Artist Set and Setting
Album A Vivid Memory
Year Released: 2 September 2014
Label Prosthetic Records Genre Post-Metal | Instrumental
Recently I have been reliving a large portion of my childhood by playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. What I have found is the adventure and soundtrack mesh together incredibly well. The symphonies to every dungeon, every town, and even just roaming around Hyrule Field are orchestrated to perfection. I found myself thinking, if only there was a metal soundtrack that could emulate this, but for my life and my tastes of music. Quite frankly I do not want to be listening to synthesizers, I want real instruments with tranquil frequencies. I want the music to have a dark resonance, and the ability to adapt to changes. And then it appeared in my e-mail.
Pre-order A Vivid Memory at: prostheticrecords.com
Meet the album entitled A Vivid Memory. Composing this complex vocal-free record is a band that goes by the name Set And Setting. All cliches aside, their mastering of post-metal (fuck, I don’t know what to call it anymore) is impressive. Their ability to control the mood with grippingly slow melodies and devastating distortion is matched with the intellect to wind up an instrumental build and have it all shatter down with a heavier breakdown than your favorite metalcore band. Most of the tracks on A Vivid Memory will start off slow, introspective, and relatively docile. From this, these peculiar tracks have the ability to evolve. Whether or not becoming a harmonious ensemble of melodies (like “Acceptance”) or baring their teeth with speedy drums and black-er metal grooves (like “The Inevitable Cycle”).
The way this beast of an album – it is just shy of an hour long – moves is noteworthy as well. Often the songs will flow into each other. Opening track “Waves Of Luminescence” builds up with intricate drum rolls, volume swells, tremolo picked leads, and a crystal clear arpeggiated riff before crashing to a single ominous and echoey guitar, transforming into the next track without the listener noticing. “Descending Sun” is the darkest track on the LP, focusing on distortion and discordance to push through all 12 minutes of music. As the song reaches the middle point, destructive breakdowns take prominence, showcasing how carnal and vicious Set And Setting can be, not needing vocals to bring forth the attitude. “The Light That Left Us” is, as the title of the song foreshadows, the darkest song on the record. The opening lick is incredibly haunting, maintaining a presence as a strong motif to build off of as the song continues to move onward.
Boy, does the last track just drive home the feeling of introspective reflections? The imagery surrounding the crying violins and the twiddling guitars. It’s beautiful. “The Last Night, A Vivid Memory” plays along with a gloom ridden tone, staying relatively quiet until the drums fall into place to add more texture to the song. Alas, the album closes with a guitar, leading me away to the repeat. Where does this album leave me in life? I have no idea, but I know it will be there for the times I need to be calmed, nights at work where I am alone, or even times when I am surrounded by friends talking about movies.
Sonically, A Vivid Memory is the most beautiful album I have heard this year. The instrumentals across this LP are imaginative and resonate with illustrious tones. Set And Setting have created an album that’s full of graceful movements, constantly moving forward, and able to be repeated again and again.