Epic Rain – “All Things Turn To Rust” (2019)

With All Things Turn To Rust Epic Rain takes us on a guided tour into insanity.  The only question remaining is, is this a one way trip?

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Dripping with jazz influences, Jóhannes Birgir Pálmason continues to push to evolve as Epic Rain, over time moving from hip hop to pure storytelling, both with words and sounds.  The opening track, “Lumaclad Reflector”, drifts off towards the classical end of the spectrum, the instrumental establishing the sombre mood of the album, casting a damp nighttime blanket over you, the closing repeated note sounding like a distorted fog horn off in the distance… but you can’t tell the direction it’s coming from… I wondered for a moment if we weren’t in store for an instrumental album, but the next track “Distortion of Reality” quickly erased that thought (though there are other instrumental tracks) as I was ushered into a killer’s mind, his thoughts and motivations laid bare, Jóhannes’ voice matter-of-factly painting the scene, both internal and external.  “Every Road” takes us on another trip deep into a depraved and, in this case, hopeless mind, this time using a martial style snare drum roll to act as a counter to the depth of the rest of the music.  This time it’s a suicide.  Or is it a murder suicide… ?  I’m not quite sure.  On “Apart” we find him on the verge of singing, the lyrics including a chorus and patterns that give them a style closer to rock than hip hop while still maintaining the sense of setting, of place and time.  A female vocalist joins Epic Rain on “Mirror Maze”, “Framing the Sky”, and “Evil By Heart”, taking over the duties with her underlying sadness, the sound of someone so exhausted that they don’t have any more tears to give but still haven’t managed to purge those feelings, a contrast from Jóhannes’ more menacing style.  He returns to close the album on “Trading Secrets” (I trade secrets with your reflection in the water…), the tempo picking up as the races to the finish.  Is it the dawn peaking over the horizon?  Did we survive another dangerous night to arrive at the respite of daylight?  And will tomorrow night bring more of the same…?

All Things Turn To Rust is available to stream, as well as purchase by download or on limited release vinyl on the Epic Rain Bandcamp page HERE.  You can also pick it up directly from Reykjavik’s Lucky Records, as it’s on their own Lucky Records label as well.