‘In All That Drifts From Summit Down’ by A Dead Forest Index (Album)
This debut LP is a rich and immersive experience, despite being built on the stark foundations of Adam Sherry’s detached vocal
An eerie creak and detached vocal announce the start of the debut album from New Zealand siblings Adam and Sam Sherry. Simple yet atmospheric, minimal whilst still vast, Tide Walks is the ideal introduction for what is to follow.
Much has been made of Adam’s androgynous singing voice, but rather than the high range of Death Vessel’s Joel Thibodeau it is more akin to Nico’s flat moan. No Paths and Cast Of Lines in particular could be choral reworkings of early Velvet Underground. Although his voice is the record’s primary it’s still introverted, imagine The Drift if Scott Walker had held back on his delivery a little.
There’s something equally menacing and haunting about a record this stark. Much of the album is the musical equivalent of a night spent alone in the wild, the slightest sound is amplified. The percussion on Ringing Sidereal becomes a violent interruption to the chanting. Even the more familiar structure of Myth Retraced feels treacherous, a mirage constructed to fend off the unknown.
As the morning breaks and you realise you’ve survived, it suddenly dawns on you just how much you enjoyed your time alone. Such is the case with In All That Drifts From Summit Down, a bold and solitary debut to be immersed in.
Verdict: Stark and startling