There is little comfort nowadays. With new Covid variants, the war in Ukraine, and what feels like an incoming recession being the current fears du jour, we are trapped on rafts of our making, untethered and slowly moving towards somewhere we can dock for a time. That fleeting moment of comfort, when we can find it, turns into something we can cling to, until it no longer gives us joy. We are all hanging by a thread, and there is nothing we can do about it. This is the feeling that Rupture, Lost in Kiev’s fourth album, conveys within its atmosphere of dynamic soundscapes, subtle electronics, and eclectic melodies.
For an album that sits in these feelings, Rupture does not show it immediately. Rather, it builds over time, the suspense becoming increasingly apparent with each track. As the album moves from one track to the next, you cannot help but have that dread, that heavy feeling at the pit of your stomach. First track “We Are” starts subtly enough, its burst of electronica slowly weaving into a complicated pattern of sound that allows you to sit in a comfortable space. It is hard to describe post-rock as warm, but the music is indeed warm and inviting, almost asking you to take a respite from the overwhelming outside noise. However, the music then takes a turn into something darker, twisting and transforming into a catchy yet grotesque myriad of emotions. You are sitting in this kaleidoscope of warmth and color and then you, like a frog in a slowly boiling pot, can only listen in disbelief as the mood changes; the comfort you sought no longer exists, your own expectations ruptured.
As previous post-metal/post-rock albums have shown us, comfort is elusive, and reality is oppressive. Did you really think that you were going to find the respite you desired?
As the album progresses, that initial warmth that pulled you in sits in the back, slowly coming back in waves when the music calls for it. However, for most of its runtime, Rupture remains dense and urgent, enveloping the listener in this heavy miasma of sound. It takes every single instrument that the band has on hand – even with what sounds like synthesized vocals being used as part of the main beat on “Dichotomy” – to create this highly uncomfortable atmosphere. By the time the album has finished, you want to run screaming because you want Rupture to end, to reach a sense of finality. However, the music does not stay as uncomfortable; at times, it becomes punctuated by these brightly melodic, florid passages of electronica and heavy guitar that elicits the idea of dreamscapes. Lost in Kiev does offer you respite, but you cannot sit in its space forever, and they remind you of that when the tempo increases, and your own sense of dread heightens. The only way out is through, and Rupture does not let go easily.
Now, before I close out the review, I want to discuss the track “Prison of Mind” and its placement within Rupture. In a mostly instrumental album, “Prison of Mind” highlights how devastatingly emotional the album is and cements the band’s raison d’etre. Its intent is here, with lyrics that highlight that we, as human beings, have utterly lost sight of what’s important. We are bombarded with news that cause us fear, which makes us want to stick our heads in the sand. We think we can blot the sun with a fingertip, but the truth is that we are imprisoned within the confines of our fear and anxiety. “Prison of Mind” is a powerful track that makes us see how desensitized we have become, and how we will never find a way out of our own fears.
Rupture made me uncomfortable on a first listen, but the more time I spent with it, the more enamored I have become. There are not enough words for me to describe how I feel about this album, so I can only request that you give it your time and attention. May you can escape its grip faster than I did.
Rupture will be available October 21 via Pelagic Records. For more information on Lost In Kiev, visit their Facebook page.