With Our Arms to the Sun
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With Our Arms to the Sun

Ventura, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Ventura, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Psychedelic




"Best Metal Albums of 2014"

'A Far Away Wonder'
With Our Arms to the Sun

Experimental metal / rock upstarts With Our Arms to the Sun caught our attention early this year, impressing us from the very first listen of 'A Far Away Wonder.' The small, upstart act specializes in atmosphere through instrumentation. Very little of 'A Far Away Wonder' is vocally driven, but the hypnotic album is balanced beautifully. With the addition of synth, shoegaze and chant dynamics, 'A Far Away Wonder' shapes up to be a brilliantly affective album.

Read More: Best Metal Albums of 2014 (So Far) | http://loudwire.com/best-metal-albums-2014/?trackback=tsmclip - Loudwire.com by Graham Hartmann

"With Our Arms to the Sun: A Far Away Wonder"

Arizona rock outfit With Our Arms to the Sun (Josh Breckenridge - Guitars/ noise/ vocals, Joseph Leary - Guitars/ Programming, and Joseph Breckenridge - Bass) are releasing their latest album A Far Away Wonder in collaboration with film composer Jonathan Levi Shanes, who adds some colorful synth passages to their otherwise heavy hitting sound. Mostly instrumental, A Far Away Wonder mixes post rock, prog, some metal, and electronica, for a very intriguing blend of styles. "Cosmonaut" almost sounds like an instrumental track by Anathema, with its brooding dynamics, insistent rhythms, and chilling synth work. Soaring progressive rock can be heard on the engaging "Great Black Divide", while "Walking Through Walls" tosses in plenty of metallic, hard hitting & complex passages. "Syndicate" is another winner, as crunchy power chords & shimmering keys blast your senses, the yearning vocals floating in the background just to provide some extra color. The most impressive track though might be "Tessellation", a powerful progressive metal outing that sees intricate guitar work collide with tricky rhythms and loads of synths, as the song fluctuates between heavy & atmospheric.

A Far Away Wonder is ultimately pretty rewarding stuff. I would have liked for With Our Arms to the Sun to spend perhaps a little more time adding vocals to some of these songs, as in a some spots they almost sound thrown in just to add something. When they do flesh them out, the vocal passages are quite well done, it just seems that these songs could have warranted more of them. Otherwise though, this is a very fine album from a band that has all the tools to really make a name for themselves. Fans of melodic & atmospheric rock/metal/prog would be well advised to check into this one.

Track Listing
1. Where Silence Dwells 3:17
2. Tessellation 7:44
3. Cosmonaut (feat. Jonathan Levi Shanes) 5:59
4. Great Black Divide (feat. Jonathan Levi Shanes) 6:31
5. Walking Through Walls 5:38
6. After the Storm 4:30
7. Syndicate (feat. Jonathan Levi Shanes) 5:44
8. Die for You - SeaofTranquility.org by Pete Pardo

"With Our Arms to the Sun - A Far Away Wonder (Self Release)"

Post-rock with teeth and a nut sack is pretty hard to come by. So much of it is neutered these days, and I barely keep up with it. Phoenix, Arizona trio With Our Arms to the Sun (joined by guest synth-ist and film composer Jonathan Levi Shanes, and Isis’ Aaron Harris handling the drum engineering) do it right. They’ve got heaving riffs n’ impactful distortion (think 5ive or even Tool), they’ve got psychedelic drug freak-outs and screwy textures (think Goblin, Floyd, Ash Ra Tempel, and Neu!), and they forgo the frequently used monotone shouting tactics for eerie singing vocals and world music chants with screaming used VERY sparingly as another layer only. A Far Away Wonder is the band’s 3rd record in their short two year existence; making me question what the hell I was doing when the first two came out.

