Welcome to day 9 of my ‘Album of the Year 2017 top 30 countdown’.
I can hardly believe I’m nearing a third of the way through this series already. This year, I have to be honest and say that I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had putting this series together. Initially, it was very challenging putting the final 30 choices together and even more difficult sorting out the running order. However, having finally settled on my list, it has been very straightforward putting each post together. So certain am I that these are the best 30 albums of 2017 that the posts write themselves – I am not fighting to justify my selections in the slightest. Instead, I am relishing the opportunity to explain to you why I like each album.
Hopefully, as a result, my passion for this music shines through.
I know I’ve said it plenty of times before but I am also genuinely stunned by the feedback I have received so far. I may only have revealed eight albums before today, but I know that at least three records have hit the mark with you, to the point where I have managed to create new fans of these artists. That in itself is worth all the effort – after all, if the bands can put in the blood, sweat and tears to create such great music, the least I can do is help spread the word.
If you have missed any of the previous posts in this series, links can be found at the bottom of this post along with links to the entire countdowns from previous years.
On that note, let’s get on with things and reveal my ninth choice of 2017…
Made Of Breath Only
Bird’s Robe Records
“…as a music fan, I find myself utterly beguiled by this collection of ten tracks that comes together to form ‘Made of Breath Only’.
…so strong are the melodies and so rich and welcoming is the overall tone of this album that I can’t help but feel moved and uplifted as I listen. ‘Made of Breath Only’ is most definitely bitter-sweet in that it does have its fair share of darker, more melancholy moments, not to mention a harsh, heavy edge. But overall, this is a warm, life-affirming listen that makes me happy to be alive. Whether or not this is intentional, it is the reality for me at least.
Bearing in mind that this was an album that I had no intention of reviewing, I cannot believe how unbelievably good ‘Made of Breath Only’ is. The biggest compliment that I can pay Sleepmakeswaves is that this is genuinely one of the most moving and intensely gratifying instrumental albums that I have ever heard.
‘Made of Breath Only’ is beautiful, intense, assured. More importantly, it is also a game-changer for me, simple as that.”
Read the full review here.
As you can tell from the chosen quotes above from my review back in March, Australian quartet Sleepmakeswaves did two things to me with their latest album ‘Made of Breath Only’. Firstly, the music moved me quite significantly. Secondly, it made me reconsider my general opinion and viewpoint regarding post rock/metal, particularly of the instrumental kind.
I will admit that I’ve not listened to ‘Made of Breath Only’ nearly as much as I would have liked in the ensuing eight-nine months. One of the downsides of running manofmuchmetal.com is that I am constantly bombarded with new music to listen to and review, meaning that my ability to linger and absorb albums once the review is written is seriously limited. That said, whenever I get time to delve back into their world, I encounter a compelling collection of compositions that are rich, multi-faceted, multi-textured and genuinely intense affairs. That overused adjective ‘epic’ isn’t out of place here either.
It isn’t often that you will hear me referring to the crash, bang and walls of sound that typify the post rock/metal genre as emotional and moving. However, that’s exactly what I find this record to be. I love the variation of tempos, the frequent shifts between light and shade and the stunning, poignant melodic sensibilities that appear to be so effortlessly injected into just about each of the ten tracks on offer here.
I can only reiterate the quotes above and stand by my original review of ‘Made of Breath Only’ by saying that it is truly a gorgeous and moving album chock full of wonderful artistry. Post rock/metal has rarely sounded this good, if ever.
If you missed either of my 2017 ‘honourable mentions’ posts, here they are should you be interested:
Previous posts in my 2017 Top 30 countdown:
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 23
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 24
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 25
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 26
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 27
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 28
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 29
Album of the Year 2017 – Number 30
And from previous years: