As was the case with 2010’s Memories Fade Under a Shallow Autumn Snow, The Immensity of Unstained Light is a lovely and emotional piece of atmospherica, a truly graceful swansong permeated with finality and resignation — which makes sense given that it’s Language of Landscape’s final release. But while certainly melancholy, it’s not depressing per se. There’s finality, but also closure, relief, and even triumph in its twenty minutes.
It begins rather falteringly though, as Cory Zaradur (guitars) and Chris Tenz (piano and synthesizers) spend the piece’s first half simply trying to figure out what form it should take, if any. Sparse piano figures ring out against soft banks of synthesizer and clouds of shimmering guitar. Attempts are made to form a melody of some kind, only to pull back as the guitar becomes too overwhelming and insistent. At one point, it sounds like there could be technical difficulties as a clattering, popping sound implies something, somewhere, has shorted out. It’s moody, impressionistic, minimal (imagine Angelo Badalamenti casually jamming with Stars of the Lid)… and rather random and disjointed.
Then comes the second half — or rather, the second half begins to emerge from the indeterminacy. The piano finally figures out what it wants to do: an actual progression is achieved, and it’s lovely and contemplative, albeit short and (bitter)sweet. The moody synths and echoing guitar noises find a way to coexist, and become more evocative and stirring as a result. Then, right around the 16:40 mark, a single piano note is struck and everything comes together. The last three minutes are very nearly perfect: a lovely meeting of structured and impressionistic sound, a bittersweet farewell, a closing theme for some private movie that’s only ever played in your head (and so it’s almost shocking to find that Zaradur and Tenz have scored it so well)… the aforementioned swansong.
I’m not at all saddened by the fact that this is the last we’ll hear from Language of Landscape. Indeed, I’m glad, and I say this without any snark or offense intended: more bands should want to end things in such a graceful and moving way.