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Appleseed Cast, The - Sagarmatha Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.75
Production 7.75
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 8.25
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Final Verdict: 81%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.38
Musicianship 9.44
Lyrics 7.94
Production 9
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 8.38
Reviewer Tilt 9.38
Average: 87%

Appleseed Cast, The - Sagarmatha

Reviewed by: topher465 (03/06/09)
The Appleseed Cast - Sagarmatha
Record Label: Vagrant Records
Release Date: February 17, 2009


In Nepali, Sagarmatha means “Head of the Sky,” doubling as a name for Mount Everest, one of the most iconic natural elements on Earth.

I’m sure Sagarmatha, the title to The Appleseed Cast’s newest full-length, which is a trip into a massive void of reverb, is some sort of metaphor for this looming giant. It could be because the album is so massive in scope, or it could be because Mount Everest is so awesome. Either way, the nine songs comprising the band’s full length are an ode to all that is ethereal.

The instrumental opener, “As the Little Things Go,” offers melodious layers of guitars and percussion, sticking mainly toward a repetitive nature of movement. The music is serene and complete; unforced. However, at over eight minutes long, and without much distinction throughout the first half of the song, the listener may drift into ennui, even with the introduction of vocals after about six minutes. This, however, seems to be the main ailment of the album; too much repetition and post-rock (“Like A Locus”, “The Road West”). Indeed, I found myself glancing at the time-bar on my iPod rather early on.

Despite sometimes lengthy and repetitive arrangements, much of Sagarmatha is dramatic enough to knock the listener over with its wall of sound or coo him back with its earnestness.

Tracks like “A Bright Light,” and “An Army of Fire Flies” offer enough diversity to keep the listener interested by means of shoe-gaze, with heavily delayed and reverbed guitars and Jesse Lacy-ish vocals, sounding like they come from some deep well somewhere, with “An Army of Fire Flies” utilizing almost Latin-esque drums and groovy guitar. “South Col” leaves the ambient doldrums behind as well, using active drums and more commanding guitar parts while still harnessing the atmospherics, creating an engaging song complete with a piano break and a psychedelia inspired guitar closing.

“Raise the Sails” opens wonderfully in an eerie stop-start motion of dynamics. The comparison to Lacey and later Brand New is even more evident before breaking into an arrangement that is fast and lighter, feeling much warmer and inviting, as opposed to the dark opening. The dichotomy works.

“The Summer Before,” however, is the best song on the record. With a strikingly developed and wonderfully beautiful melody line, the lyrics, revolving around a summer in Arizona, resound with the listener in universality of ardent honesty, leaving the gloom behind to shed some light and warmth.

Sagarmatha is an opus, a melding of spacey and atmospheric elements, that although is sometimes drawn out, in the end is a wonderful release. Undeniably, music with post-rock leanings is lengthy by nature, and it’s fair to say that The Appleseed Cast pull it off sometimes in dramatic fashion and sometimes in pacifying moods. Although the band could draw comparisons with bands such as Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy You, their use of vocals and overall writing style solidifies the band as their own; mimicking but never stealing, admiring, but softly imitating. And with a February release, the band has set the tone, having written what’s sure to a record that hovers close to the top of nearly everyone’s end of the year lists.

Recommended If You LikeExplosions in the Sky; Brand New; This Will Destroy You; Dredg

myspace.com/theappleseedcast
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18.
09:49 AM on 03/13/09
#2
ShallowDepths
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The more you listen to this - the more you may learn to appreciate even your minor gripes with this album. It's a beautiful piece of work, and they accomplished exactly what they set out to do in writing it. Keep in mind it was designed as an instrumental EP and took on a life of it's own.
08:44 AM on 03/14/09
#3
Praetor
as we melt, let's make no noise.
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How could you have rated the lyrics? They're so muffled in the mix and the band has chosen not to release them so I don't even know how you knew what they were. Also 'As the Little Things Go' is not instrumental. Oh and this band has been around for roughly as long as EitS and certainly more than TWDY. And comparing this band to Brand New, especially 'Raise the Sails' makes absolutely no sense to me. I also disagree with a quite a bit more but the review was quite well written.
09:35 AM on 03/14/09
#4
topher465
every shining time you arrive
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How could you have rated the lyrics? They're so muffled in the mix and the band has chosen not to release them so I don't even know how you knew what they were. Also 'As the Little Things Go' is not instrumental. Oh and this band has been around for roughly as long as EitS and certainly more than TWDY. And comparing this band to Brand New, especially 'Raise the Sails' makes absolutely no sense to me. I also disagree with a quite a bit more but the review was quite well written.
I rated the lyrics from what I understood of them. As for the comparisons, TAC doesn't necessarily sound like each of the bands, but that's who the band reminds me of.
10:12 AM on 03/14/09
#5
PoisonInMyVeins
The government
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The vinyl release of this has such better artwork than the CD; I was so surprised to see an interesting album cover in a Philly record store and have it be Sagarmatha. Good review, good album.
10:13 AM on 03/14/09
#6
LendMeYourBrain
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I agree, comparing this to brand new is just silly. Comparing Brand New to the Appleseed Cast would make more sense
10:39 AM on 03/14/09
#7
Shakriel
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I really love this album. Good review.
11:17 AM on 03/14/09
#8
owiseone35
You need human heat
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I actually hated this album at first but it has really grown on me. This cd is like the soundtrack to my thoughts (as gay as that sounds) and it just really puts me into a relaxed mood.
01:29 PM on 03/14/09
#9
Cuddleworthy
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this band has been around LONGER than explosions in the sky...
01:54 PM on 03/14/09
Blake Solomon
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i think this record is pretty boring actually
02:01 PM on 03/14/09
topher465
every shining time you arrive
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this band has been around LONGER than explosions in the sky...
Yeah you're right, but just because EITS may not have been around as long as TAC, does that mean one can't draw comparisons between the two?
03:18 PM on 03/14/09
Cuddleworthy
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Yeah you're right, but just because EITS may not have been around as long as TAC, does that mean one can't draw comparisons between the two?

one can draw comparisons between the two, but you said "mimicking but never stealing, admiring, but softly imitating." this is pretty much bullshit and makes it sound like they are ripping off eits or twdy which is far from the truth
08:29 PM on 03/14/09
TheBaroness
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one can draw comparisons between the two, but you said "mimicking but never stealing, admiring, but softly imitating." this is pretty much bullshit and makes it sound like they are ripping off eits or twdy which is far from the truth
this is my criticism of the review also
09:34 AM on 03/16/09
PIG DESTROYER
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i really hope the people who love this album have never heard mare vitalis, the low level owls, and two conversations. Because if you have heard those, you would realize what a bloated and boring piece of music this album is.
The first song is wonderful, the one about arizona is fantastic. Other than that, snooooore.
04:25 PM on 03/17/09
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haha this much better than mare vitalis. as for two conversations, you can't even compare the two because they are completely different sounds.
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