If you read some of my reviews, you might know that I have a secret crush on every artist who is capable of giving me a big hug of big sound experiences and when the artist achieves this alone, where other bands need +5 members (I wouldn’t say that bands are not on the same level, but it just impresses me more). To cut this short: John Boles, the man behind Align in Time, achieved exactly this in my opinion.
His second album On a Spiral, released nine years after his first album, is a playful and diverse instrumental Post-Rock album with beautiful guitars and song titles that fit perfectly to every single song. You hear that straight from the beginning, the first riffs of “Never Far”, which is overall a happy start into the album.
The first half of the songs are good stand-alone songs that have a lot of differences and ideas. For example, “Absorb” – which is an extensive song with a lot of different ideas, like high and fast pitches and nice varied elements, which are going perfectly hand in hand.
The second half of the songs are more connected, the smoother transitions between the songs are interconnecting them better. I don’t know if this is intentional or coincidence, but this half of the album is getting another drive.
It starts with “Speaking”, a quiet but forceful song, which sounds friendly and has single riffs that get you a pleasant feeling. It gets followed by “Finish it”, a straighter song with an explosive ending. The connection ends with the ninth song “If There’s Nothing You Can Do”, which sounds like its title: angry and desperate, short and fast.
The last song “I Go Too” is a beautiful ending. Many elements of the entire album are brought together here in a nice and smooth conclusion.
Sometimes, the songs have some aspects I don’t like, some riffs or ideas which in my opinion don‘t work out well. Maybe this is the drawback to be a single musician who does a lot of instruments and has a lot of ideas and conceptions in mind: in your head, after all the work, it sounds smoother in your mind than on “tape“.
But I don’t want to be too harsh on this. Overall, it’s a very good Post-Rock album which is worth your time. The only thing I hope is that John Boles doesn’t need nine more years to create a good album again.
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“This Is Later”