Published Oct 17, 2014JR Robinson's second full-length for Thrill Jockey under the banner of Wrekmeister Harmonies, Then It All Came Down, is an extended study in contrasts. As with his previous compositions, 2013's You've All Meant So Much to Me and the collected Recordings Made in Public Spaces, the album's single 34-minute piece combines elements of modern classical composition with drone metal and other avant-garde flourishes. Though similar to the general structure of his last album, this time around, there's an even greater focus on building up tension. The first half of the piece works with shimmering, fingerpicked guitar paired with ambient vocal and string colourings.
After being lulled by the serene soundscape, the listener is eventually treated to an anvil-drop of intensity as molten guitar riffs enter around the 20-minute mark. Like fellow post-metal and -rock experts Sunn o))) or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Robinson's triumph is maintaining the sonic extremes for as long as he does. By the time the scorched earth guitars combine with black metal vocals for the song's final thrust, Then It All Came Down has taken listeners through the full cycle of musical emotions. (Thrill Jockey)