Pelican play an instrumental post-rock/metal hybrid, and have been crafting affecting and enjoyable material for 18 years at this point. As their first new album in six years, I think it’s fair to say that Nighttime Stories has been greatly anticipated by fans of the band’s work. Continue reading
Featuring most of the members of the much-missed Agalloch coupled with the singer of Giant Squid, this album contains 55 minutes of contemplative, intelligently-composed music.
Now here’s an album with real emotive power. The music can be loosely termed as progressive post-metal, but there’s a multitude of different styles skilfully incorporated into this release. Continue reading
I enjoy a good album cover, and this is one I very much like. Here we have an instrumental post-metal band that offers up 56 minutes of music that contains progressive and post-rock elements. Continue reading
Although classed as an EP, there’s still 29 minutes of material here to sink your teeth into.
I’ll say it straight away – Reminiscence is a massively enjoyable release. Continue reading
This is a multifaceted release of progressive/post-rock, fusing elements of bands such as Russian Circles, Red Sparowes, Pelican, Scale the Summit, Cloudkicker, and Between the Buried and Me into a rich, textured journey. As I’ve opined Continue reading
Here we have a decent-length slab of post-metal with stoner and doom elements chucked in for good measure. At just under 30 minutes in duration, it fills a hole that you may not have realised needed filling. Continue reading
Building atmosphere with steady grace and gentle insistence, Third Island take a subtle, almost-sensual approach to their post-metal explorations. That’s not to say that they don’t know how to ramp up Continue reading
Treading the same stylistic landscape as bands like Pelican and Russian Circles, Valerinne offer up 63 minutes of long, epic tracks that take the listener on a journey in sound and the many ways that it can be used to evoke certain feelings.
Post-Metal and Post-Rock are rightly known for bright, resplendent guitar melodies, shooting out of, (usually), darker music to create multi-faceted and rich compositions that aim to strike a chord with the listener. The music on Monumenta certainly meets that goal and these five songs have more than enough meaningful content to satisfy.
The guitars aren’t the only star of the show though, as not only is there an extremely solid rhythm section providing a firm backbone to the tracks, but added synths also make appearances, subtly enhancing the musical soundscapes and adding value whenever and wherever they’re used.
Deftly utilising the Post-Metal/Post-Rock tried-and-tested build/release mechanic, these tracks take their time exploring the various sounds and feelings of the world they find themselves in, building to crescendo before moving off in into other areas, repeatedly, as the nuances of the songs demand. These are frequently slow and gradual shifts, with the music having a glacial, unhurried feel, despite the sometimes upbeat drums and rhythms.
Albums like this are effortless to enjoy; it’s very easy to just put them on and slip out of the everyday world, getting lost in the exotic and enticing soundscapes created by a talented group such as Valerinne. Press play on this album and this is precisely what happens.
Sit back, take it all in and savour.
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.
Sardonis combine elements of Stoner Metal, Doom and Sludge into their songs. There’s no vocals, so the emphasis is purely on the music itself.
The album has more variation on it than you might think too. It avoids being a one-dimensional Stoner-fest by adding in elements of these other genres so that the band take you to many different places throughout the journey. The band are obviously equally comfortable playing at all kinds of speeds, and this is another reason that they keep things interesting.
The album has an incredibly warm and textured recording, benefiting their sound by focusing the listener’s attention on what matters.
Huge riffs are a big part of their repertoire, as befitting an instrumental band of this nature. This is not all they’re capable of though, as they also know how to build atmosphere and mood across these 39 minutes.
Occasionally I have mixed feelings about bands that are entirely instrumental; sometimes I think vocals would enhance the music and other times I know it would merely detract from what they have created. With Sardonis I think it’s a mixture of the two, although favouring the latter. Maybe a few added vocals on one or two tracks in a couple of places, leaving the bulk of it instrumental? Regardless, III is a massively enjoyable release and the lack of vocals doesn’t hold it back at all.
Favourite Track: Forward to the Abyss. Because who doesn’t love a 12-minute Pelican-esque Doomathon with a hint of Earth to the guitars?