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For its sixth album, Wintersleep have chosen a title that sounds like a pivotal moment in human history: The Great Detachment, a time when humanity finds itself separating from the corporeal plane, floating weightless in digital streams, avatars of the people we once were, sustaining ourselves on tweets and torrents, justifying our existence by how high we’ve climbed an a virtual, social ladder.
The title is perfect, prescient, and precisely the opposite of its music, mostly recorded live-off-the-floor in their hometown of Halifax. Grounded by the weighty rock rhythm section of drummer Loel Campbell and bassist Mike Bigelow, and sent soaring skyward by Tim D’eon’s epic guitar work, powerful opener “Amerika” and the anthemic “Spirit” cut through the static of our modern age and connect with listeners in the old-fashioned way, through the power of rock ‘n roll.
“Love Lies”, “Santa Fe”, and “Shadowless” are sprinkled with synths and peppered with programmed instruments, just enough to suggest The Great Detachment isn’t afraid of technology and modernism, but knows how to keep it in check. It’s the same musical sensibilities reminiscent of Rush, another epic Canadian rock band who found the perfect balance between modern technology, mythical themes and monolithic rock. How fitting that Geddy Lee guests on one of The Great Detachment‘s finer tracks, “Territory”. Consider the torch passed.
Dine Alone Records
March 4, 2015