Despite it being a rare occurrence, for reasons most obvious, there seems to be an element of tangible purity when an act or musician releases content after announcing the end of their respective career. No longer hindered or restrained by the subterranean forces of the industry, such acts can create art that truly represents them without having to consider how a release will impact their career, their prospects or future as a collective unit. Announced prior to the disclose of their impeding split, Arcane Roots are an act who perfectly embody left field innovation and shall be undoubtedly be a group sorely missed in the times to come. However, as a parting gift, the trio have crafted one final release, the Landslide EP.
Primarily composed of recrafted and reimagined tracks from their last full-length Melancholia Hymns, the EP see’s the group indulge into their electronic and synth-based soundscapes introduced in their last effort. It’s a side of Arcane Roots we all knew to exist but never had a full glimpse off, with the EP standing as both a majestic addendum to Melancholia Hymns and a glorious farewell to their time as an act, almost akin to a concluding twist in a theater performance prior to the final curtain call. Opening with the astral, soothing winds and keys of ‘Before Me (Over)’, the track perfectly resonates the characteristic personality of this influential act, with the soaring vocal talents of Andrew Grove soaring majestically alongside cinematic orchestration before dropping into dub inspired minimalism. ‘Matter (Revel)’ expands on such themes, with the chaotic crescendo in the Melancholia Hymns version subsisted for uneasy, almost alien metropolitan electronic soundscape, replacing violent animosity with precarious ambiance.
To cite these as nothing more than electronic versions of pre-existing tracks would be a criminal fallacy; these tracks are true re-evaluations of previous material, acknowledging their worth prior to completely adjusting their purpose. In vein of this, the one original track on this record, the previously released ‘Landslide’, bridges the two realms Arcane Roots now inhabit, with pensive strings and marching drum work co-existing alongside shifting keys that collapse into violent alt-rock majesty. It in itself isn’t’ a far cry from the sound presented in Melancholia Hymns, but the fashion in which it interlaces with this electronic material without contrasting stands to a monument to this fantastic band, one who doesn’t just pander to genres, but creates content that represents their ideology.
As the shifting and ticking keys of Off The Floor (Fade) ring out into the aether, one is left with a bittersweet feeling. Landslide is a release that finally shows a dimension to this fantastic act that we all knew was among us and leaves you craving more content, material that we shall likely never receive. It’s a perfect end to this amazing band, one that shall be treasured and held with high regard even despite its superficial contrastive sound. An ideal parting gift from an act whose legacy shall live on through it's devoted.
Landslide EP is released Friday the 14th via Easy Life Records