This is a review of "Burning Fires of Destruction Leaving Trails of Debris in Their Wake" recorded by Souls. The review was written by Jack Crawley in 2011.
One-man-band Jonny Mawson has released this soaring, orchestral beauty as a debut for his post-rock solo-project "Souls". The EP is separated into 3 songs, each of considerable length. The tracks are creepers as they all seem to build on soothing violins and clockwork percussion. He keeps each one ticking-over nicely and takes real care about which direction to take the listener next. Occasional guitar-eruptions keep you very engaged which seems to be the thing you wait for in each track. "Burning Fires of Destruction Leaving Trails of Debris in Their Wake" is all about subtle timing and the careful addition of each instrument. In the "Souls" bandcamp it states each track is split into different parts. Souls wrote each part as separate songs and then moulded them together to make epic, experimental, nine-minute plus juggernauts.
"Flood" is track one of a triplet of post-rock outlets. "Build a Tower, Put Drinking Water in The Tower (Part 1)" is the first section of the track which enters with captivating violin spans and a parade of drum-rolls. It's a motion swirl of many components and it culminates in a soothing ambience. Part 2 "Crashing Waters" follows with smooth transition. The fizzing cymbals themselves are like aqua-splashes as the track builds and builds; with immaculate timing, a guitar-riff tears its way into frame like a distorted dam-buster. As the final guitar note melts into the distance, you're right back where you started with the concord of a restful violin and clockwork percussion.
Track two "Destruction" begins similarly to the previous track with flowing strings but with the addition of repetitive hi-hat sizzles and descending keyboard-trickles. Part 2 of "Destruction", "Volcanic Openings" slides in with a sinister sounding xylophone which sends the track into an eerie, slithering mood. Part 3 "Burning Fires of Destruction" is the pinnacle of the EP. Yet again it opens with a forlorn violin like the beginning of any sullen-symphony but eventually a quickening, swelling tremor builds tension. There is a brief pause before numerous, sweltering groans of guitar fluctuate as a ride cymbal keeps it all together. That same riff charges into strenuous head-banging triplets matched with a smashing hoard of cymbals. A very impressive guitar-rock yield is faded out once more by Souls' silky strings.
"Redemption" is a heart-warming affair. Quiet, pale keys play dreamily as Souls' subtle timing comes into play. It seems Souls could make a 25 minute song entertaining with his tremendous ability to carefully induce slices of musical delight. "Debris" (Part 2 of "Redemption") is a swaying, tapping, pace-builder. It begins as an uplifting aura of violins and angelic xylophone keys. Later, Souls adds a heavy-guitar that keeps with the melody. It is played as to develop a layer effect rather than to create contrast. The outro to the EP and the final part of "Redemption" is called "Build a Tower, Put Drinking Water in The Tower (Part 2)", to me, it is exactly the same as the beginning of track 1 "Flood".
The EP granted, is time consuming, but at first listen it's an excellent, experimental, composition. It keeps you on edge and gives you an adoring sense to gaze outside towards a spectacular view of a landscape. Souls has adjoined his many talents together to craft a trio of very enjoyable songs. "Burning Fires of Destruction and Leaving Trail of Debris in Their Wake" is not an easy-listen but that's how post-rock should be. All in all a lengthy listen, riddled with velvety violins and the occasional sear of stunning-distortion.