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When Lights Out Asia released their debut album, I stated that their music should be dubbed “sleep rock.” The band found that description amusing but apt; the phrase highlighted the band’s ability to make epic atmospheric rock that could still lull one into a somnambulist’s trance. Nearly a decade later, the band has released their fifth album, Hy-Brasil. The post-rock element has morphed into an atmospheric rock sound that feels quite cinematic; indeed, the album feels like outtakes of Tangerine Dream‘s soundtrack work, most notably Thief. Part of this maturity is due to the singing of Chris Shafer; the vocals are more pronounced and produced, and on “Only What You Take With You” and “An Imperfect System,” the band transcends the experimental side and sound not unlike the 80s pop/rock of Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd. Not to fear, though; when you hear numbers like “She Played With Time” and “Ghost Identifier,”“you’ll hear the Lights Out Asia of yore. Hy-Brasil is a mature work, a move into a more accessible, commercial direction, and their best work to date.
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