“Man plans and god laughs”; so goes the old saying. There are things that will happen to all of us that we have no control over, and that will come upon us with no warning, upending the order of our lives and leaving us to do what we can to pick up the pieces and carry on. Aside from the everyday practicalities of coping with a major loss or change, there is the emotional aspect too, which is where From a Father’s Son comes in. When his father was diagnosed with an advanced cancer that would soon take his life, Jimmy Sisco created the Anchorhold project to document that time and his memories. As you’d expect, it’s an emotional journey, and hugely heart-felt, with an intensely personal – yet universal – heart.
The opening title track provides a good summary of what the record holds; situated somewhere between post-rock and post-metal, it is laden with bittersweet melodies, layered guitars, and a sense of something growing, with elements being added as the song progresses. Sisco is back up here by Jesse Jeremiah on bass and Josh Thieler on drums, and though Anchorhold is a deeply personal project, all involved feel as if they are on the same wavelength.
Largely instrumental (save for a short moment on second track ‘And Now We Wait’), From a Father’s Son relies upon the music to convey its sense of narrative and emotion. That can be a tricky thing to do, but it’s done in excellent style here; the sense of knowing what will come and the feelings of powerlessness, knowing that it cannot be stopped, are heavy throughout the EP, conveyed by those emotionally charged, oh-so bittersweet melodies and the way the songs ebb and flow. Each track is fairly concise – the longest being just shy of five minutes – and it plays to their advantage. Simply put, were these songs (and the EP) much longer, there is the risk that their emotional weight could simply become too much for the listener to handle.
All of which, frankly, is beside the point. From a Father’s Son does not exist for you or I; it exists for Sisco, as a means by which he could deal with all that was happening in his life. That we have the privilege to listen to it should not be taken for granted; there are few records that are so personal and so heart-felt. It is a wonderful record that may be rooted in tragedy, but the end result is something life-affirming and cathartic, with a simple lesson for those who would hear it, of holding those you love close to you whilst you have the chance.
From a Father’s Son is set for release on 10 August 2018, and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.