Though A Far Away Wonder is a record best digested from appetizer to entrée, that’s not to say it’s without standout moments and songwriting identity. Lead-off composition “Where Silence Dwells” ushers in a freezing, winter wind chill thanks to a desolate bass-line straight out of Justin Chancellor’s playbook, twinkling guitar drones, and neoclassical piano. The dual guitar configuration of Josh Breckenridge (that’s his brother Joe on bass) and Joseph Leary really know how to weave silky spider-webs of melodic cascading that sees one axe cleanly pluck away while the second guitar works up distorted, doom-y frequencies. Something about the way the leads are played reminds me of the Swedish/Finnish suaveness of Katatonia and Amorphis, respectively. Aaron Harris’ drum tracks pack plenty of punch, and even though I think the kit is either programmed on a PC or played with an electronic set, the performance doesn’t sound cheap and annoying like a lot of digitally doctored drumming does.

“Tessellation” is heavier and more direct than the mood setting opener; the guitarists making magic in effortless syncopated grooves that sees one riff played on a higher scale and the rhythm guitar providing fat bottom-end in the form of a palm-muted groove. Keyboards enhance the sound yet never distract, and the mid-tempo break piles on the doom-y rock and driving rhythms before shooting off into a stratosphere of humming machine loops that are distinctly German in their design. It’s like someone crossbred Kyuss and Tool in a high-tech laboratory with Zombi, the first VAST record, and Neu! Josh adds vocals to the mix and his voice is somewhere between Roger Waters’ plaintive musings and the lung acrobatics of a world music singer. A similar vibe spills over into “Cosmonaut” but the instrumentation is less heavy (more in line with Ash Ra Tempel’s electronic era) and Shanes’ cinematic keyboards become a striking focal point. That kraut-y, motorik rhythm is omnipotent in the basslines and the way the synth creates its own percussive force, leaving Harris to pepper the track with progressive drum patterns that balance straight laced beats with full-force, nuclear-charged destruction.

In its early going, “Great Black Divide” could pass for an unreleased cut off of Tool’s Aenima. If they sped the riff up, and tweaked the arrangement it could be “Forty Six and Two…” It’s quite deceiving because if you close your eyes you can hear the muted riffing of Alan Jones and watery low-end subversion of Chancellor, but eventually the songs jumps off Maynard’s wine wagon and finds its own place in a pantheon far removed from the wrench turning maestros. Tasty violin strokes, sullen lead guitar, and a wall of retro keyboards move this further towards the great prog of the 70s and Amorphis’ take on it during their golden Relapse years. The keyboard leads are twirled, swirled, shifted, and phased in the fine tradition of an era long since dead, and if I wasn’t mistaken they are mimicking a similar type of moog sound that was one of the highlight elements of Tales from the Thousand Lakes. A few bitterly screamed vocals pop up, but aren’t overdone and their texture (not their arrangement) reminds me of Neu’s seminal tune, “Hero.”

The record’s latter half is just as strong as the former. “Walking through Walls” is on the faster end of the pacing stick, and has that riff-y rock tone that Hull were very fond of on Sole Lordwith the extensive guitar leads dancing around the fret-board like a hot flame on a candlewick. A rarity on this album, the song features a strictly by the book 70s lead/solo during its midsection with notes bending in sadistic, Josh Homme-ian glee. Elsewhere, introspective atmospheres and spacious playing rule the day on “After the Storm” and closer “Die for you,” as the band jam packs the remainder of their hyperactive progressive tendencies into the positively frenetic keyboard workouts and organic jam session madness of “Syndicate.”

With Our Arms to the Sun is a pretty inventive band all around, playing with fringe elements from about 10 different styles and combining them into a record that surprisingly doesn’t come out a disjointed shit-wreck. A Far Away Wonder is a great record, perfect for attentive listening on headphones or a nighttime drive down a wooded, backwater chicken path. - HellRideMusic.com by Jay Snyder

"WOATTS - Tessellation - Song Premiere!"

