Arcane Roots – ‘Landslide’

By Danny Randon

It’s a bittersweet experience listening to the latest Arcane Roots release, knowing it’ll be their last. We’re talking about a band whose output has rarely dwindled in its sky-high quality; a band who never got anywhere near the dues they were owed until it was too late. A band who, after 12 years of technical wonderment, are bowing out in fittingly left-field fashion.

‘Landslide’ is galaxies beyond the bolt-ons of half-hearted acoustic rehashes and remixes we’ve come to expect from studio efforts of its ilk. Elaborating on front man Andrew Groves’ inspiration from the likes of James Blake, Björk and Four Tet, it takes three cuts from Arcane Roots’ phenomenal sophomore album, 2017’s ‘Melancholia Hymns’, and gives them a new lease on life as vast soundscapes of ambient electronica.

‘Before Me’ – which is suffixed with the parenthesis ‘(Over)’ on this EP – is taken to new levels of cosmic majesty, especially with the added harmonies of London singer-songwriter Emily Denton. The haunting final refrain of ‘Don’t you think it’s already over?’ lodges itself in the mind as ‘Matter (Revel)’ makes an even grander entrance with sweeping synths and Groves’ wall-of-sound vocals.

The titular track builds from dystopian atmospherics to a ferociously heavy climax, but in the confines of this EP, feels more like a Melancholia Hymns b-side. The eight-minute conclusion of ‘Off The Floor (Fade)’, however, brings matters to a surprisingly pacy head with ticking percussion and technicolour charm. It just goes to show that the three-piece are adamant to burn out brighter than ever before, rather than fizzle away.

Even when you strip away the mind-bending hooks and explosive passages that we’ve come to love this band for, these tracks have lost none of the power or poignancy. Whatever happens from here, Arcane Roots can soar off into the ether gracefully, and safe in the knowledge that they’re doing so on a landslide victory.

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