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Boomkat Product Review:
A mightily impressive body of work from Brooklyn's The Antlers, whose sombre experimentalism points to a promising future. The record is a pretty high concept affair, checking in with sick children, Sylvia Plath, and inevitably, death on a thematic rollercoaster pointed towards a euphoric state of gloom. Comparisons have been made between this record and Arcade Fire's Funeral, and given the scale and earnestness of the album, that's a pretty justifiable point of reference. In addition to washes of epic guitars and brass flourishes, the record embraces delicately assembled ambient passages and moments of spine-tinglingly sensitive beauty (check out the frosty vocals and wave-like echo-drone of 'Thirteen', for example) but when the music swells up to its grandest levels the band really distinguish themselves - they're a group who earn and subsequently benefit from gestures toward massive post-rock crescendos: by it's close, the album launches into 'Wake', (which is a little like a half-remembered dream version of Arcade Fire's 'Wake Up') and early highlight 'Sylvia' brings class and substance to the art of throwing a small orchestra into your mix. Excellent.