Raptures by Degree of ArcRelease date: April 6, 2018
How can a band with as little as three people produce such an incredibly full and intense sound? In my opinion, it is a mix of magic, layers and incredible talent. This band from West Sussex, England has all these things and more. On April 6, 2018, Degree of Arc are set to release their second full-length album (fourth release if you include both EP releases) entitled, Raptures. It was recorded within a four-month period but the ideas for each track go as far back as 2014. Using the band’s words, it’s a “retrospective album”.
The album is made up of ten tracks and most of them are over the six-minute mark. The soundscape is all about layers, changes in tempo, intensity and feel. It’s an album with a little of the expected and a lot of the unexpected in terms of highs and lows, ebbs and flows. I couldn’t get too comfortable on my journey through Raptures since what I thought was coming next was totally not what I expected. A mystery throughout the album was the apparent addition of keys. With today’s incredible array of pedals, a guitar or bass can now sound like any instrument you want. However, the track ‘Terminus’ totally blew that theory out of the water.
‘Limbo’ starts the album off perfectly with a slow techno vibe that quickly turns into this heavy distorted riff driven beast. It doesn’t last though and soon morphs into something else. The track continues on in this path while keeping its continuity and theme. It’s an epic track.
The track ‘Parallax’ includes an incredible panning effect, best experienced through headphones. It’s a layer upon layer of synth drones and melodies and an additional layer or two of guitar. One of the shorter tracks off the album, I consider it an early interlude of sorts.
‘Defilade’ is another favourite track off the album. I love the bass line in this track. It growls in its boomy intensity. The track ‘Precipice’ soon follows and is another favorite. It’s built on repetitive riffs and layers. A great bridge is introduced early on at the 1:52 mark and soon a driving and epic beat starts. Other changes follow which make this track both technically and sonically appealing. This track is like having two tracks in one so it’s not surprising that it’s the longest track on the album, coming in at just over the nine-minute mark.
The little gems off the album are the three shortest tracks. I already mentioned two of these tracks, ‘Terminus’ and ‘Parallax’. The third is a track entitled, ‘612’. These tracks seem to come out of nowhere and are perfect segues to the next track. You’ll just have to listen to them to know what I’m talking about.
From its heavy start to its most epic end, this album will leave you satisfied, enticing you to listen to it over and over again.