I really liked 2018’s Breaching, so am pleased to see the return of Hundred Year Old Man. The band have obviously been feeling creative since I last caught up with them, as Sleep in Light contains a whopping 80 minutes of new material. Continue reading “Hundred Year Old Man – Sleep in Light (Review)”
KYOTY, (or Keep Your Opinions to Yourself), are an instrumental act that have an atmospheric approach to music, taking in styles such as post-metal, post-rock, and sludge, combined with an industrial edge. Gathering together nine songs that were released over the 2020 isolation period, along with a new track exclusive to the album, this is a 70-minute work of rich evocative soundscapes. Continue reading “KYOTY – Isolation (Review)”
I’m not the biggest fan of instrumental music, but sometimes a band comes along and makes it work notably well. With 2016’s Aether and 2018’s A Ring of Blue Light, Hemelbestormer were just one such band. Now they’ve returned with Collide & Merge, which boasts a whopping 73 minutes of new material. Can Hemelbestormer continue their upward trend? We shall see. Continue reading “Hemelbestormer – Collide & Merge (Review)”
Having really enjoyed 2013’s Tocsin, it has been a long wait for another album from Year of No Light, but the wait has been worth it. Across 55 minutes the band expose the listener to an idiosyncratic creative experience consisting of five thoroughly engaging soundscapes. Continue reading “Year of No Light – Consolamentum (Review)”
Consisting of a single track, Orage is a tentative, experimental first step into the world by this new project. Despite this, Orage is well-formed and shows a lot of promise. Continue reading “Le Menhir – Orage (Review)”
There may only be five songs on this release, but don’t let that deceive you – there’s almost 68 minutes of music on Never Forever. Continue reading “Monarch – Never Forever (Review)”
I’m a big fan of Devil Sold His Soul’s early work, but somehow I never kept up with them and this is my first exposure to them in a while. I was interested to hear this EP for this reason, especially as this is their first release with a new vocalist.
As always their music is impassioned, expansive and very heavy when it needs to be. Their songwriting has become even more developed than their older work, however.
It’s immediately apparent that their new vocalist fits the band like a glove. Scathing screams seem to spike painfully into your mind, but you like it anyway; soaring cleans rise gracefully from the emotive riffs whilst cascading leads swell up around them. Replacing a vocalist can be a very tricky thing to do successfully, but I’m immediately sold.
These tracks, (of which there are five), combine crushing guitars and soothing, sombre tones to create a collection of songs that pluck at the heartstrings as well as trying to pull them out.
The combined fiery melancholic nature of the guitars mix with vocals that veritably drip with emotion; these songs reveal a band that are at the height of their powers.
It’s like the power and passion of Year Of No Light, the dynamic energy of Deftones and the flawless delivery of Cult of Luna all rolled into one exciting package.
I love this. You will too.
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.
Whether it’s build and release or tense and relax; having light and dark or beauty and brutality; these are some of the staples of Post-Metal, that most varied of beasts, and North provide an exemplar of how to do this while layering the entire thing in raw, Sludgy vocals.
Picture a band playing their favourite parts of Isis and Year Of No Light and condensing these resulting compositions into shorter songs than typically either of those bands; this will give you a good idea of the ground that North tread.
The vocals are rough semi-cleans that provide an interesting counterpoint to the clear music. They are expressive and emotive in all of the right ways. The same can be said of the songs themselves. Taken together these tracks explore the emotional depths and heights of whatever the subject matter is. As someone once said of Radiohead – I don’t know what he’s singing about but I can tell he means it, (or something along those lines).
Each of these four tracks is a mastercrafted example of Post-Metal at its best, especially as it doesn’t aim to simply mimic Neurosis/Cult of Luna as a lot of Post-Metal ends up doing to some extent. Here we have a band travelling their own path to the beat of their heroes but with a singular intent all of their own.
I had never heard North before this EP, and I quickly come to the conclusion that this is a crying shame as the quality and effect of these songs is undeniable.
Expand your horizons, and make sure you travel North.