It should be easy for me to review an album like this. This is, quite literally, my 2,997th review and after doing this for years and years, I would like to think I could review virtually any album that I come across quite easily. And yet, I find myself at a loss for words here. There are some albums that words simply cannot do enough justice for, but I take that challenge head-on to try and do what I can to do justice for such a creation where words have often failed me before even despite my best efforts. Still, I refuse to give up. It’s not terribly often that I find myself fumbling for descriptions or similies when doing a review anymore, but damn if I’m not having a hard time trying to truly pin down my experience with the forthcoming behemoth from Hundred Year Old Man.
There are few things that can compare to a proper work of heaviness and atmosphere that manages to capitalize on such a combination in every way without one overshadowing the over that leaves listeners simply wanting more out of a formula that should’ve been a cinch to deliver. I had no idea what I was in for when I first set forth into “Sleep In Light”, but there wasn’t any sort of bio, excerpt, or lead-up that could’ve properly prepared me for the eight utterly massive tracks that Hundred Year Old man offers to us here. There isn’t a single moment of this magnificent creation that leaves anything to chance or any shred of the soul off the table, for it is clear right from the very beginning that this band was going to put forth all that they were into this record for a truly genuine experience that hits tremendously hard while still finding time to find the smallest of moments to really touch the heart in ways that feel supreme and utterly compelling. Themes of loss and agony in the wake of such definitely feel prevalent throughout this creation, but as I simply don’t know the lyrics to “Sleep In Light” I cannot even begin to understand the true themes of the album, but I think the album would benefit from such a lack of insight into itself. There is assuredly suffering and heartache found within these notes and atmospheres as the unyielding heaviness proves immense catharsis in every way as it provides some sort of release before the agonizing pain in our souls takes us over completely. All of that can be felt and experienced in just the very first track of “Sleep In Light” with Hundred Year Old Man expanding on its magnificently for the entirety of the 80-minute runtime with it all coming at you without reservation to deliver what has got to be one of the deepest and most powerful performances of its kind that I’ve experienced for several months.
While it may be bands like Cult of Luna that people will point to this year when it comes to the apex of post-doom with gut-wrenching emotion paired with a devastating sense of reliability, I cannot help but feel that what Hundred Year Old Man has delivered surpasses its contemporaries in every form. I’ve spent a lot of time in the depths of this creation as its weight has bared down on me for weeks now as I’m left floating in its dense atmospheres and truly using it as therapy for my own personal sufferings, and I simply cannot help but feel compelled that “Sleep In Light” is what this style can be in its most exquisite embodiment. To put such work into words almost makes me sweat in the effort to do it justice, and I can only hope that I’ve achieved that with all that was brought forth in this welcoming but immensely powerful experience.
“Sleep In Light” releases on June 17th via Consouling Sounds!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Sleep In Light” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Hundred Year Old Man on Facebook here.