Gjoad – Samanōn (Review)

Gjoad - SamanōnGjoad are an Austrian post-rock band and this is their debut album.

This is nature-inspired music that’s highly evocative and atmospheric. Shades of post-rock, ambient, doom, and folk inform the bulk of the material here. There’s a clear black metal influence too, although this is mostly apparent in spirit rather than being overtly applied. With these ingredients, Gjoad create enticing soundscapes that have a cinematic quality, despite being not really the sort of music that you’d encounter in most films.

Samanōn is a rich and textured work, filled with intelligent composition, emotive structuring, and layered dynamics. Additional, non-standard instruments enhance this further, creating a rich aural feast for the listener to hungrily devour. The music is heavily percussive in places, with a tribal feel that I really like. In others it’s sparse and minimal, saying a lot with only a little. At other times the atmosphere is built slowly, gradually expressing itself with post-rock detail until apotheosis occurs. Some of the acoustic guitars seem to inspire feelings rarely encountered, while some of the melodies work with the rest of the music to drive these to new heights to emotion.

This is a hypnotic, highly immersive journey into the wilderness. It has been carefully and lovingly crafted into the sort of darkly emotive music that should see the band achieving high status and plenty of awards, were it not for the inherently underground nature of this type of honest exploration of natural themes and influences.

A thoroughly engaging and compelling listen.

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