Irish post-metal? Sign me up. The debut EP from Third Island takes listeners on a journey through the night of an insomniatic protagonist. Dusk is a wonderfully woeful concept album that uses sonic arrangements to portray the feelings and affects of the restless. Waking dreams, auditory hallucinations, and possible insanity come through as the album drives onward until dusk. Third Island blend doom, drone, and sludge sounds to create a beautifully bleak soundtrack for the perpetually sleepless.
“Thawed My Skin” retains a very steady tempo instrumentally throughout. Even within the chorus, the tempo remains plodding and intentional. Guitars inch faintly above the constant rhythm of the drum and bass. Subdued yet yearning to screech, they are for some reason held back, unable to soar above the droning rhythm section. The vocals are pensive and etherial through this struggle, the call of an insomniac caught within a waking dream. The song builds to a frustrated crescendo. Dissonant guitar riffs begin to overwhelm and the soft vocal tones are replaced with resentful yelling. After the outburst, things slow down, more and more. The vocals disappear and the instruments grow tired as the Irish rains fall. Perhaps some white noise to encourage slumber.
The light rain and wind blend serenely into “Come Now”, but the bliss is soon disrupted as doomy riffs and a gloomy vocalist return. A melancholy track, speaking to the suffering of the insomniac protagonist of the album. The whimsy of “Thawed My Skin” is transformed into frustration. The lethargy of the tracks initial instrumental build explodes into angry proclamations, before everything crashes down again. A final surge ending as quickly as it begins.
The sounds of a city precede the final track “It’s Moving,” signifying the beginning of a new day. The album’s protagonist has long been prepared to greet the rising sun after another sleepless night. A more rapid instrumental tempo drives the final track. Still very much frustrated in tone, distorted and dissonant, in stark opposition to the return of dreamlike vocals featured heavily on “Thawed My Skin.” As the track winds down, sinister sounds, almost hallucinogenic, accompany the instruments as they begin to lose their resolve. There as cracks in the wall of sound that had once dominated. Almost as if afraid of dozing, the drums begin to pick the tempo back up, accompanied by distant chanting. Fighting the inevitable, the sound begins to build, louder and louder, before crashing down into nothing more than the feedback of one guitar.
Third Island have produced an interesting 3 track EP for their debut. Dusk creates and interesting story lyrically and sonically for the listener over the album’s thirty minute run time. A great initial effort, and I can’t wait to hear future releases from these Emerald Islanders.
Official Site: thirdislandband.com
Social Media: www.facebook.com/thirdislandband