Simon Bibby, the One-man show behind Thy Listless Heart has come out with his debut album “Pilgrims on the Path of No Return”, which was released under the Hammerheart Records on the 18th of November 2022. Simon played guitars for the British Christian metal band Seventh Angel (formed in 1987 by Ian Arkley). Although with Seventh Angel the sound was a combination of Doom and Thrash metal, the Listless Heart offers Grand Doom with death metal growls hinting a different sound. Having loved his work with Seventh Angel, I can’t wait to spin this album.
The album opens up with “As the Light Fades” bringing forth much melody with a guitar solo right at intro, a hypnotic vocal delivery, and pauses for a mellow interlude before delving in with all the instruments that sort of sets the tone for the album. The song grips you with hard hitting lyrics and melodies that stays till the end of the song as it ends on an ambient note. “The Precipice” starts off with dark, gloomy and poetic lyrics which build up beautifully on grand piano, leveraging a rumbling bass and marching drums with rattling of the snares. An eclectic guitar solo pierces through the demonic growls that presents itself throughout the chorus requires a special mention as it adds tone and colour to the song.
A familiar set of notes on grand piano, melodies sparring on flutes and a narrative styled vocal delivery introduces us to “Yearning”, before swinging the song with power and stance, and bringing forth a ton of melody both on the guitars and vocals. Love the way the song progresses and ends the way it started with piano chord progressions and a flute outro. “When the Spirit Departs the Body” is a cinematic experience with the poundings on the bass drum that progresses the song to a softer verse, which is slated over acoustic guitars paired beautifully with high keys and a narrative styled vocal delivery that transitions beautifully to a singing bringing forth every instrument together. The outro culminates this grand sound to a halt over hymns and chimes.
The album catches some pace with “Confessions” which is heavier as compared to its predecessors, something I was hoping to have stumbled upon at the beginning of the album. The song is paired with heavy guitar chugs with heavy and gut wrenching growls that’s sure to give one a scare. A high-pitched vocal that sits at the second verse and the narrative leading to the Outro when paired with operatic vocals, gives this song a potential to be a great hit. “Aefnian” is a poetic hymn with what appears to be a meddling of lutes and flutes over ambient soundscapes. The song reminded me of the Eluveitie album Evocation II: Pantheon (which I thoroughly loved and cherished), and is the most beautiful song on this album (rarely do I put songs in such categories).
The album culminates with the longest song of the album “The Search for Meaning” running at 14+ minutes. The song builds on slow marching drums, played over arpeggiating triage of guitar notes, and high and low vocal layered that gives a spooky tone; before getting on full power and unleashing heaviness with rugged guitars and an equally driven vocals that carries throughout the song. A slow and eclectic guitar solo builds over heavy guitar undertones, ruffled with heavy shreds adding much flair to its credit.
Production – The album is produced beautifully, it has a crisp tone and all the distinct bits were written, co-ordinated and weaved so well together.
Conclusion – I was a bit late to the party, this HAS to be one of the top 10 records from the year 2022. This debut album, being the first record I’m reviewing in 2023, gives me immense hope of all the metal that has to come. I can’t wait to hear more from the Thy Listless Heart and hope everyone out there gets as crazed I’m at the moment for them. Go Buy!
Written by: Ankit Sood
Simon Bibby – Everything
1. As the Light Fades
2. The Precipice
4. When the Spirit Departs the Body
7. The Search for Meaning
Release Date: 18th November 2022
Record Label: Hammerheart Records
Video for ‘Yearning’
Video for ‘The Precipice’
Lyric video for ‘Aefnian’