THE SEVEN MILE JOURNEY - Notes For The Synthesis

The Seven Mile Journey - Notes For The Synthesis

6 songs
60:14 minutes
***** ***


Danish post-rock quartet left already quite an impression on me with their first two CDs The Journey Studies (2006) and The Metamorphosis Project (2008). Three years went by since their last album, which might be explained by their switching to a new record label. Otherwise not that much has changed though. The four Danes are still pursuing eagerly their musical vision.

Notes For The Synthesis may only contain six tracks, but it still manages to run slightly over an hour. Unlike many other post-rock bands whose panoply of instruments is rather vast, The Seven Mile Journey limit themselves to drums, bass, guitars and the occasional keyboard part. It speaks for them that despite this self-inflicted austerity, their songs still work great and never fail to deliver momentum and suspense. Like in the past, the album works as an entity, with the songs fading into each other, making it occasionally hard to know when the next track has started. The album begins with the two minute intro Departures which segues into the twenty minute monster The Alter Ego Autopsies which is the longest piece the band has crafted so far. Don’t expect a musical rollercoaster as you get from progressive rock bands. Instead The Seven Mile Journey focus their energies on building their momentum over long periods of time, even if, as in this case, this takes a whole twenty minutes. The following Simplicity Has A Paradox and the concluding The Etiology Diaries also make it well over ten minutes.

At first I felt a little let down, because at times not so much seems to be happening, but repeated listening revealed the musicians’ talent in creating incredible suspense just by using their regular rock instruments. The drums for instance often go a long time without any snare beats, emphasising thus the lower registers of the instrument. The guitars are of course the major contributor and offer a whole variety of sounds, from cello like strumming to ethereal string picking, all the while procuring a haunting mood that after some time will get you hooked.

It is quite possible that Notes For The Synthesis is The Seven Mile Journey’s finest effort so far. They have certainly not reinvented themselves, but they definitely have refined their skills and have come up with their most hypnotic album so far, a true one-hour tour de force that no self-respecting post-rock fan can allow themselves to miss.

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