Reviews IIVII Invasion

IIVII

Invasion

Josh Graham has become something of a Renaissance man here in the past 10 years or so. As founder of Red Sparowes, and A Storm of Light, Graham has taken rock music and gave it an ambient / drone twist. His solo project IIVII, and new record Invasion, has taken Graham’s love of ambient music that much further with haunting landscapes that could accompany the loftiest sci-fi and horror movies. This is music meant for listening in the dark with lush orchestration, subtle electronic percussion, and the theme focused on the space between the notes, its remarkable how alone it can make you feel, with each note interpreted as if it were yours to keep. 

Invasion is impossible to put into words, and can only be paralleled with the interpretations and pictures that are brought out when I listen to the album. “We Came from a Dying World” begins the record inside a child’s nightmare. “Unclouded by Conscience” is certainly the music that will be playing during the impending alien invasion, complete with lulls in the noise to act as motifs for human suffering. “Hidden Inside” is the accompanying orchestration to a slow walk inside a swampy mausoleum opening up to the killer lurking behind a tombstone only to be shot by the hero. “No More Enemies”, and “Painless” are sister songs with the same sinister snarls and will make your whole body move in rhythm. “Sanctuary (III)” is the most ‘rock’ song on the record and evolves from an industrial tinged wind chime to a synthesized movement of mannequins inside an oven. 

Did you get all that? The record is beautiful, eerie, uncomfortable, and moving all encompassing. Graham is also an artist, and has done work on album art for Soundgarden, Mastodon, and ISIS, and The Dillinger Escape Plan among others. The album art for Invasion is striking and is reminiscent of a malicious extraterrestrial, or maybe not. But I think Graham wants to keep us confused, much like how his music straddles the line between malice, mischief, and mayhem. 

9.3 / 10Brian Furman
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9.3 / 10

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