Chances are you’re unfamiliar with experimental band With Our Arms to the Sun, so let us be the first to tell you that this group has a bright future. In the vein of legendary acts such as King Crimson and Isis, With Our Arms to the Sun gather influence from a pool of eclectic sources, as demonstrated in this exclusive premiere of ‘Tessellation.’
With Our Arms to the Sun is still a very new band, but the Arizona act contains a wealth of veteran musicianship and songwriting expertise. The group focuses mostly on instrumental parts, but when it’s time for vocals to appear, the measures are well placed and beautifully executed. Taking pride in their originality, With Our Arms to the Sun play from the heart and strive to achieve a sound apart from what other bands have done before.
With ‘Tessellation,’ With Our Arms to the Sun flesh out a long and progressive intro before mellowing out with atmospheric synth and captivating vocal harmonies. Just after the track’s halfway point, some fantastic drumming provides the foundation for a Native American-like chant, which only sucks the listener further into With Our Arms to the Sun’s sonic vacuum. The outro to ‘Tessellation’ is intriguing as well, overlaying a spacey vocal sample with twinkling bell-like effects.
“The song “Tessellation” is one of the more cinematic, expressive songs of the band,” explains guitarist Josh Breckenridge. “This song has almost Native American undertones in the vocals with 70′s style psychedelic synths.”
Check out our exclusive premiere of With Our Arms to the Sun’s ‘Tessellation’ in the player below! To check out the band’s Facebook page, click here.

Read More: With Our Arms to the Sun, 'Tessellation' - Song Premiere | http://loudwire.com/with-our-arms-to-the-sun-tessellation-exclusive-song-premiere/?trackback=tsmclip - Graham Hartmann

"A Far Away Wonder | Lady Obscure Magazine"

‘Mainstream’, a harmless word you would think but, when it is used in the same sentence as another, relatively harmless word, ‘music’, in certain circumstances, it can strike dread right in the centre of my heart!

The actual definition of the word ‘mainstream’ is ‘The ideas, attitudes or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional’, like I said, harmless but, if you take the urban dictionary’s definition (yes I know, down with the yoof) you get this, ‘Mainstream is what’s the new trend, when one “style” gets old, a new one is reborn, a mainstream person is one who jumps from trend to trend so that they fit in with the rest of the crowd. Mainstream is being what society thinks you should be, and look like’. Getting into more dangerous territory now aren’t we?

Mainstream music, if you take the urban dictionary’s view, is, therefore, music that people think they should be listening to, music that people listen to because everybody else does. Is this why artists like my old favourites (s.i.c) One Direction along with JLS, Miley Cyrus et al sell millions of copies of their bland excuse for music? Well, in my opinion, yes, wholeheartedly! Whilst this unadulterated bland, insipid excuse for music sells like there’s no tomorrow, real music that people have put their heart and soul and, quite probably, their last penny into, struggles to shift a few hundred copies and the artists play to a crowd of twenty or thirty people, it makes my blood boil!

Whilst my level of ire threatened to overflow and create a human holocaust, the world was saved by the arrival of With Our Arms to the Sun’s new EP, ‘A Far Away Wonder’ and, with a return to the world of proper, substantial music, a major catastrophe was avoided. My blood ceased to boil and my ire receded, a return to a world of calmness and fluffy bunny rabbits ensued (okay, I’m over doing it now, I know). One thing you could never call this American band is ‘mainstream’, WOATTS (an acronym favoured by the band and their fans) perform a brand of mainly instrumental rock all of their own.

Formed by former Arizona native Josh Breckenridge (he recently relocated to California) as a musical experimentation project, he was soon joined by his brother Joseph and their good friend Joseph Leary. Mainly utilising guitars, bass and synth to create amazing soundscapes, the trio released the full length ‘The Trilogy’ last year, which I was lucky enough to review and, 2014 sees the release of ‘A Far Away Wonder’, a lengthy EP of re-worked songs from ‘The Trilogy’ and new WOATTS tracks. The EP sees collaborations with film producer Jonathan Levi Shanes and drums engineered by Aaron Harris and played by Brandon Brown.

I have reviewed many instrumental albums for Lady Obscure and, in my opinion, an instrumental album has to work harder than a record with vocals, have a unique selling point that can lift it from the steady stream of releases that abound and enable it to lift its head above the parapet and not be knocked back down again. I found WOATTS first release ‘The Trilogy’ to be such an album, would this follow up be in the same vein or signal a return to the drawing board?

