This is a review of "With Our Arms Wide Open We March Towards the Burning Sea" recorded by Glissando. The review was written by Colin Burrill in 2008.
Though Glissando is made up of two primary members in Richard Knox and Elly May Irving, this debut album on Gizeh Records features a whole host of contributions from members of other Leeds bands such as iLiKETRAiNS, Held By Hands, The Rosie Taylor Project and Her Name Is Calla.
Glissando’s ambient soundscapes are achieved via the means of darkly orchestrated arrangements, icy multi-textural drones and Elly May Irving’s sombre vocals, all of which seemingly portray a sense of incredible gloom and unfathomable disaster.
It’s no coincidence that the albums two strongest moments arrive when Elly May Irving is allowed to creatively manoeuvre around supplementary vocals. In the striking ‘Floods’ Elly and Tom Morris (of Her Name Is Calla fame) combine to absolutely devastating effect, and same could be said of the stunning slow-burning post-rock number ‘Grekken’ (featuring additional vocals from Tom Morris and iLiKETRAiNS Dave Martin). Of course, there are other high-points; noticeable mentions must go to the seductively mournful trombone instrumental ‘We Are Depleting’ and the impressive glacial sound design in album closer ‘Our Flags Wave And Our Arms Are Around Another’s Shoulders’.
Not one for the Kylie Minogue fan club, Glissando’s With Our Arms Wide Open We March Towards The Burning Sea is a beautifully haunting record. Admittedly, it’s a collection of songs that require a great deal of patience, but it’s those that persist that will be best rewarded.