This is my first encounter with Pyreship after hearing and enjoying their contribution to their split with Forming the Void. The band appear to have picked up a new lead singer since this split, in addition to the original dual vocals of the two guitarists. Between the three of them the vocals are layered and emotive, spanning screams, shouts, and clean singing.
The music takes an atmospheric approach that draws primarily from post-metal and sludge, alongside some progressive doom elements. A mix of Isis, Neurosis, and Cult of Luna, along with a band like Wolf Blood or Empress, is a decent, rough summation of the Pyreship experience.
There’s a roughness to the delivery here that works well for the album, rather than against it. It’s certainly well-played, make no mistake, but has a slight unvarnished DIY feel that drips with underground honesty. Light Is a Barrier comes across as raw and passionate, almost like a punk release, rather than sloppy and messy. I imagine some will disagree, but this helps to give the music a charismatic sludge feel that imbues the music with life and a certain heartfelt edge of delivery.
The songs take the post-metal build/release mechanic and run with it, blending in heavier riffs and sludge intensity along the way. The guitars are muddy and heavy, and the vocals raw and passionate. Pyreship are able to conjure rich soundscapes with their sludgy distortion and impassioned vocalisations with surprising ease. Due to this, emotive atmosphere is never too far away from proceedings, and the guitars and vocals ramp this up to maximum levels whenever they can. The well-constructed music is led by emotion, resulting in 39 minutes of music that is surprisingly affecting.
I was hoping for something good from Pyreship, and I got it. Light Is a Barrier scratches my crushing sludge metal itch while also having post-metal’s atmospheric sophistication.
Highly recommended for fans of sludge, doom, and post-metal.