Headphones on, world ignored for a while, I press play and am immediately launched into the brilliant Cosmonaut, an extended re-envisaging of a track from the first album and the first single of the new EP, which starts from low beginnings and gradually wells up until it bursts out with joy. There is a definitive feeling of enrapture about this song, something almost spiritual and, something quite different to what the guys have done before, including using the voice as a sort of instrument to add a modicum of humanity to the track. There are eclectic interludes throughout and mellow moments of reflection but, it is when the music and voice soar high, like an uplifting multitude of minds, that really makes this song something special. As an opening track it works perfectly, leaving you wanting more, if you don’t then you are more mainstream than you thought. The next track, Great Black Divide, begins with a ponderous bass line and guitar note that seem to be marking time, like the tick and tock of a clock in an empty room, this effect is increased by the addition of a further, more insistent guitar note to give an impression of differing layers of time. The violin like synthesiser adds a modicum of finesse before the guitars crash the party with power and poise and you are right in the middle of a melting pot of powerful music that echoes huge open spaces and vast expanses of emptiness. The distorted keyboard meanderings add a touch of 70′s space rock and the harsh vocals that intrude work surprisingly well, especially for someone who is not a fan of the style. The song runs out with the slow, repeated bass line and leaves you momentarily stunned.

Tesselation is the second single release and is, once again, subtly different to what has preceded it. A hectic, repeated guitar run gives a real sense of urgency to proceedings, almost as if you are being chased by something menacing and unseen. The band show their influences on the laid back interlude that has early Pink Floyd writ large all over it, superb stuff. The addition of more vocals shows the direction the band are moving in and the meditative mantra is quite hypnotic as the song flows smoothly into a real convoluted and distorted guitar section that is the work of a mad genius! It is intelligent music that makes your brain work and all the better for it, the vocal effects at the end are challenging but a great addition. Die For You is as ambient as WOATTS get and, in it’s own way, is quite poignant. It has a quality to it that is quite ethereal yet holding substance at the same time. The gentle bass and ringing guitar are quite moving and the song leaves you feeling benign and genial and ready to save the world and go hug a tree. The band then take the shackles off and the song takes on a dominant and forceful edge, crashing guitars and thunderous drums, all played with a raw feel, ramp up the emotions and the vocals really pull at you, this re-working of one of my favourite tracks from ‘The Trilogy’ is impressive.

That laid back, mellow quality is much in evidence at the introduction of After The Storm, melodic and serene, the song almost seems to be treading water as the tranquil drums and muted guitars hold your passing attention. The volume knob is turned up a notch as a heavier riff overlays the hushed tones of before but, it never becomes hard, heavy or in your face, just raises the bar enough to make a sleeping cat open one eye. I really like the guitar that runs the track out, as if it’s emphasising something. The pace and power are much more in evidence on Walking Through Walls with its heavy psychedelic influence, coruscating guitars, off beat drums and low pitched synths, even this track trims the sails when the hushed, almost imperceptible vocals begin. Another track from ‘The Trilogy’ that has been taken out, adjusted and replaced to produce something slightly different, as if in a parallel universe, the stoner guitar solo that lies just within earshot is a particularly clever touch. These guys know what they are good at and the continued evolution of their sound is evident throughout.

Carrying on the re-working theme, Syndicate begins with a maelstrom of musical noise that, somehow, clashes and compliments at the same time. Harsh guitars and cleverly programmed synths dominate the sound to give an animated soundscape of disorderly time changes and feverish note playing. This song never stands still, always frenzied and exciting with wailing voices and slick, inventive keyboards right to the end. The final track on this EP, Where Silence Dwells is as foreboding as its title, deep and meaningful, like a slow descent into an abyss. The riff is a thing of majesty, dark and dangerous and the whole track has a hint of menace, as a way to finish a record it is moody and maleficent, time for a sit down and a strong drink!

