tracks.
The opener “Concrete Rain” is a tranquil atmosphere song just under two-minutes. It more or less is an intro to the nine-minute epic “Upon This Emerald Earth.” “Upon This Emerald Earth” quickly rocks out hard but just as quickly transitions into a section that would be all atmosphere if it weren’t for the drums. In a relatively standard post-rock fashion the song gets layered with reverb-laced guitars and before you know it the band is overlaying vocal harmonies. As the song progresses it goes from dizzying heights to soft mounds of warmth.
“Dreaming in Sepia” is another under two-minute ambient piece that even in its innate beauty feels like a transitionary piece. The next song “As the Reflection Fades” was a highlight. It’s strength lies in the memorable vocal harmonies, drumming and overall vibe that has a tinge of ‘80s metal. One thing I realized during this song is that the band doesn't give you much time to prepare for the heavy parts. The band gets intensely heavy a little before the five-minute mark and as the song progresses they go back and forth between really loud or really soft.
“Through Winter” has a slightly different approach in that it starts off still and soft and than rides a peak that get more intense as the song progresses. They close with an eleven-minute epic entitled “The Weight of Doubt.”
Overall, The World In Grey is a very solid debut but also contains a couple of flags that the band hasn’t reached their creative peak and are still in the embryonic stage of their development. The one thing I stress is for the band to try and explore outside of the soft/loud dynamic a bit more. Any version of post-rock that overly uses that formula will have a hard time cutting through the oversaturated market if only for the fact it has been done countless times before. It seems Wait For Red Skies has not quite figured out how to do that yet but it is certainly within their grasp for their next release. All that being said there were a number of inspired moments and enjoyable songs that point to a band with a boatload of potential.
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