Bear In Heaven make music that create both icy, blue moments of detachment and bright, technicolor sheets of emotion. Their debut album, Red Bloom of the Boom, was this collection of odd, industrial-esque dirges bordering on experimentation. They hinted at what was ahead. 2009s masterpiece Best Rest Forth Mouth kept some that darkness and translated it into a tribal, viseral mix of Suicide and Tangerine Dream with an industrial sheen that mingled desire, loneliness, and a doomed hopeless romantic. 2012s I Love You, It’s Cool lost much of the band’s dark, tribal punch for jagged synth lines and a dance vibe that while worked, lost a bit of the bite Bear In Heaven had honed previously. It’s been over two years and Bear In Heaven have returned with what is a perfect mix of darkness and light. Time Is Over One Day Old is a sparser, leaner album than I Love You, It’s Cool and has the vibe of earlier albums while still not getting into any heavy dirges. Bottom line: Bear In Heaven have honed in on their strengths and kept things simple.
“Autumn” opens the album on a robotic beat and a hard-driving bass line that carries this great tune into dark, desolate space. It has everything you’ve come to love about Bear In Heaven: strong, driving rhythm, icy synth, and Jon Philpot’s distant, yet ghostly innocent voice carrying you along. This is a great way to start an album. “Time Between” rolls in and takes you back to 2009 all over again. It’s reminiscent of Beast Rest Forth Mouth’s “You Do You”. The tribal drums and big, foreboding synths hang in the air as Phipot humanizes the scene with his vocals. If there was a DNA strand showing Bear In Heaven’s sound this track would be it. “If I Were To Lie” has a bit of a shuffle to it, giving this song something unique in the Bear In Heaven canon. “They Dream” mixes both the dark and light quite nicely, bringing some of the second half of I Love You, It’s Cool into the fold. The synths have more of an ambient feel to them, with some of those great rolling toms filling in the empty spots. But just as the song gets going it melts into this atmospheric, dream-like segment that lulls you into a quieter head space. It’s a great moment. “The Sun and the Moon and the Stars” floats by on a cloud of early 80s Echo and the Bunnymen while “Memory Heart” gets dark with a prominent bass line and some tribal drums reminiscent of early Cure before the chorus opens enough to let just the slightest bit of light in. “Dissolve The Wall” is this great atmospheric track that glides right by your ears, once again with a great bass line and Philpot’s vocals hanging in the background in a curtain of reverb, while “You Don’t Need The World” is strangely uplifting. A perfect song to end a great album on.
With Time Is Over One Day Old Bear In Heaven have found their way back to that magic they created on Beast Rest Forth Mouth, this time honing it and making the songs more compact and in a pop song structure. At times I feel some of these songs could’ve been even longer and more expansive, but that’s just me being difficult. Bear In Heaven have made a great album that gets better with each listen.
8.5 out of 10