LABEL : Wildthing Records

RATING : 9/10

WORDS : Chris Prenatt 

If this is what part one is, then part two is going to be so incredible. Up-and-coming Aussie prog rockers Ebonivory’s new album The Long Dream I is equal parts groovy, charming, and heavy. All of those elements mesh in together to create the most pleasant hour of music you will experience during these dark times. 

The album’s title perfectly sums up the sounds scattered throughout, feeling like one long dream. And just like real dreams, you wish it could go on forever. With Jake Ewings and Louis Edwards’s soaring guitars, complex melodies and bizarre time signatures, and the grace of Charlie Powlett’s vocals, The Long Dream I is the record of your dreams -sorry for the cheesiness of that statement! 

the quintet’s sound is so polished that you would assume that they’ve been around for decades

Here’s a bit of a warning: do not listen to this album on shuffle. The Long Dream I is not one of those albums that can be enjoyed in that matter. Each song magically blends into each other like cream in coffee, making it sound like the songs never end, thus elaborating on the dream theme of the record. 

You barely have a chance to prepare yourself, because the album immediately comes barreling out from the gate. The instrumental beginning of the album — appropriately titled “Introduction” — starts with a loud bang with everyone joining in in unison before taken over by dreamy synths and a whimsical piano. It wouldn’t be hard to confuse this for a film score. The rest of The Long Dream I is also gorgeous.

For such a young group, the quintet’s sound is so polished that you would assume that they’ve been around for decades. The heavy groove found in “Patting The Black Dog” is so charming and — no pun intended — dreamy, and those growls fit in so well. The Deftones-ish “Sea Sons” is quite the treat, and the way it goes into “In Reverie” is goosebump inducing.

Ebonivory have this Engaging mosaic of raw emotion, complex rhythmic devices, and prismatic melody

“Explosions After Dark” hits you hard and makes you wonder if you somehow blacked out and stumbled into a Between The Buried And Me album, preferably Colors. The longest track off the record, clocking in at nearly nine minutes — “The Bluegums” — is just so damn enchanting. Dave Parkes’s drumming is top notch here, working well with the dreamscape of the song. And with Powlett’s clean and screams added in, it quickly makes this long song the best one overall on an already killer record. 

Simply overall, The Long Dream I is the best prog album that I’ve heard so far this year. It took my breath away, and surely it will do the same to you. To quote the press release, Ebonivory have this “engaging mosaic of raw emotion, complex rhythmic devices, and prismatic melody” down to a T. It would not be surprising to see The Long Dream I on a few best albums of 2020 lists. Beautiful, simply beautiful. 

The Long Dream I is out now



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