The Lonely Forest’s debut album: Nuclear Winter

I have been listening to The Lonely Forest for a while now and their EPs have always left me wanting more. To be honest, I was a little nervous when Tony left and the God is Dead project was sidelined for Nuclear Winter. With the release of the new album, my concerns have been alleviated and my wants have been fulfilled.

The debut is a concept album: “a space rock odyssey into an alternate dimension, [which] showcases the raw sound of the piano, bass and drums layered with synthesizers and melodic vocals” (source). Not only that, but it is the story of a lonely hero who leaves the Earth as it is being destroyed. The narrative throughout the album is compelling and captivating. For those of you who appreciate the call to social justice, you will eat this up; for those of you who place emphasis in other areas, you should eat this up. Regardless of where you are politically, you should find the issues raised worthy of listening to and pondering.

Questioning God and the search for truth are common themes throughout. While not part of the main story, Hangman sheds light on our hero’s life and struggle (and is one of my favorite songs). Leader Holding His Eyes deals with the frustration that our hero fosters with the leaders of his time:

All we had is gone, tell me Lord what have we become?
When water, earth and sky are sacrificed
By leaders ruling blind…

This frustration continues throughout. Another one of my favorite tracks is Lessons in Miscommunication Part II, which is a mellow and powerful reprise of Part I and Leader Holding, is where hope is lost:

Angels weep at this gaping hole
Spilling blood till our lungs are full
Corrupt kings and governments fall
And we can’t deny…

That we could have made, made a choice
To consciously love those who had no voice

Hope seems to be found again as our hero ends this part of the journey and heads for new skies through Cygnus.

What are we to do with this wonderful creation? Well you will have to decide. There is definitely a call to make the world a better place. There is the search for God and who He is. Lots of good things to think about. But really, we are left in anticipation. How can things be different for us? You should read the story, listen to the lyrics (they are here for your convenience). What does it make you think about?

Oh right, there is music too! What is a good story without some amazing music to carry it along? Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I was a little worried about how things would sound without Tony’s electric guitar, but the trio of John, Eric, and Braydn knew how to balance things perfectly. The driving keys that John Van Deusen provides makes sure that the melody is never lost. The crisp… or distorted as the case may be… bass lines from Eric Sturgeon keep things moving along. The abilities of Braydn Krueger on drums are extensive; he is able to surprise you in every song with something you didn’t expect, completing the trio. And of course there is John’s voice. If you haven’t heard it, you are missing out. There are a few songs on the album that I didn’t think I would like because John yells… that is generally not my style. I dig it live, because hey, it’s a rock show, but on a studio album? But who screams in key? He compliments his outbursts by moving right into melody, the contrast is quite striking and interesting. Part of me still misses the sound from Regicide, but the other part of me knows this sound is extremely well done, creative, and original. In the past two weeks I have played this album over and over and I truly cannot get tired of it.

Now that I have you lusting for this masterpiece of a rock opera, you want to know where you can pick one up, right? Well I have great news, there are a number of ways AND the CD can be yours for only $10! In early August you will be able to buy it online here, it will also be available at a few local music stores (check out Easy Street Records right now!), AND you have multiple chances to pick one up at a live CD release show.

August 4th, 7:30pm (doors at 7:00p) @ the Vera Project at the Seattle Center. The cost is $6.

August 10th, 8:00pm @ the Retrodoxy in Mount Vernon. The cost is $5.

August 11th, 4:00pm @ The Crocodile Cafe in Seattle with (are you ready for this?) The Pale Pacific! The cost is $10.

How about that for options? What is the bottom line (cause, wow, this is becoming a REALLY long post)? This is a great cd that is well worth checking out. This is a great introduction to The Lonely Forest. So get on that!

Categories: Meaningful Song
  1. August 3rd, 2007 at 13:38 | #1

    you talk about The Lonely Forest alot lately, it is an unhealthy obsession (LOL) I suggest some therapy and a Starbucks Latte and then a “moving on” ceremony!

    I will have to check them out.

  1. April 3rd, 2013 at 01:02 | #1
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