High aura’d & Josh Mason
Lower Yr Voice [LP/DL; Whited Sepulchre ]

These dudes can shred, so why isn’t this some awesome two-guitarists-in-an-all-out-aural-assault album?

Thankfully, it’s not. Not that I am publicly decrying these sort of double guitarist albums, but what makes Lower Yr Voice shred is how it picks its moments to be loud. How it settles one into sonic complacency with some chill drones and sustained coolness before slowly blasting the solitude away with squalls and wails and abrasive noise that reminds you no matter how hard you try to shut out the world, it finds a way. This is the trend for the first three compositions from John and Josh, and though it can be perceived as convenient drone orchestration (build up the tension and then releasing it with that heavier, harder hitting slab of noise, distortion, and feedback), what it really creates is tension during the album’s closer, “Mother of Pearl”. As you listen, and wait for it to follow suit with the rest of the album’s blueprint, it doesn’t. And perhaps that’s why it’s the highlight of the album for me, because it stands in opposition to its siblings. It chooses to remain the eye of the storm, calmly finishing the album with a lowered voice; in hushed tones like the oldest child finally understanding the heedful warnings of its parents. Where the other children, meaning well but still young and impulsive, cannot quite control themselves and end up spinning out of control or having mini-tantrums, “Mother of Pearl” is the eldest daughter now married and with her own children. The din is mature, mild, and contemplative. A lesson has been learned, and it’s not one of asserting control or a prideful parent’s wishes to hear their child tell them after all these years that they were indeed correct about a lesson they worked long and hard to impart after years and years of rearing.

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