The Labyrinth is a powerful and emotionally mysterious single from ARROWS OF THE SUN, showing off excellent use of layering within its guitar melody as well as a deep connection between the vocal delivery and the perspective of the lyrics.
The guitar explores a wide tonal range, with high points peeking out of its register and low, droning effects caused by the purposeful strumming, which establishes both the melody and rhythm.
I love how the track strips the musical attributes back at the one-minute ten mark. It adds this sense of purity to the new motifs in that section. It speaks to ARROWS OF THE SUN’s musical expertise that they can successfully use pauses in a song’s cadence as a striking moment, utilising silence as an instrument.
The track evolves as it goes, adding and changing its sound throughout in a way that feels lively and honest to the song, without every section being so different that it loses its sense of cohesion or connection. When the track takes a darker tone, focusing on the cycles of evil passed from father to son, the song’s tone reacts, morphing the soundscape into something more sinister, with shrill strings and a generally more spaced-out mix. That cohesion between the lyrics and the sound makes the song more immersive.
As it goes, The Labyrinth settles those more sinister aspects with bright and luscious guitar strumming, creating this tonally ambiguous sound that drifts between darkness and light.
I like how the vocals use harmony to add to their power. The harmony on the phrase “sail away” adds charm and charisma to the delivery that reminded me a little of the Beach Boys. Their quiet placement in the mix also made me feel like I was watching the ship melt away into the horizon as the vocals fell back in the song.
Overall, The Labyrinth maintains a sonic consistency to its narrative and a smooth style of delivery that keeps you captivated from beginning to end.