This Glass Embrace's third album opens with a declaration: "There is a ghost in the machine. There is an 'I' behind my eyes." The prologue's ethereal strains have not yet died out when the visceral 'Marrow' continues its theme. Over a bed of growling bass and electronics, brothers Zack and Matt LeFevers scream, "I am not tendons and lungs; not just marrow and blood. There's a self to myself no machine can perceive."
The quartet are no strangers to duality and split identities. Their last full-length, 2011's "Brother, We Are Devils!", was split into acoustic and post-hardcore halves, and the band's newest offering continues to travel a broad range of sounds. The album's central theme, however, is the disconnect between matter and soul, the dual nature of a body destined for the earth and a self that may not be.
Woven throughout these explorations of mortality, life, and love, it's also clear that the band's musical repertoire has never been more varied. The foursome wear many hats, with drummer Zack LeFevers layering violin and banjo and bassist Kenny Rice adding glockenspiel and percussion. Frontman Matt LeFevers' mandolin lines pick delicately through the folk-infused confessional 'I Was Gathering Dust', while his wife Jackie's' eerie didjeridu sets the stage for the ominously gothic 'Here There Are Lions'.
This Glass Embrace steadfastly refuses to be pinned to a genre. 'The Atlantic' breaks through the darkness with a message of reassurance and love, set to uplifting power-pop. 'Three and Twenty' fuses propulsive alt-rock and literary depth to make something both familiar and new. The record's arc reaches its pinnacle in the explosive closing track, 'The Distant Light', as all three vocalists trade verses between cascades of menacing piano and guitar.
Drawing from punk and death metal, country and indie rock, "The Light That Shines Into Our Graves" is both diverse and unified, a record that tackles universal fears with honesty and faith.
Watch the music video for "I Was Gathering Dust" here: