O'Brother: Endless Light

Experimental rockers tone down the riffs but expand their horizons

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While O’Brother’s first two records were a classy amalgamation of sludgy riffs and adventurous, meandering post-rock, their latest opus dramatically tones down the former, yet still possesses enough murky undercurrents and rough edges to appeal to the metal crowd, as well as fans of Swans and Mogwai.

An immediate conjuring of drums and baneful tones summons Slow Sin, setting the scene with its subtle, brooding power, before the dissonant Your Move heralds in the first shades of light.

Complicated End Times’ suffocating distortion makes for an uncomfortable experience, Burn’s sombre saunter is rumbled by bursts of buzzsaw guitars droning reverberations of I Am (Become Death) shows a breadth of influence from Sunn 0))) to Radiohead’s chimed harmonies.

Frontman Tanner Merritt’s fragile vocals are well suited to the title-track’s ambience, but also points to brighter horizons with the opening line of the glistening Black Hole, declaring that there is light at the end of the tunnel. A beautiful, daring, mysterious voyage that burrows into the darkest recesses of the mind and paints a bleak tapestry.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.