Lover, The Lord Has Left Us… is the follow-up album from progressive rock amalgam The Sound of Animals Fighting, whose 2005 Tiger and the Duke was a milestone on the road of experimental music. Lover’s expansion into alternative genres, alternative sounds, and alternative media qualifies TSOAF, further this time, as a major pioneering entity in the search for new modes of musical expression and meaning. New (the Ram, the Penguin and the Wolf?) and returning (the Hyena, the Nightingale, the Walrus, the Lynx and the Skunk) animals alike add their own infusion, sensibilities and particular steps, each given a day to complete their piece of the final structure, working remotely and adding subsequent layers of their own invention to the highly organic project. The result is a candid, ubiquitous concert of musical talent, inspiration, spontaneity and collaboration that lets the taste of each artist combine and marinate, adding a complexity and a depth to each track that would not exist without both complimenting, and being complimented by, the other tracks on the album. Lover, The Lord Has Left Us… was produced and spearheaded by returning animals the Nightingale and the Walrus, who guided the project between a slew of sounds and people, steering the craft of Lover into waters outside of those of Tiger, employing and manipulating classical elements against the more inventive ones. A blind order begins to appear in the map-less improvisations, and a veil of seemingly chaotic sounds is shed to reveal subtle harmonies of ideas and style.
A chorus will shine even brighter against a background of looped kitchen noises, the tired and tireless vocals of the returning Skunk sway earnestly to and fro, climaxing in desperate, haunting peaks, and ancient Sanskrit vocals dance over an undertow of raspy, electronic beats. The entire album, in fact, is built from the drumbeat up, a method that creates a profound contrast between vocalist and beat, a beautiful push and pull that surfaces in tracks like “This Heat” featuring the vocals of the Penguin, augments the ethereal melodies of the Wolf? and ties a softness and warmth to the aggressive heights of the Ram.