On their fifth album, Bay Area instrumental duo Barn Owl cement their place between the slow-moving guitars of Earth and the abstract drones of experimental standouts Daniel Lopatin and Tim Hecker. The record's tracks establish their layers with eerie subtlety, and each one smothers you with impressive sounds. It's the sonic equivalent of burying yourself under an acre of sizzling tar.
Bandmates Jon Porras and Evan Caminiti strike a despondent mood throughout. Yet these songs, especially "The Long Shadow" and "The Opulent Decline," prove invigorating thanks to the patience with which the duo mesh guitars, synths and layers of howling, simmering ambience.