The most important question around We Lost The Sea’s Triumph & Disaster is “just where are they at post-Departure Songs?”. Departure Songs was an unquestionably emotive experience, a stirring dedication to late bandmate and singer Chris Torpy that simultaneously expanded their sound beyond the bounds of ordinary post-metal. The answer is that where Triumph & Disaster naturally doesn’t carry the same emotional poignancy as its predecessor, it does continue We Lost The Sea’s adventure into wider musical pastures.
Like many post-rock and post-metal outfits that forego vocals, which We Lost The Sea have done since Torpy’s passing, the music can require some deep dives to connect with. Triumph & Disaster is at first ambiguous, a vast tapestry of textures ranging from groovy metallic riffs like in opener ‘Towers’ to the dizzy surf rock-inspired guitar licks in ‘Parting Ways’ to the introspective build of ‘Distant Shores’. These elements are all intriguing in the moment, yet can feel distant after they’ve passed, at least on initial listen. Indeed, the compositions are long and dense, requiring dedicated attention and perhaps a bit of imagination to connect with on a deeper level.
Closing cut ‘Mothers Hymn’ stands out the most initially, being the only track to feature vocals, courtesy of Louise Nutting, who turns in a startling spiritual performance that wouldn’t be out of place in a church setting. Though closing on an immediate and emotionally gripping performance, Triumph & Disaster can seem like a large and unwieldy beast. It’s full of eclectic sounds and accomplished instrumentals, but is difficult to grasp onto immediately. With time though, the tapestry comes to life and Triumph & Disaster sweeps the listener off in a long yet satisfying adventure.
Triumph & Disaster is out 4th October via Holy Roar Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Brett Tharp