The Twilight Sad - Forget The Night Ahead

It's sad when your friends grow up. They don't want to jump their bikes over the river or hurl cooking apples at the mentally ill (I grew up in Cornwall, okay?). It’s not a one way street though: when the adult looks back upon childish innocence it’s often with envy; they've seen the darkness and they know they can never go back.

Forget The Night Ahead is a macabre selection of deeply atmospheric tracks that make up the second album from Kilsyth's The Twilight Sad. It's apparent they've been peering into the darkness at the back of the wardrobe since 2007's Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. But in addition to the darkness this is a far more polished affair, anthemic in places and more far reaching in its scope.

As musicians they’ve built themselves impressive walls of sound to house this album, with layers upon layers of instrumentation, played hard and with ferocious intensity. It paints a Pollock-esque landscape of thick soundscapes that shoot off in every direction.

It's also an album of two halves with an intermission clearly marked by instrumental track ‘Scissors’. They’ve certainly brought a large box labelled “noise” into the studio; listeners would be forgiven for checking they haven’t accidently put the latest Merzbow album into the CD player.

James Graham has a beautiful voice and it isn’t showcased anywhere better than on ‘The Room’, which is a stark contrast from some of the guitar-heavy tracks on the rest of the album. Far gentler in its approach, his voice allowed to fill the space between the instruments with an ethereal beauty and dignified sadness. Violins played by My Latest Novel’s Laura McFarlane add to the texture of vulnerability.

Building upon everything they did right in the past but not afraid to grow and experiment with new directions and sounds Forget The Night Ahead is a triumphant return. Now where did I leave those cooking apples?

Overall

7

out of 10

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