Departures - Death Touches Us, From The Moment We Begin To Love (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Departures

Death Touches Us, From The Moment We Begin To Love (2016)

Holy Roar


When it comes to the wave of bands associated with post-hardcore screamo, the likes of Touche Amore, Caravels, The Saddest Landscape and old-school Pianos Become The Teeth usually pop to mind. A few other bands like My Iron Lung, Frameworks and Glasgow's Departures are some on the fringes who really deserve more recognition. Departures' "Those Miles Meant Everything" was the song that really won me over off Teenage Haze in 2012 and I was surprised it didn't garner as much traction. Whereas that record felt more harsh and dissonant, Death Touches Us, From The Moment We Begin To Love establishes a more melodic, contemplative and rhythmic approach. It suits them well, especially in the wake of Touche's Is Survived By, which I think really got bands in the genre thinking outside the box. 

Tracks like "The Last Dance" and "In Colour" set the melodic tempo early on but it's the shimmery and atmospheric "Waiting" that allows them to truly breathe. In fact, it's a respite they don't often take. Their music feels a bit more spaced out and allows the angsty lyrics to set in deeper as James McKean pours heart and soul over every word -- a rough charisma to say the least. One stark comparison that jumps out at this point is Defeater. The shrill dynamic with the driving guitars play off like Derek Archambault's directing traffic. Obviously from the title the album's a testimonial to the temporary nature of life and touches on those we've loved and lost. It's even more appreciable on the slower "Set Adrift" -- an instrumental that's done so tastefully as the album injects a more introspective feel to the end. "1994" endures with a slow charm, building and building before exploding into "Memorial". Both songs actually feel like one big jam split into two and are best indicative of how they balance their melodies and heartfelt aggression. A duality that we're all too familiar with in our everyday lives. A few tracks run a bit repetitive but overall, it's another winner from Departures.