A Storm Of Light - Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Neurot Recordings
Atmospheric Sludge Metal
10 songs (59:00)
Release year: 2009
A Storm Of Light, Neurot Recordings
Reviewed by Goat

Having recently been listening to Isis’ rather excellent Wavering Radiant, the time seems ripe to see what’s coming from the Neurosis camp, although A Storm Of Light’s Josh Graham no longer directs the visual media for the Californian legends. I loved the first album from what now seems to be his main musical project, the oceanic atmosphere professional and interesting; yet the first thing you really notice about Forgive Us Our Trespasses is that the action has moved from sea to land. It’s a disappointment at first, and even after you’ve given the album a good few listens it still rankles; a couple of tracks are named things like Amber Waves Of Grey and Tempest despite lacking that essential wetness. Both are heavily influenced by a certain band that rhymes with Shmeurshosis – if for some mad reason you don’t like them, then you definitely will not like this – and it’s a poor way to start an album that wants to declare itself worthy of listening to in its own merits rather than as an example of the pack of atmospheric post-Neurosis jackals. Let’s be fair; as an example of Post-Sludge Forgive Us Our Trespasses is good, yet when compared to other offerings it fades into the background.

The best moments here are when A Storm Of Light head into leftfield territory, as on the cello-backed The Light In Their Eyes, a wonderful song with vocal backing from the always-amazing Jarboe. It’s the sign of an increase in quality in the album after the disappointing beginning, the later Trouble Is Near starting like Godflesh and soon opening up with strange electronic backing and although it doesn’t stray far from the sludgy formula after that, it’s still enough to keep you listening. Even with several awful interludes (subtitled The Law Of Nature I, II and III) with distorted vocals that do exactly nothing for the album, the likes of Midnight are strident and Doom enough to make up for it. Across The Wilderness has more Jarboe and is slowed down to almost Funeral Doom levels, driven by Graham’s vocals and the pounding drums, before twelve-minute finale Omega appears and duly makes your mind up for you – this is a good album, but only because the best moments are this good. Starting with intense percussion and gradually building melodically until before you know it the Doom riffage is in the driving seat and the melancholic beast is striding slowly towards the sunset.

Disappointingly, repeated listens to Forgive Us Our Trespasses do not disprove initial impressions, and overall this remains a good yet uneven album. Perhaps it is like the ocean after all, the highest waves coming but rarely; if you’re willing to sit through the average tracks, the quality of the killing songs is nearly enough to make this worthy of purchase. It’s definitely a step down from their debut, however, and as such is a disappointment.

MySpace
Killing Songs :
The Light In Their Eyes, Midnight, Omega
Goat quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by A Storm Of Light that we have reviewed:
A Storm Of Light - A Nation To Flames reviewed by Neill and quoted 55 / 100
A Storm Of Light - And We Wept The Black Ocean Within reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
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