Distant Lights – Simulacrum
If Dream Theater and A Perfect Circle got together and had a baby, and then that baby hung out with Tool on the weekends, you’d get Distant Lights. (If that makes any sense whatsoever!) The moment I read “transcendental spiral force” on their MySpace, I was sold before I even listened to their music. It’s so rare to find bands who seek to perfect their instrumentation as well as their lyrical content such as Tool and Dream Theater. To see music perfected like that is awe-inspiring and simply amazing. I imagine that a band like Dream Theater started off in a garage somewhere making experimental music just like Distant Lights is doing now. Distant Lights is full-fledged progressive rock band that experiments with different sounds and styles that gives them a unique feel.
Simulacrum is a journey into the mind and soul, delving into consciousness. “The Glitch” begins with soft piano, beautiful and tempting. Bass and drums kick in, a slow groove with touches of piano adding melody. Singer Gabriel Fry’s voice is soothing yet powerful. The song slowly meanders until it comes to an explosive peak, drums and guitars at full blast. The music slowly quiets down again, returning to that heartfelt piano. The progression of the song is astounding, dancing back and forth between the soft and the heavy, but it works well, without sounding erratic. And then out of nowhere, a cello solo appears to finish off the song “”dissonant and strangely haunting.
“Artifice” is an adrenaline rush of heavy, heart-pounding rock. The song begins with an intense cello which flows directly into the music. A howling guitar solo cuts through with vigor. The lyrics are put aside and the music takes center stage, however, when Fry does lend his voice to the mix, he sings with great passion. “Manifest” is a dark spiral, with shifting time signatures and eerie effects. The song is a call to everyone to wake up from life’s dream and open up his or her mind. An electrifyingly fast guitar solo leads into a frenzy of epic proportions. The music is on steroids, and it’s by no means a bad thing, it’s wild and beautiful.
Simulacrum is a journey of the mind and the soul through music. It rises above the rest, portraying a higher level of musical talent. Distant Lights truly is progressive, and is trying to redefine how music should be made. It’s not always about making fun music, but sometimes about making people think or making people inspired. This is a truly beautiful and touching album. It’s quite an experience that will open up your mind and your ears.