School Of Seven Bells - 'SVIIB'

8/10

After the tragic death of founding member Benjamin Curtis in 2013, the future of School Of Seven Bells looked bleak at best. With just frontwoman Alejandra Deheza left to carry on the legacy, the weight of her ambitions were set in equal measure to her limits. In the end, a fourth and final album was announced, acting as an epitaph to both the band and Curtis' work throughout their established career.

With that knowledge hanging over this album, 'SVIIB' isn't as brooding or depressing as you might think. Instead the record has this euphoric quality about it, aiming to be as uplifting yet levelled as possible. It's lyrical content is of course very emotionally driven, but this sense of consistency helps bring out the true sound of School Of Seven Bells and ultimately creates a release fitting for both them and the listener.

Fans of the group will not notice much difference from the style and content of the album, but this underlying atmosphere that smoothers the whole release is what makes it so beautiful to listen to. A homage to a fallen bandmate, yes, but done so impeccably even the ignorant could find solace in it.

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