Are you looking for a pick-me-up after a difficult day? Or, maybe some ambient background music that you won’t pay any attention to? Well, if you are, Dye by the Sword’s latest album, Lanterns is certainly not for you. The Montreal, Quebec-based band’s latest post-rock instrumental album is a thought-provoking soundtrack that will put you on a winding road of emotions.
“The Demise of Winter,” much like the tracks that follow it, contains sounds so subtle that you need to make sure you’re listening to the album with headphones on to catch everything. After the first few moments of melancholic keyboard notes, the track begins sounding a little too much like the others on the album. The song changes halfway through though and the overwhelming amount of distortion added makes it sound as if it came right off the soundtrack from some classic exploitation horror flick. The guitar sounded like distant screams at some points.
It’s hard to picture any song fitting into Requiem for a Dream, other than its original score, but as I was listening to the title track, “Lanterns,” I found myself picturing scenes of the movie where it would fit in perfectly. It’ll smash your heart to pieces and leave you with a sense of impending doom; the perfect accompaniment to the film.
Diehard horror film fans might find the title of the fourth track, “Lakeshore Strangler,” familiar. For those of you who have it at the tip of your tongue, or who are drawing a blank, the Lakeshore Strangler was the nickname of infamous voodoo serial killer Charles Lee Ray, aka Chucky, of the Child’s Play franchise. Though, the song might not sound as if it was designed for Child’s Play in particular, its musical patterns can be interestingly likened to the pattern of a horror movie. The beginning sounds light-hearted, much like how most horror movies begin. Then, the song progresses into a keyboard solo, riddled with the feeling of regret and the slight undertone of fear. Finally, the song speeds up, instilling panic and more fear, again much like the climax of a horror film, until it ends on a long silent note, possibly symbolizing death. If horror analogies are not your thing, the track also mimics the feeling of one who is exiting the honeymoon phase of a relationship; when things that once seemed calming and sweet grow bitter and chaotic.
If you’re in the mood for a few goosebumps via some challenging but impeccable tracks, then listen to Lanterns immediately. For best results, listen to it alone with your eyes closed.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca
*edited by Danielle Kenedy