This Will Destroy You deliver their most varied material to date on their fourth full-length album, New Others Part One.
Since the release of their celebrated Young Mountain EP and self-titled full-length in 2006 and 2008 respectively, the Texas-bred instrumentalists This Will Destroy You have become one of the bigger names associated with the post-rock genre. As time has passed, the band have pulled further and further away from the post-rock label by incorporating elements of shoegaze, electronic, doom and various other elements into the mix. From their cinematic, heavy guitar-driven early material, to the more hypnotic and atmospheric epics found on Tunnel Blanket and Another Language, This Will Destroy You prove to be unafraid of experimentation. There is never any indicator of what they will bring to the table next, and that is a major aspect of what separates them from their contemporaries.
The highly-anticipated New Others Part One is yet another surprising addition to the band’s discography, one that seems to draw from elements of past releases as well as incorporate new ones. The record kicks off with the dreamy one-two punch of “Melted Jubilee” and “To Win, Somebody’s Got to Lose”. Ethereal ambiance and thunderous drums open up “Melted Jubilee” as the song drifts into huge, swelling walls of sound comprised of textural washes of guitar and a wealth of synth-generated effects. “To Win, Somebody’s Got to Lose” follows shortly after and features a beautiful between reflective keys and emotive, atmospheric clean guitars that glide along tranquilly until the song’s end.
The third track, “Syncage”, is one of the more unique compositions on the album. The short but dynamic tune begins with some quiet, twitching electronic work that bleeds into a rush of high-octane, throttling drumming and dense layers of tremolo-picked guitars that bulldoze the listener with massive bursts of colorful sound. This leads into the more ambient-heavy piece “Allegiance”, which is made up of bubbling electronica and snowy atmospheric effects. Similar techniques are employed on the album’s other ambient piece, “Like This”, albeit with more emphasis on fuzz-heavy drone textures.
The seven-minute “Weeping Window” harks back to the band’s self-titled era with its slow-burning approach and guitar-heavy climaxes. The song begins with quiet, creeping keys and glimpses of swelling melodies that have been pushed to the background. Around the three-minute mark the song explodes into a powerful march of monolithic chords, siren-like leads, and pulverizing bass lines that repeatedly smash and smash upon the listeners’ heads up until its final moments.
The closing track “Go Away Closer” is another standout track that features some of the busiest instrumentation since the Young Mountain days. The track immediately begins with a hypnotic barrage of gorgeous keyboard riffs that are entangled with serpentine guitar melodies and wavering chords. Around the two-and-a-half-minute mark the song rips into an emotionally-charged climax typical of This Will Destroy You that features powerful melodic chords and blizzards of tremolo-picked notes. Once this section fades away, a subdued ambient outro brings the song and New Others Part One to a close.
As stated previously, New Others Part One draws on various elements throughout the band’s discography and presents the band’s most varied effort thus far. While the album’s varied nature is welcomed, it also serves as a drawback. On previous This Will Destroy You releases, the band utilized recurring motifs and tones that created cohesive pieces that were sonically consistent throughout. While there are no bad songs on New Others Part One, the album as a whole lacks that sense of cohesion and cinematic quality that made past efforts such genre-defining albums.
While it may not be as grandiose as its predecessors, New Others Part One is yet more proof that the band refuses to stagnate creatively. As far as post/instrumental rock is concerned, This Will Destroy You remain in the top tier.
Release Date: September 28, 2018
Label: Dark Operative Records
Favorite Tracks: “To Win, Somebody’s Got to Lose”, “Syncage”, “Weeping Window” and “Go Away Closer”
For Fans Of: Explosions in the Sky, Caspian, This Patch of Sky and A Film in Color