It’s hard to describe the overwhelming joy that emanates from the speakers as opening track “New Topia” -off of This Will Destroy You’s newest album Another Language– plays. It’s both extraterrestrial and of this earth at the same time. Pure light extracted from the beginning of existence. This Will Destroy You have toiled in this kind of territory before, their self-titled debut record and 2011s excellent Tunnel Blanket set the tone for where this Texas band was heading and what stories they wanted to tell. But on Another Language they have extracted the essence of their musical scope and have created this bountiful and overwhelmingly beautiful noise concentrate. “New Topia” is the introduction to This Will Destroy You’s new world. That world is called Another Language, and it’s amazing.
It’s easy to just throw these guys in the same music section as their Texas brethren Explosions in The Sky, but that would be a huge mistake. While both create vast landscapes and contemplative moments of musical journey, they couldn’t be more different in arriving at their respective destinations. EiTS are very heart-on-sleeve and simple in that what you see is what you get. This Will Destroy You layer their sound and their songs with white noise, distant voices, and on earlier works a feeling of calm doom. On Tunnel Blanket they created one of the most beautifully sad and hopeful pieces of music I’ve ever heard in “Killed The Lord, Left For The New World”. It feels like the moment where the black, engulfing sky cracks momentarily to reveal pure, otherworldly light at a funeral. Hope amidst grief. With Another Language the band has come full circle and have both expanded and compressed their music.
“New Topia” is ecstatic in its energy, and once the jagged drums kick in you feel an almost spiritual release. “Dustism” is like this perfect bonding of slowcore and doom metal. It crawls rapturously with ethereal noise and the squall of something darker in the distance. “Serpent Mound” sounds like a musical marriage of Mogwai and Sigur Ros. It’s beautiful on the surface with something slightly alarming underneath a thin layer of ice. The ice breaks midway through and you fall into the icy depths and into something both sublime and visceral.
The “sound” or “style” of music This Will Destroy You have created on Another Language -and in turn have evolved into- is something more ambient than straight ahead rock. It’s somewhere between doom metal, shoegaze, and soundscapes. If that scares you let me put those fears to rest: this music is absolutely beautiful. It’s also harrowing, overwhelming, contemplative, and vast. Each song is an emotional journey. “War Prayer”, “The Puritan”, and “Mother Opiate” act as mini-suites creating this flow of what could be a celebration of life and/or death. “Memory Loss” is hypnotic, moving in and out and surprisingly lulling even at its most intense. This great song makes me think this is what Sigur Ros would sound like as a doom metal band. “God’s Teeth” is as striking as the song title suggests. It’s moving and a beautiful note to end on.
I feel with Another Language, This Will Destroy You have transcended any style or genre. They have created a modern piece of orchestral music. Much in the sense the classic composers composed works of music to become closer to God, I imagine that this album could indeed bring you closer to some higher power through its notes, swells, movements, and emotion that lie within the grooves. Where do This Will Destroy You go from here? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to see.
9.5 out of 10