By Jonathan Smith
A very busy band as of late, Brookyn’s A Storm of Light have recently released their second full-length album. Forgive Us Our Trespasses is concerned with environmental decline and the destruction of the natural world, a theme that listeners are not permitted to forget. With cover and liner note art that features abandoned human infrastructure as it’s overtaken by nature, as well as three largely spoken word tracks ruminating on the parasitical habits of humanity, the album wears its concerns on its sleeve (so to speak). Neurosis’ visual media artist, vocalist and guitarist Josh Graham utilizes his recognizable singing style to great effect, drawing out his notes and lyrics in a way that is sure to either please or annoy. Andy Rice’s drumming is at the forefront of the mixing; it’s a move that hammers home the urgency of the music’s themes. These themes manifest themselves musically from start to finish, from the urgent ambience and drumming that kick off “Amber Waves of Gray,” to the gothic strings that accompany “The Light In Their Eyes,” to the crashing finish that is the epic “Omega.” The best part about Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the development it shows since last year’s And We Wept The Black Ocean Within. The new album builds on the musical layers established in this year’s earlier Primitive North, a collaborative effort with fellow noisy post-rock comrades Nadja. A small cast of guest female vocalists has increased the depth of the band’s sound, and the extra voices remain a haunting highlight of their recent material. Forgive Us Our Trespasses is not only a lumbering, crushing sonic tour of a world without us, it’s also a cutting and unsubtle condemnation of humanity’s indifference to its own habitats.