‘Afar, Farewell’ starts out with near silence. It is such an unassuming, natural sounding album it is hard to forget exactly how much effort this must have taken. Drones on here sound particularly gentle, classical in nature. There is a particular northern quality to it. Much of the album feels less like people made it and more like it simply rises out of the ground. Offthesky and Man Watching the Stars merge so gracefully it can be hard to distinguish the difference between the violin and the drone. Both play off one another to such a large degree that they feel symbiotic in nature.
‘Patience’ is aptly named. For the amount of time they spend is clearly worth it by the ending’s gradual increase in color and tone. In ‘Captured In A Quill Of Sloe’ Man Watching the Stars clearly takes over, with the violin becoming particularly prevalent on this track. Drone does come through during the quieter moments but the violin makes its presence known, particularly at the halfway point. The reverse is true for the near silent ‘Star-crossed Through Empty Thick’ which feels more about the sheer space than any discernible melody. Here the focus appears to be on the sound’s geography than its emotional impact. For this reason it remains utterly fascinating as do the very minor, barely perceivable flourishes. In the closer ‘Farewell, Brother’ the song has a rather nostalgic hue to it as it recedes into the sunset.
These are quiet, thoughtful tracks. Each one builds off the other. Altogether they form a unified whole of sound.