REVIEW: O’Brother – ‘Endless Light’

obro endless light

Artist: O’Brother
Album: Endless Light
Label: Triple Crown
Genre: Rock

Get your ice packs ready, because you’re about to headbang relentlessly into the night.

O’Brother return with their third LP, Endless Light, an album that is toned down from the abrupt heaviness of Disillusion and mixed with a little more light and air to make yet another powerhouse for the band.

Endless Light begins unforgivingly, like most O’Brother records do, with the brooding, heavy, yet beautifully tragic sounding “Slow Sin.” With a percussion introduction founded by noise and eerie riffage, “Slow Sin” plays not unlike a thematic battle song, that is until the band seamlessly transitions into a Thrice-inspired Deftones groove that is sure to get you swaying.

Singer Tanner Merrit softly sings “you are the same but different” so carefully, as if not to alter the balance of the calm chaos the band bleeds into their music. Bassist Anton Dang has always been a favorite, just due to his mere presence in a track, but it also helps that he and drummer Michael Martens link up in such devastating grooves that each artist is able to cut their tracks seamlessly.

The previously released “Your Move,” “Deconstruct,” and “Bloodlines” are all wonderfully placed in the LP, with the first surprise really hitting with “Burn,” a track that perfectly blends the heaviness of Disillusion with the beauty of Garden Window. O’Bro surely have a knack for making even the quietest parts hit with utter dominance, and the duality between sludge and symphony is no better experienced than on “Burn.”

The title track, “Endless Light” continues this as well, with beauty backed by a beast. “I thought that I could change / I was clearly wrong / This world that I create / is where I belong” soars over harmonies, beefy bass and drums, and vibrant guitars.

“Black Hole” is as poppy as O’Brother could be, bringing a more upbeat vibe to the palate. “I Am Become Death” showcases the soaring new heights Merrit attains on this vocal delivery, as the band continues to vary their sound, adding layer upon layer to their sonic dinner. The seven-minute closer, “Realm of the Physical,” leaves a lasting taste of haunting sounds that let the listener catch a breath after the fantastic experience Endless Light gives.

On Endless Light, O’Brother have found ways to hone their signature sound, while being able to open up a new, endless realm for musical variation. Everything is at its best there, and I can’t wait to see these songs live.

SCORE: 9/10

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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