It has been 5 years since we’ve heard from Patrick Walker and the band 40 Watt Sun. When I heard that Wider Than The Sky would be released, I was ecstatic. Ever since hearing their first album as well as his work in Warning I was eager to hear some more up-to-date music from Walker. Wider Than The Sky was released and fulfilled those expectations. I may even go as far to say that this album could very well end up being my top album of 2016.
Wider Than The Sky is 40 Watt Sun’s sophomore album. While their first album The Inside Room was filled with dark and dreary doom rife with distortion and sadness, Wider Than The Sky is…. very much the same but with some minor adjustments. The levels of distortion are significantly less and the songs, while sad in lyricism and tone, actually feel more hopeful to me this time around. The Inside Room was brimming with crushing doom metal that brought upon a feeling of dread to its depressing style, and while this album also invokes those same feelings of sadness, it makes me feel there is still light at the end of the tunnel. I find Walker’s vocals to be spine-tingling and the driving force of the album.
This album contains six tracks which each are relatively long and drawn out, each feeling as though they are part of a bigger picture. While the songs are all similarly structured of lengthy slow-paced melancholy, I have some favorites that stand out more to me than others such as Pictures. This song has a catchy rhythm and lyrics that grasp the listener. Stages is my favorite track on the album and I find myself listening to this one on repeat constantly. It is a great introduction to the album with a likable rhythm, prominent bass and Walker’s amazing vocals.
While much of this album is similar, I urge the listener to have patience when listening to this album (as well as any of Walker’s previous works for that matter). If I had to find something to nitpick about, it would be that the songs are all very similar to themselves with little variety. While others may find this a problem, it’s not a bad thing in my eyes as the whole album is amazing, so why mix it up with diversity? Diversity is welcome if necessary, yet here it is not. Here you have an excellent overall piece of work that is cohesive and needs no unnecessary variations to break up the flow.
Overall, Wider Than The Sky is an album that has finally hit the spot for me in an otherwise uneventful year. While other albums have come and gone, this album has me continually coming back to its mesmerizing melodies and excellent production. Wider Than The Sky is a welcome addition to my musical collection and I highly recommend it.
Genre: Doom Metal
Label: Radiance Records
Location: United Kingdom
Release: October 14th, 2016
Purchase: 40 Watt Sun Shop
2. Beyond You
3. Another Room
5. Craven Road