And I thought Voices of Omens was good! Obviously the 4 years that past between its release and 2011's Rest (Relapse) was time well spent. I have a horrible memory and I haven't listened to Voices in at least three years. Therefore, I can't really make a direct comparison between the two albums. Rest is so good, however, that the fact that I can't quite remember Voices that well doesn't bother me a bit. I find the album very hypnotic. Not in a wholly psychedelic sense but more that I have a hard time keeping my eyes fully open. I prefer to close myself off from visual distraction and let the music flow through me. And flow it does. It might not seem like it should with all the tempo changes and non-traditional song structures but it does. Whether it's an acoustic passage, spoken word, a vicious pummeling or just straight sludge, every piece fits naturally. Almost like there is some supernatural force dictating how the album plays out. That follows with one of the general themes that I feel from the album. The theme that there is more to life than what can be seen. More in our environment, more in our world, more in our universe. There are forces at play that we can't begin to contemplate until we open our minds fully. This album is one of those albums that puts my mind into altered states without the use of drugs. The music itself gets me high. In addition to just plain blowing my mind, Rest also receives addition Kingdom of Noise "awards" for 2011. First, The Vocal Performance of the Year. The energy and passion displayed by vocalist CT and co-vocalist B puts a fire in my heart. Such conviction! Second, Song of the Year for "Was Only A Dream". That song just speaks to me. I could (and did) listen to it on repeat for days. It's so powerful. I have quite the affinity for trees. They are the life force of our planet. Deforestation for raising livestock is one of the reasons I became a vegetarian. (If I was single, without kids, I'd be vegan) So it would come as no surprise given my fondness for trees that the third award is for Album Cover of the Year. It depicts a gnarly, barren tree bathed in sunlight filtered through a light fog. Part of what I love about it is it looks strikingly similar to a couple of trees right in my very own yard. Those trees are part of the reason we bought the house. Also, the lack of foliage represents, to me, not only the cycle of the seasons but also the fact that our planet is slow dying. You would think that an album that I have bestowed so much praise upon would rank as #1 but remember, anything in my Top 5 could be #1 on any given day. It's like trying to chose my favourite child. It can't be done. But on some days, one can be more endearing than the others. I feel really bad that I have yet to purchase Rest. It needs to be part of my collection. And with that all important lyric sheet, my connection to and understanding of the album could only be deepened.