Apologies for getting all existential at the beginning of a review, but the way we perceive the passing of time is a funny old thing. If you were to ask anyone to recall the year 2008, the general conscious would be that it the year only feels several years ago, and not entire a decade ago. Whilst the year 2008 was responsible for a range of global events, the time frame also saw the birthing of the Herefordshire post rock outfit Talons. Throughout the past decade, the group have been responsible for two of the most excellent, yet criminally under appreciated records the UK post rock scene has to offer, with 2010’s Hollow Realm and 2014’s New Topographics being the subject of rave reviews respectively. Four years later since the release of their sophomore record, Talons have returned with their third release, We All Know. In true vein of the bands namesake, We All Know is a record that sinks into you with a vice grip with it’s emotionally driven landscapes that are painted with a diverse musical palate.
Whilst violins and other classical sting instruments have become synonymous with the stereotypical post rock sound and relevant structures, dual violin instrumentation are the primary and predominant driving force of this record. The group further experiment and expand on the neoclassical influences and expansive, lofty soundscapes and sonic tapestries of vistas introduced in New Topographics, further amplifying and broadening the landscapes previously manifested. Such a testament to their development comes immediately to fruition with opener and lead single ‘The Drowning’. Ominous and forewarning shimmering violins increase in reverberation prior to a lurch of electric rhythmic dynamics. Hazy, pensive and forewarning of storm swept landscapes, it’s a fantastic establishment of the themes and ideologies present within this record, with the respective track leading into the darkened glacial clench and static shoegaze of ‘On Levels’.
As the album progresses, we slowly get a more clear view of the artistic experimentation that Talons have become renowned for. Each track contains its own identity and distinctive aurora, with an overall blanketing theme reminiscent of contemplativeness and impending nihilism. However, the manner in which such emotional engulfment is manifested is what set Talons apart from their peers. Armed with an arsenal of musical weaponry, the group divert and indulge in a manner of genre’s not atypically associated with the post rock genre. For instance, the primal drumming and beats of ‘Movements On Seven’ adventures into the humid plains of Indian classical music and ‘Southern Shade’ features a looming and dusking folk blues ambiance. Instances such as this is where We All Know comes into in it’s beautiful form, with Talons taking cues, inspirations and influences from a manner of exotic genres in order to add stunning visceral imagery to their output. Every track feels like a landscape, some barren and desolate, some hazy and pensive, but all majestic in their own right.
In all, We All Know doesn’t superficially feel like a series of constructed tracks, but in contrast the master and control of primal sonic forces, bending the stories and sonic winds from various metaphysical landscapes in order to create a tonal and shifting soundscape. A must listen for those in pursuit of the creation of sonic landscapes through dynamic instrumentation.
We All Know is released on the 27th of July via Holy Roar Records