If These Trees Could Talk – Bones of a Dying World (Metal Blade)

Genre: Post Metal/Post Rock

If These Trees Could Talk set the bar high with their first two albums: 2009’s Above The Earth, Below the Sky and 2012’s Red Forest showed enough quality for Metal Blade to give those records the ‘bigger’ label treatment last year. The fruits of that relationship are really blossoming now though, with the Ohio act ensuring their ‘proper’ MB debut builds on their foundations laid by their previous efforts. And in what’s turning into a bountiful year for ‘post’ music (see new work by Bossk and Tides from Nebula), Bones of a Dying World is another high point.

That said, listeners who prefer meandering tracks with ponderous build-ups should probably avoid ITTCT, as Bones… actually rocks. As the title suggests, it’s eerie at times, yet more often than not it gets to the point very quickly, with gargantuan riffs rising and crashing over the likes of Earth Crawler.

Plus, guitarists Jeff Kalal , Michael Socrates and Cody Kelly, while capable of embracing entrancing, gliding melodies (see The Here and Hereafter) also stretch themselves as players: The Giving Tree, for instance,  is surely as close to arena-friendly as post-metal gets, as the trio unleash flurries of dazzling fretwork. The incredible After The Smoke Clears could be Mogwai in their pomp, but then Berlin comes along, with its heroic soloing, and you’re a long way away from the Glaswegians’ slow-burning soundscapes.

Too commercial for some? Perhaps. But Bones of a Dying World should be this quintet’s passport to bigger stages.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Tree-time