Strangelight - 9 Days
Sacrament Music
Atmospheric Post-Hardcore
6 songs (25'20")
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Alex

I am promising this to myself right now while writing this review, but in all actuality I should have come to this conclusion while listening to Strangelight 9 Days EP. Doesn't matter, most importantly, I need to be able to keep this promise ... I should not allow myself be intimidated by the inability to define the genre and, therefore, not to experience the music. I should not try and avoid something I am rather unfamiliar with, so that my musical experiences can grow rather than stagnate. This is the promise, I am sure, many of our reviewers make to themselves …

Just reading a promo text for Strangelight would make me question whether this is "my" music, the type I want to hear. References? I am not familiar with them. Atmospheric post-hardcore? What does that mean exactly when plain hardcore is something I am not that much into? Well, I am glad I did not read that promo disclosure and instead simply gave 9 Days a chance.

From the beginning of Split and Divide you get this kinky, trippy feeling, with guitars having a certain twangy sound, the voice an urgent lament, all floating along until somewhere around the early 3rd minute the whole thing comes together, like the image suddenly focusing in a viewfinder. As foreign as this music is to me, I did not have a problem with 9 Days from that point on. The atmospheric twangy jazzy High Five Hailstorm is something I have heard from East of the Wall, Long Distance Calling and Baroness before, where the voice goes harsher and less weepy, the whole song giving me a strange attraction. If you listen to it High Five Hailstorm is basically slowed down hardcore minus brutality, while White Feather is along the same lines, but it slowly dissolves into droning detuned dirge ever so subtly.

The EP may not be long in duration, but it touches on multiple feelings spectrum. Xmas exudes eerie quietness until it gets interrupted by a startling chorus. Mosh Party AD probably comes from the roots showcasing the punky attitude and midway melodic breakdown, with more anxiety expressed by the vocalist. Tiers of Joy, however, quickly became my favorite, since that closing cut has the most purpose in it, the most urgency. Tiers of Joy is self-propelled, it goes places, grows unknown heretofore muscle, with voice, weepy again, floating gently over the boiling bass.

Forgive me if I did not provide the names of the players for Strangelight. Brandon Tobin & Co. may be NYC hardcore legends, but those names don't mean much to me. What I know, however, is that 9 Days provided me with a positive charge and this is what I am reporting hereby.

Killing Songs :
Split and Divide, Tiers of Joy
Alex quoted 77 / 100
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