Sespool – Before the Fog Covers Me (2020)

Sespool drew us into the darker side of life with his single ‘Twilight Plight’. Now the full album, Before The Fog Covers Me, is here to detail the journey to the endless twilight. Through the 7-track album, Sean Sullivan builds a sense of foreboding and encroaching darkness that effortlessly draws you in. This creeping sense leaves you with a lack of understanding of what has happened or how we got to this point.

While the album was started before the pandemic, the events of the last months have crept into the atmosphere of it. The struggle that first grabbed us in his last single continues throughout the album for a prolonged emotional outcry.

The EP starts with the title track ‘Before the Fog Covers Me’ which sets the tone of impending dread. The twinkling opening has these deep synths building in the lower levels that slowly start to overtake the lighter levels. The guitar slices through the synths and leads you to Sullivan’s vocals. The deep beat complements the lyrics and the sense of unease that builds throughout the song. The vocal performance is so smooth that is filters into your mind and does not let you go.

‘Newsflash’ has a soft opening that is broken by the vocals. The opposing pace of the melody and vocals creates a very interesting sonic experience. There is a fair amount of sadness in this song that the almost upbeat pace hides. Listening to the lyrics, you are hit with the melancholy of the song that questions where time has gone. This is all done to a glossy dream-pop sound.

The warbling opening of ‘Meet Ecstasy’ gives way to shuffling beats and high vocals. There is a very dreamy vibe to this song, particularly in the higher levels of the melody. However, there is an anchor against this dreaminess in the lower levels. The synths that pulse through the latter part of the track add to the dreaminess, but also swing the entire feeling of the track. This is a very interesting and well-produced track that fills you with a floating easiness and a deeper sense of unease.

‘Buried Beneath the Sickness is Sweetness’ opens with poetry and echoing spoken words. This takes a dark turn with pounding notes and very creepy metal-inspired tones. This is one of the heaviest tracks on the album and really taps into the rock and metal elements of Sespool. There is a hypnotising flow in the middle of the track that has you floating in darkness before the drive of tension comes.

Image credit: Clare Jolley

The next track is ‘Lost Waves Crash’ which takes a turn from the last song with a soft opening. After the tension of the last track, this one allows you to breathe, but there is something more lurking in the soundscape. This is a more hopeful song that lets you know that being together can help alleviate some of the darkness. The melody has a taste of trap to it that has you swaying, but there are these amazing piano lines that just add a little something.

‘Twilight Plight’ tosses you back into the darkness after the floating of the last track. This song swings the emotions of the track from a dreadful sense of creeping darkness to raw anger. The vocals hit you with all these dark emotions and the anger is punched through with the guitar lines. This is an outcry against the darkness we are thrust into and a call to stand up against it.

The album ends with the questioning ‘Can We Heal?’. This song can be taken in different ways depending on how you look at it. On one hand, it could be looking at relationships and if they can be mended. On the other, it looks at the biggest picture of society and whether we can move forward and heal after the darkness. This song really makes you think about what we need to do going forward and is potentially the biggest emotional hit of this album.

Sespool takes you on a journey into darkness and questions what can be done to overcome it in Before The Fog Covers Me. Each track has its unique sounds and focus but they add up to a look at society and what we can do going forward. Packed full of emotion, this album will leave you feeling emotionally drained but also focused on what to do next.

Find out more about Sespool on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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