#1 When We Emerged
#2 A Horse of Our Own
Samothrace / Reverence To Stone
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Samothrace hit the scene with their debut LP Life’s Trade, released by 20 Buck Spin way back in 2008. Four years have passed since then—a lifetime in today’s fast-moving, 24-hour PR blaaahgosphere. Life’s Trade received a great deal of critical acclaim upon its release, even landing in Decibel Magazine’s top albums of the year list for 2008. The band toured behind the LP and then, for a time, it seemed like they’d disappeared. In fact, the members were occupied with the ups and downs of their daily lives, which proved often to be tumultuous. Having left Samothrace shortly after recording Life’s Trade, guitarist Renata Castagna returned to the fold in 2010 and the four-piece slowly began to re-emerge as an active band once more. Reverence to Stone is Samothrace’s new album, a two-track, 35-minute journey into and out of a vast expanse of dark, light, shadow, heartache, depression and triumph. The 14-minute “When We Emerged” is an updated version of a song that goes back to Samothrace’s demo recording from 2007, the one that attracted the attention of 20 Buck Spin in the first place. Awash in plodding heaviness, shimmery melodicism and the wrought vocals of Bryan Spinks, the track has been reborn, its full weight brought forth. “A Horse of Our Own” could be considered the centerpiece here—twenty minutes that represent the most recent songwriting of the band, showing the level to which Samothrace has advanced in crafting long, slow-building moods and atmospheres with close attention to memorable song craft and tasteful musicianship. Spinks’s Midwestern, bluesy soloing comes out more than ever before, complementing the post-doom riffs in ways only hinted at previously. The adept rhythm section of Dylan Desmond and Joe Axler lays down a cavernous din of physicality and timed precision over which the guitars delicately unwind, interweave and soar. Reverence to Stone has been a long time coming for Samothrace and for the following inspired in the wake of Life’s Trade. The album represents a new beginning and a point of departure from which they look toward the future.