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?
This is instrumental Metal in the style of bands such as Cloudkicker, Red Sparowes, Pelican and the like.
At just under 20 minutes it’s a relatively short listen but it serves as a good introduction to the band and what they’re capable of.
And just what is it that they are capable of then? Well, they create expansive, emotive music that enjoys the freedom and grandeur that Post-Metal offers.
It’s melancholic, expressive and packs a pretty good punch. Unlike some Post-Metal bands who emphasize the Post- part of the style more than the -Metal part, Oecist seem to have the two pretty much equally distributed through this EP. They’re not afraid to let things get heavier when they need to.
This is an enjoyable début. Hopefully future releases will see the band expanding on their sound and building on what they’ve accomplished with XVIII LIII. Here’s to the future.
Post-Metal is a rich genre and an exceedingly varied one. Also, the line between Post-Metal and its sister genres of Post-Rock and Post-Hardcore is a blurred one and can sometimes be hard to define.
Although I’d probably call this Post-Hardcore, strictly speaking it doesn’t really matter which one Under the Sun fall into; what matters is that they play long, exploratory and expansive music based around the darkness of the human mind and the frequently negative emotions that go alongside this.
This is build/release territory and the band are adept at writing a good atmospheric tune. The length of the tracks gives them ample room to manoeuvre and all of the stylistic space is taken up with creating the mood that the band wants you to feel; usually this is one of heartbreak, tragedy and melancholy.
The melodies are luxurious and drawn out, with the band really drawing the listener into the performance. Lighter Progressive Rock passages rub shoulders with heavier Doom sections. A firm sense of dynamics sees the band well through the longer compositions and they inject enough variety to hold interest.
This is a very unhurried album as the songs unfold exactly as they need to. Vocals don’t even appear until the second song as the band are content to largely let the music do the talking. These vocals are essentially Hardcore in nature and lend a chaotic edge to their sound, although some calmer cleans appear also.
It’s hard not to like music that’s played well and has a firm sense of confidence and intent. Under the Sun know what they are doing and know they do it well.
Give them a listen. Well worth it.
This is winding and exploratory, and pleasantly relaxed. Lune Kiri already seem to have mastered the art of mood and texture, and this EP would be really impressive if it wasn’t their first release, let alone the fact that it is.
Sometimes the meandering, wandering guitars paint a glorious picture and they sound so liquid you can almost imagine the brush sweeping them over the canvas. Other times they play heavier, murky, dirge-ridden riffs that want to suck you into their world. Stockholm contains both types in its 15 minute playing time.
My only real “complaint”, (and it’s not really a complaint), is why they called this a demo. The songs are so accomplished and the sound quality so good that this is essentially just a first EP. Apart from that head-scratcher I would advise anyone who likes bands like Red Sparowes, Pelican, Cloudkicker, etc. to immediately run to get this.