Lulled by the Waves by No Terror In the Bang is a unique post-metal track that uses ebbs and flows in its energy to convey narrative. Something about the swaying, dark charisma of the vocals reminded me a little of Thom Yorke from Radiohead, especially on tracks like Exit Music (For A Fim).
Beginning with a bright and shiny timbre, the vocals are immediately at odds with the instrumental. While the instrumental feels inquisitive and light-hearted, the vocals have a solemn tone that wavers towards the high end of the register. This complex delivery helps the emotions land. On top of this, the juxtaposition between the instrumental and delivery builds tension for the rest of the song.
Around the one-minute-twenty mark, this gritty bass comes in along with more intense drumming. From here, the whole track picks up, introducing powerful, belting vocals that lean into the punk and metal influences that define the band. The drastic change between the beginning of the track and the fierce moments shows the diverse ability of the bands. The instrumental feels just as confident during the intense moments as it does during the quieter sections towards the beginning. That feeling of natural evolution also affects the vocals. Leading the instrumental from the front, they blossom as the track builds. The subtleties of her emotional delivery are still present in the heavy metal sections but the emotions feel different. It feels like our protagonist is reacting to the pain and anguish differently. Lines like the “train leads to nowhere” feel entirely different despite being repeated in both the soft and harsh sections. In the early section, the line feels despairing whereas it feels aggressive in the second, actively lashing out at the pain explored in the opening. The themes haven’t changed but our speaker's perspective on them has.
It is this unique and special perspective change that makes Lulled by The Waves a cut above the competition.