Envy has always been a special band for me. Ever since I saw the music-video for „Scene“ on a music-magazine-DVD (VISIONS if I recall correctly). I was stunned by the capability of combining sheer beauty with earth-shattering walls of sound. I listened to the album Insomniac Doze and never let go since then. This little list can be some sort of introduction to the awesomeness that is Envy.
At the end you’ll find all the tracks mentioned to hear.
- A Road of Winds the Water Builds (Abyssal EP):
The first time I heard this song it got me on the verge of tears. It was my first Envy show and I hardly knew any songs (some off Insomniac Doze, but that was it) and then this one came. Back then it was a new song from the freshly released Abyssal EP. The songs starts quite pounding and loud with the characteristic Envy guitars (you know, the soaring ones) and collapses in the middle, to start again. Like no over band I know, Envy can write great climaxes. The last 4:45 minutes are my favourite moments in the whole discography of Envy.
- Memories and the Limit (The Fallen Crimson)
Taken from their latest effort, „Memories and the Limit“ is almost a „happy“ song. The melody and mood gets me thinking about spring and everything coming back to life again after a cold winter. I can’t help but feel lifted, when I’m hearing this song.
- Scene (Insomniac Doze)
The first Envy song I ever heard and a blueprint for many other bands trying to emulate the sound of Envy. A tender, beautiful melody combined with a bursting chorus. A lot of those Black-Gaze bands borrow heavily from Envy. Listen to this song and you know, what I mean.
- The Unknown Glow (Insomniac Doze)
This song is at the centre of Insomniac Doze. A nearly 16 minutes long masterpiece. Like the first song on this list, “The unknown Glow” comes to a halt in the middle. The following spoken word passage together with the layers of sound swelling up lead to a perfect crescendo at the end. Take your time with this song and you won‘t be disappointed.
- Chain Wandering Deeply (A dead sinking Story)
The opener of A dead sinking Story and of the aforementioned first Envy concert of mine. Wave after wave of guitars and drums wash over you until the song ends in a wall of sound. The live-version is even better than the album one.
- Color of Fetters (A Dead Sinking Story)
What I remember most about this song, is its black and white music-video (the older ones will remember). At the end you can see birds flying in the sky and it sort of perfectly fits to the songs cathartic conclusion. From the first seconds on you get thrown into a whirlwind of guitars and staccato-drums which twists and turn you relentlessly until the end with „the birds“.
- Your Shoes and the World to Come (All the Footprints You‘ve Ever Left and the Fear Expecting Ahead)
If the apocalypse had an entry-music, this would be it. You hear the footsteps approaching, rumbling thunder and structures collapse until the end reaches you with fiery fury. As mentioned before Envy are masters when it comes to dramaturgy in their songs. A great album closer and the „beginning“ of the Post-Rock phase of Envy (my humble opinion), which culminated in the following album A dead sinking Story.
- Rain Clouds Running in a Holy Night (Recitation)
Around the time of the release of Recitation there were strange rumours about that song. Those rumours said, that there was a Christmas song cited in it (the melody). I never got that reference, but this is a great song. Like „Chain wandering deeply“ this song kind of fades out. Envy gave you all their energy and captivated you in the first 7 minutes of the song an in the last 1,5 minutes they release you into the sunset in a calming way.
- A Breath Clad in Happiness (Recitation)
This song has me on my toes the whole time. The „nervous“ drum beat which seems to be getting faster with the progression of the songs, the soaring guitars and by the end of the song you can’t stand still, you just have to move to release the energy laid upon you.
- An Umbrella Fallen into Fiction (Split EP with Thursday)
On paper this combination of bands seems odd, but when listened to it back to back, one can only wonder why those bands haven’t crossed paths before. This track is the opener of the Envy side. With a slight electronic touch this song is a great experiment in the Envy cosmos. But don’t fret, there’s still enough Enyv to keep the purists at bay.