Before I start this review, I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this album. I will explain why later on. It was released last year (2016 if you are from the future) and it has quickly become one of my favourite albums ever. Bersain is not only a genius, but genuinely a nice person. This is his first full lenght album, he released an EP back in 2015 (which was really good, but not as good as this one)
So let’s review this, shall we? It’s going to be track-by-track but not in the way I usually do it
[Skip to the bottom to read my general thoughts about the album]
Arrayed Above The Seraphim Lights begins with “Our Messiah Flying with the Clouds Toward Heaven”, which is a beautiful song that blends noise with pretty melodies. Now, if you aren’t into noise then this album is not for you. Reminds me of “Spirits The’ve Gone, Spirits They’ve Vanished”, it’s the perfect combination between soul destroying noise and dreamy textures. Actually, I think it sounds a lot like “Untitled”.
Then comes Luma, which is a (once again) beautiful song, so beautiful that it makes me want to cry. I just love the fuzzy guitars! The chord progression is so simple yet so good. Also the vocal melodies are incredible, maybe the song with the best melodies. There isn’t a single bad thing with this song, pretty much the definition of a perfect song. Inspiringly good.
Luma is followed by Cherubim, a wonderful folk-ish track. I love how there are many layers of guitars, isn’t it called the wall of sound? I might be using that term wrong. Either ways, it works like a charm. I remember the first time I listened to this song I was stunned by how good it was. The guitar “solo” (does it really count?) is great, one of the highlights of the album, in my opinion. Sadly, the song feels too short, but maybe it’s for the best? Who knows.
Kaiha’s Connectant Ville is the next song, and it’s fucking beautiful. The main focus of the song is Kaiha’s cello (Kaiha is the one playing it, I think) and oh god it’s just so pretty. Words can’t describe how much I like this song (or they can, but it would take a lot of time to write so many words) I seriously am in love with the part where it gets faster (circa the 2 minute mark) and how the percussion comes in. It all just feels right, it all flows perfectly.
After that beautiful song comes My, My, My. I must admit that I usually forget how it sounds, but deep in the back of my brain I know that it’s a great track. This one gives off more country vibes, that’s not a bad thing. Did I mention how great the lyrics are in this song? This is the kind of song that you put on when you are in the bus, or maybe a train. It’s look out of the window core. The vocals are SO GOOD. Just, wonderful.
Ah, yes. Your Baileys Of Water. This is a song that I have on most of my playlists, that’s how much I like this song. I can sing along to it too! But this isn’t about me, is it? Your Baileys Of Water is an incredible song that is “look out of the window”-core as well. Everything works perfectly in this song, the fuzzy guitars and Bersain’s vocals, to all the percussion. The “God in three persons” part is one of the best moments in the album.
Then comes The Dragon On The Shore Beside The Sea. Oh my god this song is fucking fenomenal. It is an 11 minute long, dreamy post rock banger. From the beginning of the song, we hear a 3 tone loop. Then it just progresses more and more, very much like Fishman’s “Long Season”. Once again, this song gives me early Animal Collective vibes. The noise parts are incredibly good, if I would describe them to you, you would think that it would ruin the song. But it really doesn’t. This song is proof that noise doesn’t always have to be full blown harsh noise to sound good. While I must admit that I like the first part more, the second part is great as well. It kind of drags on for too long though.
Last but not least, the title track “Arrayed Above The Seraphim Lights”. This song is a mostly acoustic song, reminds me of Fahey (because both are incredible). In my opinion, it is kind of forgettable but it still works damn well as a closer. Bersain’s vocals are absolutely stunning in this song, in my opinion, this is the song where he uses his voice in the way possible (this might as well be the song where he sings the best). So beautiful, so good. My favorite song in the album to be honest.
This is one of the best albums of 2016, I know that i have said this word a lot in this review but it’s a word that describes the album perfectly. Beautiful.
Bersain’s music is proof that you don’t need proffesional recording equipment, or a lot of musicians to make an incredible album. You just need to do what feels right. Oh also Kaiha’s song was one of the best too, and it was only various layers of cello and more intrumentation by Bersain. Like, they didn’t need six musicians or anything.
I would say that this album flows like water, it all blends together to an incredible masterpiece. People who say that religious music can’t be good are fucking idiots, this is one of the best albums ever. (I can’t believe how low the ratings are in Rate Your Music, how dare they?!)
In the song titles you might realise there is a religious theme going on, and almost all lyrics have religious themes in them (not My, My, My). And this is executed in the best way possible. The thing that Bersain does really well is that instead of shoving religion all over your face like “JESUS IS KING! GOD IS THE ONE! BELIEVE OR BURN 100 YEARS IN THE LAKE OF FIRE”, he and his music describes beautiful religious passages. All my respect to him.
This album is a 10/10, there is no denying it. It’s just so fucking beautiful and perfect. Bersain, you are a fucking genius. Album of the year.