2015’s Litany was a sprawling, ambitious album. It was also very good, although this new release is something quite new and special in some ways. The band have returned with the even more expansive and developed Elegy. Showing greater focus of delivery, (49 minutes vs Litany’s 73), Elegy is also wider ranging and boasts Continue reading
With an enigmatic, yet enticing album cover, this release drew me in like a moth to a flame. With a few varying and slightly contradictory descriptions of what was contained on this release, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before pressing play, but knew this was something I wanted to explore. What I found was an unexpected and engaging album. Continue reading
LXXXVII contains 44 minutes of ritualistic, droning doom. This is not music for those with a frail constitution. Continue reading
Okay, so I say Post-Rock, but not only is that incredibly vague but it also doesn’t really do the band justice, as Lae don’t really sound like you’d probably envisage when you think of Post-Rock. They have an unusual style that’s as enticing as it is seductive.
So, first off I should mention that the band have a very sexy production courtesy of Today is the Day frontman Steve Austin. Apparently he, understandably, became so enamoured with the band’s songs that he ended up providing lead vocals for the entire album. That album is Break the Clasp and the first thing you should know then is that his vocals are stunning.
Haunting cleans are layered together and occasionally enhanced by Austin’s trademark acidic screams to create a performance that’s like a demented lullaby. Breaking the Clasp gives Austin a true platform to demonstrate just how good a singer he actually is.
The music itself is a multi-textured and highly emotive smorgasbord of tasty treats and delights. It’s a hazy, psychedelic mix of Rock and Post-Rock that’s strictly non-conventional and features enough hypnotic melodies to capture your attention forever.
There’s a great variety of mood and feeling to be found here. Doubtless this is not the kind of album to appeal to everyone; it’s not an “instant hit” by any means. It doesn’t suffer from this though, as the songs here have a longevity to be expected of a band who have seemingly taken the best part of over a decade to release their début.
The songs strike a personal note with the listener, drilling down to the core of what’s important in great music; connection, passion and feeling.
Providing band references as comparisons is not easy. Hmm, certain aspects, (but not all by any means – the slower parts mainly), of bands like Today is the Day, Earth, Swans, Fantômas, Angels of Light, etc. are suitable starting points.
Break the Clasp is something of a revelation for me. Albums of this beauty and intrigue don’t come along very often. I’m floored. I love this.
As I write these words it’s nearing the end of 2014, and a lot of amazing album have been released this year. All I know is that Lae will be featuring very highly on my Best of 2014 list.
This is music that will probably be dismissed by a lot of people as not being immediate or conventional enough. Their loss.
How to describe Anatomy of Habit ? The share a similar very individual stylistic space with bands such as Swans, Neurosis, Fantômas, Burning Witch, Skullflower, etc. This is music that’s slow, Doomy and with lots of personality.
The vocals are a large part of the personality of the band. That’s not to denigrate the music of course, as this definitely has its own flavour, but vocally we’re in territory that’s reminiscent enough of Mike Patton to be instantly recognisable and familiar but not too similar so that it sounds like a rip off or bad copy. Couple this with an Avant-Garde feeling akin to Manes/Arcturus as well as the odd harsher scream and you have a performance that puts most singers to shame.
There are two tracks here and both of them are very finely crafted examples of how you can play Post-Metal and really have your own sound. Both are over 20 minutes long.
Radiate and Recede is a Drone Doom epic that is as hypnotic as it is powerful. I really love this kind of crawling, quirky, slowness that’s repetitive enough to become engaging but dynamic enough to keep the interest. It finishes with an extended Doom workout that would do Esoteric proud before the main vocals end it totally.
Second track Then Window continues the stylistic theme developed in the first song but with a slightly different spin on it. We’re still in Doom territory but the music is slightly more colourful and upbeat in a way that’s still subtly sinister.
Taken together, Ciphers + Axioms is a very enjoyable album that allows a creative band to flex their musical muscles in a worthwhile and involving way. They really have crafted a remarkable album.
I love music that’s a bit weird, a bit different and yet still remains a bloody good listen. Anatomy of Habit fit this description perfectly. They get a big thumbs up from me. Well done!