Hemelbestormer are an instrumental band and they have created a sweeping epic of an album with four long, sprawling tracks lasting a total of 60 minutes.
Here we have an interesting and involved merging of different styles that are similar enough to get along well, resulting in the quite monolithic Aether.
Post-Metal, Doom and Sludge Metal are the main ingredients. The swirling Doom/Sludge claustrophobia of some of Neurosis’ more abrasive work is met by the expansive Post-Metal that the likes of Isis did so well. This is alongside elements of the heavier work of Pelican, with even some Post-Rock sensibilities of a band like Russian Circles getting a look in too.
The tracks take the listener on a journey through exploratory soundscapes and the Post-Metal build/release mechanic is artfully used throughout.
Aether is as heavily atmospheric as you can probably imagine, but in contrast to some bands that play this style, (especially, it seems, instrumental ones), Hemelbestormer are not afraid to let the distortion properly kick in and get really huge and heavy with the guitars. This pleases me greatly.
I love music that you can truly get lost and absorbed in and this is definitely one such album. Some instrumental bands can easily lose focus due to the lack of a singer, I find, but Hemelbestormer really don’t suffer from that problem. The music is detailed and nuanced enough to keep you coming back to it, but as mentioned previously, they know when to take things up a notch with the heavy guitars at just the right moments.
Very impressive. Take the time to listen to this.