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The Black Ryder - The Door Behind The Door (Review)

The Black Ryder, The Door Behind The Door

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

“WE wanted to create music that was layered, emotive & majestic,” says Aimee Nash, of The Black Ryder’s sophomore LP, The Door Behind The Door. “You open one door, and you find there’s another, you keep moving through each door to the next not quite sure where you’re going or what to expect, but there’s something enticing and reassuring you that you’re moving in the right direction.”

The same can be said for listening to the album. A quietly mesmerising collection of songs and instrumentals, this could be labelled psych-rock meets shoegaze, yet it manages to transcend both. It’s a variety of things, in truth – cinematic, atmospheric, brooding, beautiful, imaginative, even self-indulgent.

Comparisons abound without being firmly rooted in any of them. Hence, there’s elements of Pink Floyd and Mogwai (on serene second track Seventh Moon), Primal Scream (on the gospel tinged, country-rocker Throwing Stones, Jesus & Mary Chain (on the psychedelic Santaria) and artists like Vangelis or Hans Zimmer (on the epic final offering, (Le Dernier Sommeil) The Final Sleep, which clocks in at a mighty 12 minutes).

On a track like the aforementioned Throwing Stones, meanwhile, the gospel backing is a brilliant addition that’s accomplished without the need for making the track any bigger than it needs to be. The elements come together perfectly.

While elsewhere on the fantastic Let Me Be Your Light, Mann’s beautifully seductive vocals initially lend it a shoe-gaze meets chill-out quality that borders on the blissfully soothing. It’s a spellbinder of a track that underlines The Black Ryder’s ability to create songs of stop you in your tracks beauty (see also All That We Are).

If there are niggles, they’re minor. Occasionally, you may struggle to properly make out some of the lyrics (due to the shoegaze nature of the compositions), while the final track – at 12 minutes – borders on the needlessly long. But taken as a whole, The Door Behind The Door is an album to be quietly amazed by. It does indeed open the door to a truly satisfying listening experience.

Download picks: Let Me Be Your Light, Seventh Moon, Throwing Stones, Santaria

Track listing:

  1. Babylon
  2. Seventh Moon
  3. The Going up Was Worth the Coming Down
  4. Let Me Be Your Light
  5. Santaria
  6. Throwing Stones
  7. All That We Are
  8. Until the Calm of Dawn
  9. (Le Dernier Sommeil) The Final Sleep