Sounds like … continuing where Something Like Silas left off, with a fusion of anthemic rock and ethereal worship similar to Delirious, and some nods to the alternative pop/rock of U2, Sigur Ros, The Violet Burning, and The Listening.At a glance … beautifully textured alternative pop/rock arrangements and poetic lyricism help make Future of Forestry one of the best things to happen to modern worship since Delirious.Track ListingOpen Wide
All I Want
Twilight
Speak to Me Gently
Thinking of You
Sunrising
Sacred Place
You and I
Sanctitatis
If You Find Her
Gazing
Stay Beside Me

Future of Forestry is probably one of those band names that either strikes you as brilliant or odd—perhaps brilliantly odd. But suppose you knew that the name is inspired by a C. S. Lewis poem that warns about industrialization dehumanizing creation and its beauty? Now you have some sense of where they're coming from. And what if you knew that the group is a continuation of the core members from modern worship band Something Like Silas? That should ring some more bells.

Something Like Silas started as a young adult worship band in 1999 for the San Diego ministry Flood. Buzz developed across the West Coast, eventually drawing the attention of Sparrow for the national release of Divine Invitation in 2004. But the album never broke big, and SLS came to an end as some band members moved on to other things.

But the two bandleaders, Eric Owyoung (vocals/guitars/keyboards) and Nick Maybury (guitars), pressed forward with new additions Luke Floeter (bass) and Spencer Kim (drums). With the roster changes, they felt a new band name was warranted, and much like Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus evolving into The Listening, Future of Forestry came into being. They soon found a new home with EMI's Credential Recordings, teaming up with producer Ken Andews, the indie pop/rock mastermind behind Pete Yorn, Mae, and Failure. After a teaser EP and much touring on the West Coast, the band now makes its proper debut with Twilight.

In spite of all the changes, Future of Forestry isn't all that different from Something Like Silas—which is most certainly a good thing. To simply call this modern worship is misleading, since that conjures the notion of simple pop choruses used in a variety of congregational settings. Future of Forestry (and its former incarnation) is more artful and poetic than that—a band you could certainly sing along to if you knew the material, but more likely that washes over you with the ethereal ambience and imaginative lyricism offered in holy praise. In other words, they're not far off from Delirious in the early '90s when they were considered more "cutting edge."

Building on an anthemic guitar rock base, the band adds swirling synths that give the music a dreamy quality appropriate to the worship context, as well as a little bit of electric piano, occasional overdubbed harmonies reminiscent of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and some of the coolest drum fills you'll hear this year (check out the breaks in "Thinking of You"). Sure, "Open Wide" recalls U2's "Beautiful Day," and there are hints of Coldplay and Sigur Ros throughout, but it's all handled thoughtfully. This is a band that knows how to develop their influences, rather than emulate them, demonstrating as much creativity in their textures and arrangements as much as their overall sound.