Published Nov 11, 2014With a relatively quick turnaround from this year's full-length Along the Way, multi-instrumentalist Mark McGuire continues to compose and create a duality of electronic and rock music on Noctilucence. McGuire describing the new effort as a recording "about confronting nocturnal terrors and all of those things that go bump in the night" is fitting for the sounds at work here, with his twinkling electronics and roaring guitar leads each crafting a fine line between the spirited and serene.
All five tracks follow a similar compositional form, growing from airy, minimal motifs to include heavily layered synthesizers, drum machines and McGuire's fuzzy six-string work. He wastes little time in reaching rocking apexes on "Earth Grid (Activation) or "Entity (Presence)," two shorter moments that prove easier to digest in comparison to the two tracks that surpass ten minutes. The wait is a lengthy one for the pulsing circuitry of the 12-minute title track to explode into a surging rock epic reminiscent of recent Alan Parsons' solo work. If you thought McGuire couldn't draw things out any longer, the 14-minute finale "Astral Protection" lulls listeners to sleep in an opening section of soothing, sparkly ambience that makes up half the runtime. These durations may seem daunting, but prove worthwhile once Noctilucence's electro-rock blends reach their peak. (Dead Oceans)