“Patterns of Light” is His Name is Alive’s 100th release since their debut cassette release in 1986. Focused on the scientific, and more specifically, the search for dimensions, mini black-holes, and dark energy, this release succeeds in combining both the contemporary and the medieval in an effort to transform physics back into poetry.
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- Patterns Of Light by His Name Is Alive
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The thing about His Name Is Alive is their cherry picking of styles over the years. I've coped with most of their left field swerves but am having a hard time dealing with their recent interest in prog metal and horror soundtracks not only because I'm not particularly a fan of either genre but because everyone else seems to be doing it at the moment and His Name Is Alive used to be leaders not followers.
This is no ordinary album though. Having been invited to perform at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland by one of the scientists, HNIA spent a year studying particle physics and then created the album. Still, the opening title track is truly dreadful....unless you like Black Sabbath to whom it's incessant riffing compares. The only constant being Andrea Morici's consistently sweet vocals.
I can't quite fathom Warn Defever's intent here...though to be honest following his entire career has been somewhat of a puzzle that remains so far unsolved. Sometimes it works really well. 'Calling All Believers' holds back on the guitar solos and introduces synth squiggles a la Broadcast, fans of dooomy kosmiche synth will enjoy the lovely spacey instrumental 'Energy Acceleration' and the closer 'Silver Arcing in the Magnetic Field' has something about the 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' about its eerie space age groove which culminates in a beautiful drifting finale. Finally Morici's voice can flourish without rock guitars vying for supremacy.
So what to do when a band you like veers into areas you hate? I'm not even sure 'Patterns of Light' is a bad album but it's plainly not for me. Maybe if you like early '70s metal riffing and Vangelis style synth then you'll be ok.
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