Event Horizon is a striking collection of atmospheric and poetically reflective indie-rock songs that offer something uniquely expressive and musically creative with every minute that passes. Beginning with Osiris, the sound explodes into this intricately detailed and thoughtfully structured audio experience that is all at once nostalgic and excitingly new.
Osiris combines musical prowess with considerate and artistic lyricism, fusing skillful and creatively free guitar and drum performances with an eerie and provocative leading vocal melody, as well as a string of ideas that brilliantly enhance the other-worldly essence of it all. Down Low follows on with the now familiar sound of this passionate and mesmerising leading voice, though the song’s energy and build up is more more minimal and guitar led than its slightly dreamlike predecessor. There’s a weight to this song, the riffs are a part of that, as is the powerful switch from the mellow moments to those much bolder ones. There’s a feeling of Sophist being the bringer of anthems and unmissable live shows.
Everything about these songs grabs your attention, not least of all the clever and unpredictable ways in which each soundscape is structured. There’s a craftsmanship to the writing, and there’s a level of passion to the performances that is impossible to ignore. Walk Again encapsulates all of this and more. The contrast between the two vocal parts, the distant echo of the verses and the almighty hit of the hook, makes for a completely captivating few minutes of music. By this point, fans of rock or anything that draws a certain unusual meeting of soul and urgency within them will be locked in and quite probably addicted to the project.
Advent Moon marks the deciding moment in many ways. You’re in for the long game now, though the album in its entirety is less than a half hour long. It feels much bigger than this, the effort and design and instrumentation that has gone into it all is incredible. Taking a touch of the drama and darkness of heavy metal, and much of the melodic creativity and emotional soul of heartfelt, unexpected lyricism, a theatrical feeling of epic intensity unfolds around you as the playlist progresses.
The album’s title track soaks you in a peaceful ambiance that allows you to reflect on what has come to pass. You realise the collection has had an impact, though many of the ideas and musical moments of genius really require a second and third visit to truly appreciate their reach. The gradual evolution on this particular song from the calm to the chaotic effectively represents the changing energy of the entire project. This track is dreamlike and hectic at the very same time, beautifully atmospheric, and as it leads into The Overview Effect the peacefulness and the inherent rhythm of the music, of the musicians involved, strikes as undeniably mesmerising. You barely notice the purely instrumental, lyric free nature of this section of the project. The intensity and passion is unchanged, and the creative journey through remains unique and compelling.
Narayana is the penultimate song on the album. The music is stunning, the simplicity and calmness of the guitar riff contrasts superbly with the meandering energy of the bass line and the manic urgency of the drums. Then you get the lyrics, gently presented initially, later exploding into something much more reactive to the elements embedded within the story. The louder moments hit with impact not purely due to the volume but the value of these ideas. We are meant to be free lingers in your mind long after listening, and from here on in the vibrancy and hopefulness of the music soaks you in optimism and a desire to go your own way.
Things comes to a close with Intergalactic. The sound of Sophist is unmistakable now, the familiar thread of artistry will have you hooked, and the ever changing atmospheres and expression of ideas will consistently leave you with something to think about. Every moment is new, you can’t get to the hook before the singer, you can’t predict a break or a solo, you can only sit back in awe and witness the considerately crafted arrangement of various creative impulses. The great thing about this music is that it gets to you. It sounds fantastic, the musicianship and writing are wonderful, and it affects you, it leaves you feeling as if you really heard something that mattered. The more you listen, the more you pick up on, and soon enough this becomes a go-to soundtrack for those long rides home or those rainy evenings lost in your own thoughts.