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Assembly of Light - "Assembly of Light" (CD)

Assembly of Light - "Assembly of Light" CD cover image

"Assembly of Light" track listing:

1. Insides (5:10)
2. Transition (5:17)
3. Treelight (4:30)
4. Into The Woods I (4:49)
5. Into The Woods II (4:49)
6. Into The Woods III (3:17)

Reviewed by on September 10, 2012

"Further from the mainstream than almost any style of music out there, this is an adventurous record that could be appropriate if the whole 'world ends in 2012' theory proves to be correct."

The voices of angels, guiding us towards the bright light that signals the end of civilization. They sing in unison, a heavenly sheen cast over the fires of devastation. It’s a sight that’s both horrifying and beautiful enough to shed a tear over. Assembly Of Light are our saviors, but also the voices that will led us to a new world of unmistakeable terror. The band's self-titled album is hard to analyze in words, though this writer will try his damnedest to do so. It is meant for a particular subgroup of listeners, who pine for mood music over cheap substance.

This album is a tale of two halves; one, a pulsating drone of tenderness, and the other, an exercise in minimalism. Both find a connection with each other, so that the album doesn’t come off as two different sessions awkwardly transposed together. Though over and done with in less than 30 minutes, Assembly Of Light gets major mileage out of their music. The essence of the band is with the female choir, which croons and moans with a passion that many vocalists fail to achieve. They don’t need words to leave a permanent sonic scar on the listener.

Assembly Of Light enlists the help of members of other bands, including The Body, Braveyoung, and Daughters, for the first half of the album. This accompaniment is the more accessible side, with instrumentation backing the choir. Piano and strings bolster the heightened orchestration of “Insides.” Chip King’s unintelligible screaming on “Transition” is a jolting contrast to the choir, though he fades away in the latter part of the song for the choir to duet with a soothing piano.

The three-part “Into The Woods” is where the minimal side of the album comes in. Using just the choir, unaccompanied by any instruments, the track is where the patience of most people will be tested. It’s a much different beast from the other three tracks, and may be a turn-off to a potential buyer. While just having the choir by itself takes adjusting, they are capable enough to keep the three parts moving. The first and third part are the best ones, as they move with a focused purpose the second part fails to find.

Music for a late-night soundtrack, the band has that lulling effect on the listener. Some may call the album boring, or an intrusion on excitement, but there is something hypnotic about these six songs that can’t be overlooked. The album is its own movie score, evident by the peaks and valleys it takes as a whole to get to the reserved ending. Further from the mainstream than almost any style of music out there, this is an adventurous record that could be appropriate if the whole “world ends in 2012” theory proves to be correct.

Highs: Mesmerizing choir of angelic vocals, first half mixes in other instruments, nice guest spots from members of bands like The Body and Daughters

Lows: Will be a challenge for the average listener to get into, the three-part "Into The Woods" requires a good deal of patience

Bottom line: The self-titled debut album from Assembly Of Light takes a female choir and turn in a mesmerizing, if almost heavenly, performance worth checking out.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)