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Album Review: Made of Breath Only by sleepmakeswaves

Australian post-rock trailblazers sleepmakeswaves third album, Made of Breath Only, was scheduled for release on 7th April, imagine our shock when we saw on Facebook that it got an early release on the 24th March. Now that we’ve finally managed to put aside the dismay at our schedule being ruined we can finally bring you the review.

In late 2016, the band put out a call to fans to help raise funds for their third album and a world tour through pre-orders via Australian crowdfunding site Pozible. They raised over $40,000 to cover the remaining costs of producing the record, which follows 2014’s ARIA-nominated & J Award-nominated Love of Cartography.

Simply put, Made of Breath Only is the bands best piece of work to date. Soaring post-rock dynamics wash over intricate guitar parts with tracks hitting big crescendos and jumping from blistering math rock-esque moments through to emotion laden flashes of serene post-rock. Coming in at just shy of a full hour it’s a beast of an album, but one that is wonderfully captivating and enthralling from beginning to end.

Although Made of Breath Only works perfectly as an album (the flow and ebb of each track complementing each other) it’s also one that can act as a collection of individual solo tracks. Take any one of the 10 tracks out and listen to it by itself and it blossoms and explodes in its own right. Both tracks previewed from the album ‘Tundra’ and ‘In The Arms of Ghosts’ are prime examples with the former’s forthright heavy swagger and the latter’s more laidback elctro infused beats. Speaking about ‘Into The Arms of Ghosts’ guitarist Otto Wicks-Green comments, “This track was one of the last songs to come together on the record, despite comprising some parts that were amongst the first to be written (the lead melody for instance). It’s one of the darker and heavier moments on the album and deals more directly with feelings around loss and adjustment to that. The soaring lead lines made our producer Nick joke that it should be the soundtrack to someone jumping off a mountain in a parachute before landing in a stadium with a guitar. We should really try and get that happening.”

‘The Edge of Everything’ stands out as being an instant post-rock classic. Epic in its 10 plus minutes, let it be your go to point to understand the full sound of sleepmakeswave. Equal parts blistering riffs, experimental moments and flashes of ambience it takes you on a journey through from dark post-rock to life affirming and heart-warming crescendos. Get lost in the emotion of the piano led title and let the atmospherics of ‘Glacial’ wash over you in a wave fitting of its title. Album closer ‘Hailstones’ is something special, post-rock grandeur and ambition at its finest – an emotional and fitting end to a superb album

AD Rating 9/10

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