New Music: The Visit – Through Darkness Into Light


Already the city is observing a sort of berserk album release onslaught dubbed a musical harvest. But for months (almost years), The Visit has been working on their debut album to come out before the end of 2015. Tonight they celebrate the Oct. 9 release at the Mercury Lounge with Esmerine and Musk Ox.

Through Darkness Into Light is an album that folk lovers and experimental metalheads will love. It’s dizzying and even exhilarating in most of its sound. Although it sports a glacial album cover, it only offers only a warm journey through dark chambers. There is nothing still or dead about these five songs, despite there being themes of decay and death all through them.

Is there a feeling of madness to it too? Oh yes, in spades. But brought forth not in haunting vocals or aggressive instrumentation, simply precise music. As recommended to me, this is a really well appreciated album on your best headphones or sound system. It’s a methodical release, as comparable as any work that the cellist has completed in recent months. but there’s an overwhelming feeling of new life and catharsis throughout.

The Visit is still the voice of Heather Sita Black matched to Raphael Weinroth-Browne’s powerful cellist. After releasing videos and singles, and travelling far for their music last year, they still took their time coming out with a debut LP.

Just a minute and a half into “Through Darkness”, the realization hits home that Black’s voice is no longer simply an instrument. Her lyrics really tell a story that continues even after the final track, “Into Light”. Although “Offering” still chants us down a violent path that hints of bloody sacrifice and there are still plenty of harmonic howls on “Into Light”, but now there are sharper meanings connected to words we do understand. This is an epic tale woven into practiced string arrangements. “Without This Flesh” does not compromise or make a concession to invite a new listener in as the first track. It’s 14:19 long and make a point of how beautiful this duo’s music can be.

Tonight isn’t the only Ottawa album release party this week but it’s the only Ottawa New Music Creators concert of September and the first as part of the 2015-16 series. This year’s run of ONMC events is curated by none other than Raphael himself, he who walks many paths with the help of his close collaborators. Tonight, at the Mercuriy Lounge, more than a few will intersect.