Landing Oceanless

Landing is comprised of the traditional band set-up (i.e. drums, bass, guitars, synthesiser and vestiges of vocals), however, the results are anything but, as Oceanless is one of the most contemplative, mellifluous and romantic albums I've heard this year. Pieces such as "Harmonies" and "Structure vs. Chaos" are remarkable in that though they are atmospheric, they still maintain ballad-like qualities; wordless-ballads, if that's possible. From four-minute song arrangements to sprawling 20-minute freefalls into billowing, sonorous guitar loops, such as "Rial Veed Fiir" and "Are You Gone To Vast Arc Hues?," Oceanless is vertigo-inducing music with all the tension of holding tightly on to the frame of an airplane just before skydiving, letting go to the almost spiritual freedom of submitting peacefully to fate. Landing is the love child of space rock and ambient, with the openness and digression of the former yet maintaining the epic storytelling qualities of the latter. You'll be hard pressed to find a better album to dream to this year. (Strange Attractors)