I have always sung the praises of I, Voidhanger Records because there choice in albums to release is pretty much the best. Such is the case with Summit's The Winds That Forestall Thy Return an album that, while not wholly instrumental, certainly seems to embrace the more experimental side of the sludge metal genre, bringing in all sorts of exciting progressive flourishes and epic twists and turns into an album that is immaculate in its conception and so over the top in its general execution that you have to love it. It's rare to find sludge metal that can be described as truly cinematic, yet that is what Summit manage to pull off here, and listening their lush soundscapes and brilliant compositions it becomes easy to lose yourself in the artistry of what they have built up here and to fall in love with a record that understands the spirit of sludge and builds on it in a way that is progressive, poetic and powerful. Summit is sludge metal for the future.
The Winds That Forestall Thy Return is the sort of post metal record that can appeal to the non post metal fan. It's heavy as a metal record should be and it certainly contains its dark, and even alienating moments, but as a whole, when you explore the album you find Summit treating you to the luscious beauty of tracks like 'Pale Moonlight Shadow' and using the very rare bleak riffs as a counterpoint to the magic. I know that as it becomes ever trendier, post metal becomes more of a dirty word (Especially "Post Sludge Metal") yet what Summit do is removed from that to. It addresses such a vast array of sounds and is so clearly its own thing. The only comparable band to have come up in recent years might be Phoenix's Tempel. Summit is a band who perfectly find a balance with their delicate intros and thundering guitars to leave you feeling clean. These guys are all about the strength of the composition, and there they never fail to impress.
So come with me and get lost in these songs of innocence and experience. There is a surprising amount of meat here, and I'm not just saying that because this is an instrumental record. You can pick through The Winds That Forestall Thy Return time after time and continue to find exciting and new layers. Simply to appreciate the synths would require a dedicated listen or two. With a record this epic though, things obviously do have a tendency to ramble, but would you really have it any other way? While the execution is not always pristine, the ideas tend to shine through and it makes for satisfying listening to say the least. Sure some parts drag on, but at least those parts are deliciously put together. It makes a case for a stronger tomorrow and is a reminder that even as you dig through the shit of daily life, there are people guiding the music we love to brave new heights.