A couple of weeks ago, while bored and scrolling through social media, my attention was suddenly drawn to something. As a sucker for black and white realistic art, an image struck me and made me look closer. A person standing head bowed, knee deep in misty water. Nothing else. Just as simple and melancholic as that. Resonated, I found out that it was the frontcover (by Leanna White ) of the then new released album The Earth Fell Away by the one-man instrumental post-rock/metal band Carved into the Sun.
My gut already told me that the music would match the feeling the image evoked. And within a minute of listening, that was confirmed indeed. Jewels can be found within a blink of an eye.
Carved into the Sun is the brainchild of Eric Reifinger who’s responsible for all the writing, guitars and drum- programming. Artem Molodtsov takes care of the bass duties on this one. In 2020 a self-titled album was released. The Earth Fell Away touches an even deeper dimension when realizing it was written after the passing of Reisingers beloved brother and in that way it’s reflecting his proces of mourning. Resulting in a painful beauty.
Hexis opens calm and dreamy and the progressive subtleness of the guitarwork immediately shows that we can expect something special for the next hour. The song builds up to a modest outburst and returns then to more tranquil waters. Listening to this first song I can’t hardly believe this isn’t a full band playing. The drum-programming is as real as it gets and the production and mastering are top-notch.
5-25-20 (I assume the date of death) is a short sensitive piano-based song that unexpectedly bursts into The Earth Fell Away On Every Side. Fantastic how these instrumentals are arranged so that they tell their own story without words. A band that comes in mind, especially guitar and arrangements-wise, is The Chasing Monster, with the difference that they have three guitarists where Reifinger creates this sound on his own. Fast arpeggiated pickings, fluent soloing, melodic bridges, it’s all played technically perfect, but most importantly, it’s played with overwhelming feeling. The song goes to sleep peacefully and Inverness awakes. A long Bernard Albertson spoken-word audio sample starts and tells us some lifelessons. Those continue on Even As A Dream and in that way all songs so far merge and overlap eachother, creating a certain concept-album atmosphere.
The Other Side Of Despair is another long rollercoaster between tears and helpless rage. I love the build-up to the heavy post-metal part at the end. Through My Screams The Wind Still Whispers gives space to quietness and introspection before blasting that away with wide-open epicness.
Shoreless is a 12 minute beast of a track. Rhythmic drum-patterns and exciting guitars underlay another spoken-word sample, this time from C.S. Lewis and the song gets more intense and layered until it reaches its peak and then returns to the aforementioned drum-patterns to melt into album-closer Chasing The Rain. And when that one fades after two minutes The Earth Fell Away comes to an end.
Many times I think an hour is too long for an album, but The Earth Fell Away is one of those exceptions to the rule. The way the music is invented, written and shaped is nothing short of magnificent. This album is a painful yet beautiful tribute, a form of healing-therapy for the creator and a consolatory hour for the listeners. A must-listen for all progressive post-rock/metal minded freaks out there. I’m convinced this one will end up AOTY or at least high in the lists by many. It certainly will be in mine next month.