The Ascent Of Everest - From This Vantage (shelsmusic)

Brim full of complexities and ideas, it’s quite a record to get your head around.

Released Jun 5th, 2010 via shelsmusic / By Peter Clark
The Ascent Of Everest - From This Vantage (shelsmusic) Orchestral experimental rock outfit The Ascent Of Everest offer you a record so thick in textures it would leave food connoisseurs drooling at the mouth after their latest clogged artery blocks more blood to the heart. It’s a record which will certainly leave a lot of people by the side of the road, and make those sticking with it really pay for their art.

From This Vantage really becomes an album that you need to work at to unravel all of its underlying layers of complex musical structures and soundscapes encompassing ideas which are just too grand to fit into a few minutes. At times it is an effort that really begins to pay off as seen in the closing stanza of ‘Return To Us’ which builds into the overlapping ‘Dark, Dark My Soul’ where vocals add a piece of simplicity to proceedings, something which comes as a welcome break throughout the record.

When ‘Safety Caged In Bone’s cellos and marching drums begin to uncurl your fist, you can be forgiven in thinking that that the record is taking on a more approachable feel, but the haunting femme fatale vocals and dreamy violin transport you into a Yann Tiersen film soundtrack, haunting, gripping, and always just a little unsteady

But then again, at times it feels like an effort you could do without. Getting lost in a piece of music shouldn’t necessarily take such a concerted effort of both concentration and patience. Many of the harrowing tales begin to masquerade as tuneful simplicities of an amalgamation of instruments becoming one, but then the carpet is swiftly pulled out from under you and you no longer know which way is up.

If From this Vantage became a simile, it would be like a rainbow: at times a beauty unbeknownst to man, showing a ray of hope after the storm, full off a multitude of complexities and colours, beginning upwards, full of hope and ideas, but ultimately fading away, and if you try to find out what it’s actually all about, you realise that it was never really there, and you don’t know what it was you just witnessed.

Bit of a headfuck eh?