First posted on echoesanddust.com.
Eluvium’s Matthew Cooper and Explosions In The Sky’s Mark T. Smith team up one again under the title of Inventions for the release of their sophomore effort ‘Maze Of Woods’. The new album sees the two collaborative artists building up on the groundwork previously established on their self-titled 2014 debut effort. ‘Maze Of Woods’ offers up another album experience branching off from both artists respective beginnings, though also incorporating many new and exciting elements, creating a sonic landscape of beauty and mystery that will certainly please and amaze fans of this exciting project.
On ‘Maze Of Woods’, we see Cooper and Smith presenting more material first presented on their debut effort. Whilst elements of ambient and post-rock dominate the record, we see more elements and techniques working their way into the mix, showcasing a real drive to create something that is interesting and different. There’s a few elements of uncertainty present on ‘Maze Of Woods’, sometimes feeling a little worrying and mysterious, though this opens up into gorgeous musical landscapes where each and every element, every tone and note, all come into play to present some of the most beautiful music currently being produced.
‘Maze Of Woods’ has a lot going for it, a record that is equally as ambitious and rewarding as its predecessor, though there’s a few elements that are a little more jarring than one would expect. The album opens up with the electronic-driven ‘Escapers’, one that features more similarities to Cooper’s work under the moniker of Martin Eden than his work as Eluvium. The track shows Cooper and Smith exploring different musical territories, driving forth a message that establishes the album, though it also suggests elements we might expect of the album that won’t ever arrive. It arguably works in some senses, though there’s a jarring element that might alarm some unsuspecting listeners.
It’s arguable that ‘Maze Of Woods’ is perhaps not as strong as Cooper and Smith’s debut effort, though it is an effort that expands upon the landscapes they’ve conjured up over the past few months. This second album under their collaborative title offers new insight and new emotions, highlighting the incredible strengths these two composers have. There’s extraordinary amounts of beauty that Cooper and Smith effortlessly pull us into, dropping us into a world where sounds intertwine beautifully to great extents. Those who were so taken by the groups debut effort will find ‘Maze Of Woods’ to be a more than satisfactory successor.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
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- A Wind From All Directions
Invention’s second album ‘Maze Of Woods’ is out now.