With Our Arms to the Sun write music that has substance and gravity, even when they re-arrange previously recorded tracks and record them, they treat them as new songs to be nurtured and developed. This is not music for the faint hearted but, if you say you love music and, you don’t like ‘A Far Away Wonder’ then your soul must have withered and died. The band are in the process of writing completely new material for their next, full length release, if this is what they can do when they re-work old material then, the new album should be a wonder to behold, bring it on!

- See more at: http://www.ladyobscure.com/albums/with-our-arms-to-the-sun-a-far-away-wonder/#sthash.dMEGF7Ms.dpuf - Prog Radar - Martin Hutchinson

"BAND OF THE WEEK - With Our Arms to the Sun"

The desert has a very interesting way of bringing out creativity from those that inhabit the area. There must be something in the air. With that in mind, I bring your attention to With Our Arms to the Sun, a rock band formed in the desert of Arizona. The music is full of epic moments mixed with modern electronics to create music that has substance and plays off the old “concept album” structure. You can hear influences of Tool, Isis and little bit of shoe gaze and space rock. On their most recent release “A Far Away Wonder,” the drums were engineered by Aaron Harris of the bands ISIS and Palms, and some songs feature a collaboration with film composer Jonathan Levi Shanes. The band describes their live shows as unique and emotional, bringing back the energy of the punk rock and grunge bands of the past who used to play to basements and art galleries. With Our Arms To The Sun are real in their approach to create music that creates an ebb and flow that play off your auditory senses and imagination. - AudioEclectica by Brian Lacy

"With Our Arms to the Sun - A Far Away Wonder"

With our arms to the sun is a progressive rock group hailing from Arizona. They are purely instrumental, with very few lyrics on any of there songs. This makes their music kind of hard for me to judge, because I like to talk about music. But I love this album so much I needed to do a review of it. This album consists of some of this bands older songs, some song reworked with film composer Jonathan Levi Shanes. This gives the album a very cinematic feel. They also got a new and excellent drummer to work on this album instead of their other drummer. This drummer is Aaron Harris from the post metal bands ISIS and Palms. The album has souring, beautiful melody's and sharp but distorted guitar. The guitar is distorted enough to fit the song, but not enough that it is hard to listen to the other instruments. The synths are well placed an fit the songs perfectly. Everything fits perfectly, which is what makes this album so great. TThe only thing that doesn't fit are the short screamy vocals on the track "The Great Black Divide." I'm not a huge fan of the vocals in any of the songs, but that's just my preference. I love how heavy this album can be at some points as well, with the building guitar in the song, "Walking through walls," Eventually leading to a huge explosion. The album ends on a softer song, like lots of albums do. Overall, I give this album an 8/10. - GoblinThunder's Music Blog


2014 - A Far Away Wonder
2013 - The Trilogy
2012 - A Delicate Union of Minds



With Our Arms to the Sun is a rock band formed in the desert of Arizona. Their live shows are unique and emotional, bringing back the energy of the punk rock and grunge bands of the past who played to basements and art galleries packed full of kids while intersecting a unique modern psychedelic attribute that has peaked many peoples ears since their inception just two years ago in 2012.

The music is cinematic and expressive with elements of conceptual album rock and modern electronics. The band has earned a small cult following on the internet for their unique progressive music, spiritual and philosophical insights, and their ability to make people feel. The band cites movie scores and video game music as an influence and has licensed their music to various independent films and video game companies.

Being an independent band, With Our Arms to the Sun has made some big waves releasing 3 albums in under two years, touring on their own, as well as selling music in several countries internationally.  Founded by three brothers, Joseph Breckenridge Jr, Josh Breckenridge, and Joseph Leary have a long 15+ year history of being creative together.

The new album “A Far Away Wonder� features collaborations with film composer Jonathan Levi Shanes on Synth as well as drums that were engineered by Aaron Harris of the bands ISIS and Palms. The CD gives a glimpse into the heavier progressive yet cinematic direction the band is headed in.

Band Members