Lost in the Glare (Bonus Track Version)
The San Francisco duo Barn Owl specializes in sprawling, art-damaged instrumental rock that creeps along at unsettlingly slow tempos. Though its work can create striking atmospheres of unease and dread, it's not as doomstruck as Sunn O)))'s scorched-earth drone, nor as theatrical as the apocalyptic instrumentals of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Rather, Barn Owl aims for a kind of slow-motion detachment that invests even its most violent compositions with a sense of sublime contemplativeness. On Lost in the Glare, Barn Owl has begun to rein in the wilder improv tendencies that characterized early releases like The Conjurer in favor of more tightly structured compositions that never breach the 10-minute mark. Though this makes for slightly less trance-inducing listening, it also allows for greater stylistic variety. On Lost in the Glare, Barn Owl expands its palette, particularly on the near-ambient track “The Darkest Night Since 1683,” whose relentless waves of overdubbed distortion make it the heaviest thing the duo has yet released.