When Djent started out, there was a legion of bedroom musician/producers crawling out of the woodwork, armed to the teeth with seven strings and fat tones. Based on how sick and bitchin’ their bedroom projects/demos were, they commanded an equally devoted army of followers on Sevenstring.org. There were the likes of Misha “Bulb” Mansoor and Paul Antonio Ortiz / Chimp Spanner on one side, and then there was Jak Noble across the pond. Jak Noble, as of now a 21 year old, is the evil genius behind the Returning We Hear the Larks project (henceforth RWHTL).
The basic blue-print to the “Far-stepper” album would be a concoction of “Omnislash”-era Vildhjarta-esque riffing combined with pristine ambient parts and haunting female vocals which add a Gothic flavour to the tracks. The multi-layered guitar extravaganza is complemented by Jak’s guttural shrieks. While none of the tracks are formulaic composition-wise, the basic elements remain the same: Dark ambient clean guitar work, a low pulsating bassline, punctuated by jagged sounding palm-muted riffage. Staying true to the name of the album, the tracks also feature sounds of oceans gushing and brine-water hitting the rocky shores. The album has been orchestrated in a manner that mimics the idea of story-telling, since some of the tracks have spoken- word samples taking the plot further. Jak Noble’s musicianship scores some more brownie points when he pushes the envelope to the extent of including some Sitar on a couple of tracks. Save just two, most of the tracks on the album are above six minutes of run-time with 5th track “A Daemon Hunted/The Flight of Persaeus” being a 13 minute+ juggernaut.
The charm of RWHTL lies in the fact that it presents a solid slab of no-nonsense compositions, all the brain child of a 20 year old. While there may be people in the business playing since before he was born, Noble still packs enough punch to cement his projects and himself as an icon of sorts.
The “Far-Stepper/Of Wide Sea” full-length, the seventh in the RWHTL discography, holds a certain degree of importance owing to the fact that Jak released it on his birthday as the final chapter to the RWHTL epic. His previous offerings being the “Proud England EP” and the single “Line-Trap” which was released last year. The following message from Jak was made public:
My second and final full-length is now available for free download in both vocal and instrumental versions.
I would like to take this time to tell you that this is the end of RWHTL. I have had a wonderful few years with you guys but it’s time for me to take my music in another direction.
I will be releasing a covers album soon (of mostly Tech Death tracks) and I will probably put out some kind of collection demos/unreleased material, as I did with Ypres. So there’s still some more Larks to come.
I will be back on the scene pretty soon with a new project, so make sure to keep an eye on what’s going down and drop me a message every now and then.
For now, enjoy this album. It’s been a very long time coming and I hope you guys like what you hear. Thank-you so much for all the support and I’ll see you all around soon!
It is nothing short of a sad tiding to come to terms with the fact that this would be the final chapter to the RWHTL epic. For what it’s worth, Jak Noble can be hailed as a game-changer of a 20-year old musician, who made a detour from the well-treaded path and fashioned his work around the pathos of war rather than following his peers and sticking to all things abstract and astral.
“Far-Stepper…” wins enough coolness points owing to the fact that Noble managed to extend the poetic romanticism in the idea of the sea as the central premise for some kind of epic lore. Those who have been following his project for a while now, will be satisfied to find themselves quite at home with “Far-Stepper…” Listeners who are not familiar with his entire discography should be more than enthralled with what RWHTL brings to the table as an end-game.