There is an activity that is often forgotten in the modern day practice of music consumption. With access to anything and everything with just the click of a mouse, it’s easy to listen to an album then discard it for another without a second thought. So just this once, do something different. Rather than just streaming ‘Threnodies’, the new album from London based prog merchants Messenger, while you go about your business, try sitting down and listening to it. Turn the lights off and light a candle if you like. Make yourself a drink. Ultimately just sit back and take it in. Let each ripple of sound wash over you and ensnare each sense. Let the hairs on your arms be pushed up by goosebumps and let that feeling spread from your head to your toes. Only then will just how excellent the follow up to the band’s debut ‘Illusory Blues’ really sink in.
The craftsmanship behind the music that Messenger produces is second to none and the layers of delicacy and tension they pile up makes for a euphorically blooming experience. The opening old-school prog overtones of ‘Calyx’ build before descending into a flurry of free-flowing space age battery, before ‘Oracles Of War’ moulds together Sabbath-esque grooves and dance-able almost pop-like licks. The earthy atmosphere and well-aged guitar noodling of ‘Celestrial Spheres’ compliments the folk-sprinkled breeziness of ‘Nocturne’ before closer ‘Crown Of Ashes’ sees your adventure out in suitably subtle style with dreamy acoustics and haunting vocals easing you into a comfortable and satisfied slumber. Each track an epic in itself and as a record an undeniably encapsulating triumph.
An engulfing and kaleidoscopic journey into the curious and baffling, ‘Threnodies’ takes you by the hand and guides you through the worlds of prog, folk and rock seamlessly. Though it needs some TLC for it to really open up and sink in, there is so much beauty to be found in the folds of Messenger’ssophomore effort and it is a pleasure to uncover. This is music to lose your mind to.
’Threnodies’ by Messenger is released on April 21st on InsideOut Music.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)