Review: +1476+ — Our Season Draws Near
1. +1476+ is from Salem, Massachusetts of all places. There is so much metal cred oozing from this fact that it begs the question: Why aren’t more metal bands from Salem?
2. Their new album, Our Season Draws Near, was quietly released by Prophecy Productions in March. When I say quietly, I mean even a bat couldn’t have heard this thing drop. I’m mad at myself for not knowing this album existed. I’m madder at Prophecy for their soft marketing touch.
3. Prophecy has a hard-on for dark folk blended with metal, and +1476+ certainly does that, but they do it in a way that is miraculously fresh and surprising.
4. I could waste this entire review trying to parse out the alchemical mix of genres at play on Our Season Draws Near. But nobody’s got time for that, so I’ll just waste this part right here. This album is predominantly post-hardcore and folk, with strains of D-beat and indie rock and one or two tips o’ the cap to black metal. So, like, 80% post-hardcore, 15% folk rock and 5% Hüsker Dü.
5. I’m not even going to explain that last part. I’m just going to leave that lying there for you to ponder or ignore.
6. Doubtless my impressions of the album’s vibe are influenced by the cover art. Be that as it may, this thing positively screams NEW ENGLAND. It reminds me of dramatic skies, wooded hills and fickle weather patterns; of clam chowder and small lakes and Lyme Disease; of life endured in close proximity to both forest and sea. I do not believe that Our Season Draws Near could have been forged anywhere else in the world.
7. The vocals are the star of the show. In moments of quietude they are breathy and fragile; when the songs rage, the vocals rage along with disarming, barely contained emotion. This guy’s got a wide range of textures to work with, from melodic singing to hardcore-inflected shout-singing to a full-on manic shriek. As a lyricist, he ain’t too shabby neither, spinning wordy and eloquent tales of isolation, failure and Seasonal Effective Disorder.
8. Which leads us to the fact that this is a major feel-bad album. But it’s so intimate and beautiful and rousing that it opens up a whole color palette with which to paint its dismal moods. And in doing so reminds us that sometimes it feels very very good to feel very very bad.
9. I am writing this review in list form because either A) I cannot for the life of me shit out these ideas in an elegant way or B) I like it when Roberto Bolaño does this type of thing so I’m giving it a whirl.
10. Album highlights include THE WHOLE FUCKING THING.
11. I said before that Our Season Draws Near is surprising. How so, you ask? Well, for one it sounds like an incoherent genre-hop at first, but the longer you listen the more you see how blissfully these disparate elements coexist. Take a song like “Solitude (Exterior)”, a bittersweet acoustic ballad which suddenly erupts into sour chords and blastbeats around the 3:45 mark. Or “Solitude (Interior)”, in which wretched vocals materialize amidst a driving post-punky chorus. These might not look like the most graceful shifts on paper, but they are executed so deftly that you’ll soon realize the songs could not have unfurled any other way.
12. Sad folk lovers rejoice! Our Season Draws Near is bookended by brooding acoustic ditties the likes of which Agalloch often attempted but never really landed.
13. Here are some pictures of New England that look like +1476+ sounds.
14. You can purchase Our Season Draws Near digitally here or on physical media here. +1476+ would prefer you to follow them on Instagram but…I don’t know how to use it so I guess just go find them there yourself.
15. Rating time. I’ve scored Our Season Draws Near at:
ONE GIANT DISEASE-INFESTED DEER TICK (=5 FLAMING TOILETS OV HELL)