Barrow is your new favorite band. Coming from Greensboro, NC, these Carolina natives play the most original, unique form of post-hardcore I've heard in the last year. Equal parts ambient post-rock and furious, cutting hardcore, "Though I'm Alone" is a stunning release. This is an album for anyone who enjoys music, even in the slightest.

"Though I'm Alone" offers us 9 tracks at an awe-inspiring 45 minutes; and not one second of those 45 minutes is dull. Whether it's driving, frantic tracks like "Fox Ears and Silence," the album's opener, or the weep-inducing "Wither," every single one of the songs on this album is masterfully crafted, evocative in the highest sense, and innovative like nothing I've ever heard before.

With simple, but immaculately placed, lead guitar that freely scale and slide through delay and reverb pedals, this album is driven by a sonic barrage of beauty: shrill screams that are counteracted by soft, sweet crooning, and pounding drum hits that punctuate the wall of guitar tone like gunshots. Just the absolute, sheer power of this album's music alone, not even counting the lyrics, is enough to bring me to tears--regardless of how many times I've listened to it.

The back-to-back "Wither" and "Old Timer" are literally too good to describe in words. I could try, but I would do it a disservice. Every single element that they have mastered is displayed in these two tracks--but, rest assured, it's not like these two songs are the only incredible songs on the album. "Wither" and "Old Timer" just move me: unashamedly, From the first notes of "Wither," I was crying, and it didn't stop until the end of "Old Timer." The guitars on these two tracks are beyond perfect, and if I believed in a god, I would thank him ceaselessly for the ability of these boys to create this album. The drums, the vocals, there's no single "leading" factor: It's just "IT," as Jack Kerouac talks about in "On The Road." Barrow found "IT" and they're trying to show it to us, with every strum, with every hit, with every scream or croon, with every single pluck of the bass.

At 2:13 in "You Can Probably Find It In Norfolk," my heart stopped. Just mind-numbingly incredible. The chorus that comes in is the most powerful, haunting thing I've ever heard. The album ender, "God Is In His Heaven -- All Is Well," is simply the most potent, perfect way to end any album, ever. Clocking in at 7:20, the longest song on the album, this track is brooding up until the very last moments, and at it's very, very end, it offers a second of catharsis--no more, no less.

This album is transcendent. That's the best--and by "best," I mean "only"--word to describe it fully.

My only complaint is that "Wither," "Old Timer," and "Clawhold" aren't the closers of the album, but there's no way in Hell that's knocking off even a fraction of a point. This album is a 5 out of 5. Just by common sense. Stunning, glorious, godly: pick your own personal highest descriptor, and that's what this album is. Truly the most cohesive, masterful, and haunting piece of artwork I've ever heard. This album is the new standard by which I judge all others. This is the perfect 5/5.