of Montreal, “Aureate Gloom”

of-Montreal-Aureate_Gloom-Cover_Artof Montreal
Aureate Gloom
POLYVINYL
7/10 

The latest addition to of Montreal’s prolific oeuvre, Aureate Gloom is a carefully constructed mess, and maybe the closest thing to a “rock” record the band will ever make. The album builds its chaos on a framework of self-reflective—if not self-aware—emotional turmoil, with a sound recalling ’70s glam-rock filtered through typically ostentatious arrangements. Aureate Gloom is at times raw and at times polished, occasionally both within the same track;  “Empyrean Abattoir” starts with smooth vocals and a steady beat before breaking out into a chorus of jangly guitars and the proto-punk repetition of “oh yeah.” While listeners who have grown tired of the baroque compositions and self-involved lyrics may find this album barely different from any of Montreal album since Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, diehard fans will likely appreciate all the things frontman Kevin Barnes usually delivers—solid hooks, impeccable musicianship, and witty turns of phrase. It’s not revolutionary for the band, but a worthwhile addition to the catalog nonetheless.

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