Assembly Of Light - Assembly Of Light
This Rhode Island-based group is about as unique as I've come across during my time here. Consisting of anywhere from 14 to 20+ members depending on the circumstances, Assembly of Light are first and foremost an all-female vocal choir, whose range and ability is of the upmost focus. Their unique combination of soulful vocal movements and additional counterpoints has earned them much attention, a heavy amount of touring possibilities, and is on full and feverish display on this, their self-titled debut.
EP-length at just over 27 minutes, Assembly of Light is a journey of ethereal melodies, hypnotic swirls of vocals and the occassional break into an industrial-tinged alternative sound. This latter development occurs far too sparsely for my taste, and indeed most of this record is nothing more to me than mood music, never grasping my full attention save for the absolute middle of the album, the track "Treelight". This takes the choir aspect and moves it into the shadows, acting as accompaniment to sporadic rolls of percussion and the vocals of guest Chip King, whose deep, rich voice counterpoints the choir perfectly. Beyond this, the album is obviously meant to be highlighted by the three-part "Into The Trees" suite, which is nothing more than the choir moving through various verses. Undoubtedly impressive on technical and chemical merits, with clear skill and practiced flow, but ultimately it fails to grab me in a way that leaves a mark.
It is not my intention to disrespect Assembly of Light in anyway, considering the depths of talent and rare cohesiveness they offer up. But, speaking personally, their sounds offer me little in the way of excitement or intrigue, forcing me to offer hesitant praise. The best I can do with Assembly of Light is use it as a backdrop, a soundtrack to writing, reading or numerous other activities, where it serves a purpose without demanding attention it either doesn't deserve or I cannot personally give it. It might just be me, but then again, it might not.
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