Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Antlers-Hospice

Hospice marks the first wide release by the band as a newly formed trio; everything prior was the solo work of Peter Siberling under the moniker of The Antlers. The material throughout is all the brainchild of Siberling’s constant desire to deconstruct an idea and rebuild it in a multi-layered introspective narrative. This story translates the death house of a hospice into a celebration of agony and the hopeful relief from that pain in the end. The additions of Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci has intensified an already existing depth of sound in this young band’s music while introducing a higher tempo that matches Peter’s painful screams which exhibit a brutal honesty in emotion and a certain reality relatable to its listeners. The album breaks down the loosely translated album title and the various embodiments one could consider a hospice as their everyday cage. Suicides, abortions, deteriorating relationships, and of course death are some of the conversions that not only emotionally break down our personal beliefs but build up a separate uplifting perspective of what is usually considered a depressing and cynical concept. The album is structured similar to a novel with a beginning, middle and end. It imaginatively transports the listener into an alter-reality role initially dealing with the aspect of an upcoming ending, whether in life or love wallowing in self-pity and agonizing on the mysteries that lie ahead.
The album’s first single, “Bear” from the self-release is a turning point for the album as acceptance begins to set in, and hints of optimism appear along with a celebratory stance of the past uplifts the overall tonality in the album. Although the subject matter retains its dreary disposition the music exposes the consented theory that moving on is the best resolution for something so painful and cancerous. Singer, Sharon Von Etten enhances the ghostly eeriness of Hospice with her distant vocals demonstrate the actual presence of death in the situation. The on the whole ambiguity of the album only strengthens it constantly translated concept as each listener can put forth his/her personal interpretations of the bleak situations expressively recreated in a spine tingling manner. By the conclusion of the album the pain and hurt have completely set in and an overall numbness takes over the emotional pressures as one is spiritually prepared to move forward into the mysterious abyss of what lies ahead. In “Epilogue” the final track, is an out of body experience moving us away from the dying entity and memorializing ourselves and the past that brought us to this point. In its creepy, unnerving instrumentation that concludes the track, a warming sensation overtakes our senses creating a musical nirvana of the massive amounts of emotion necessary to create such an epic saga. Reflection is the key to self-growth and realizations of our mistakes in life are what make us stronger.

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