If I was one of those people who clung desperately to generic labels, we would now be having a discussion about where prog-rock ends and post-metal starts. Thankful those days are long gone and the discerning listener doesn’t concern themself with such nonsense, preferring to just let the music do the talking.

And talk it does, in many tones and voices, sometimes serenading and seducing, occasionally hard-edged and heavy, both understated and ornate, balancing groove and grace, technicality and simplicity. It’s an album that covers a lot of ground.

There are many reasons to commend Far From Your Sun for what they have built here, not least their ability to weave intricate instrumentation into sonic sculptures, where many similarly armed bands working in the same musical territory opt instead to just throw everything they have at the listener; as if the musical impact has anything to do with volume.

Under The Hands of Time is a song that seems to slither into view before creating swirling and wonderfully off-kilter grooves and adding weight and intensity rather than speed. Life is a deft and delicate piece, employing chiming guitars and sweeping strings, pulsing bases and almost folk style vocals, a song that seems to be building tension as it moves slowly towards an expected release of energy and dramatic crescendo. The fact that the release never comes makes the song all the more potent and shows that the band are more than happy to subvert the expectations of the average hard rock disciple.

It is a gorgeous album, one which certainly sits in the rock, prog and metal camps, to some degree, but its attention to melody, tone and texture, to understatement, to the fact that space and restraint balance the heavier passages and more technical playing, to delicacy as well as drive, means that it stands way above most music being made in those same, often well-trodden, realms.

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