Earthrise: Until We Rest Beneath the Winter Way

Ten years after their debut album, Eras Lost, Minneapolis heavy rockers, Earthrise, return with a record based on an intriguing concept and carries a great deal of vast and astounding heaviness. Until We Rest Beneath the Winter Way tells the story of Laika, the first animal sent into Earth's orbit.

The band explain: "Each track on UWRBTWW represents a slice in history, as she endured it. The album culminates with the launch of Sputnik II, the second major event in humanity’s reach to the heavens, symbolized by a lifeless canine body orbiting the Earth for months on end -- a somber meditation on humanity's innumerable self-inflicted tragedies, as if stuck in orbit, forever."

Until We Rest Beneath the Winter Way has been a long time in the making, and its level of detail and meticulousness justifies the attention it required. It is a hefty post metal record with a progressive rock tone, and structure which keeps on building and hooking the listener as it unfolds. Earthrise deliver well-woven songs with a good amount of sentimentality, forcefulness, and nuanced musicianship, often recalling genre pioneers like The Ocean, Cult of Luna, and Isis, but their approach, musically and conceptually, feels pretty unique.

Until We Rest Beneath the Winter Way obviously works best as a coherent unit. Key tracks, such as From Below, Our Work In The Stars Cannot Wait, and the fantastic closer, Tears of Burning Light are milestones in a major narrative which tells a larger than life story steeped in grandeur and drama.

From Below describes the challenges which the Sputnik I engineers faced while under the pressure of their political superiors and Communist Party leaders in the USSR, as they were given only a month to accomplish the impossible. After being caught with a group of stray dogs, Laika was converted from an unimportant but free being into a national scientific and political emblem. To prepare for flight, she was subjected to an assortment of experiments and training regimens, the most severe of which were high-gravity simulations in a makeshift centrifuge.

The album's centerpiece, Our Work in the Stars Cannot Wait, serves as a musical depiction of these vicious centrifuge tests, and its outsized intensity speaks volumes. The album gradually expands to the climactic Tears Of Burning Light, which acknowledges the horror of Laika's dying moments floating above the Earth.

Until We Rest Beneath The Winter Way is a space rock opera of the darkest and heaviest kind, and unquestionably one of the most special post metal releases in a long while; an album of musical effectiveness which naturally transforms its narrative structure into vivid mental imagery.

Band photo by Rebel Rabbit Photography

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