Thursday, July 24, 2008
Artist: Downliners Sekt
Album: The Saltire Way
01. Scope Creep
02. Jewel Cases
03. Panic! Sonic Monk
07. School Daze
08. Mobilia Perpetua
09. Blackstock Mews
10. Shulgin (part II)
11. Point Omega
12. 1106 Etoile
Download part 2
The band myspace declared “Bored as fuck with the Music Industry” and frankly we couldn't be happier. “The Saltire Wave” is a study in the marriage of electro-noise with break beat like elements but still with a post-rock core. On paper, it might sound like every other band out there but this band is really special as they bring an edge to the table that is undeniable. The band offers a lot of free music for download on their website downliners-sekt.com so there is no reason too at least go over there and download this album.
The albums firs song is “Scope Creep” the song starts off with a heavily distorted and dense guitar riff behind a jerky break beat. Every so often you think the song is going to turn on you but it holds it ground. “Panic Sonic Monk” is a song that after one listen it has left me speechless and a bit dizzy. The song is just an intense schooling in the mixing of so many different elements into a song. You can hear a strong bass going on behind it as well as and it just continues to build and suck you in for over 9 minutes. It is really an amazing tune that just blew me away with the noise level. I would love to see this done live. “Kaidan” is what we like to call a late night track. The song has a lot of small little elements that fit perfect for the headphone environment.
This album feels like it was made for me. It hit me in all the right places. The balance was there the sound was perfect. 65daysofstatic was a band who attempted to bring both words together but Downliners Sekt bring it together and then blow it up. -by John Siwicki
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Artist: The Evpatoria Report
Label: Get A Life! Records
01. Eighteen Robins Road
02. Dar Now
Download part 2
Buy it (preorder - official release on 5/10/2008)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Label: Conspiracy Records
02. Arch & Hum
I've always been very sceptical towards bands that change genres with every new release. Shora, from Switzerland, is around since the late nineties. I still remember their debut cd that came out in 2000 on Grave Romance (Shaping The Random). It was one of the best European Converge / Botch styled metalcore releases of that year. Two years later Shora released a split cd with noise master Merzbow. Their songs on that split were fucking hard and extreme metal. And now, at the end of 2005, they're releasing an album that's blooming of delicate and atmospheric post-rock, combined with a touch of electronica. Isis? Yes, but different. Certainly, Shora has fully joined the league of bands as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Isis and Red Sparowes. At first sight the four songs on Malval have all characteristics that are typical for the genre. It's only when you get yourself deeper into the artificial world of the songs though that their true force gets revealed. Because unlike many of the aforementioned bands, Shora's songs don't depend much on the typical crescendos and sudden explosions of melody. The powerful thing is that the songs remain very dynamic nonetheless because of unattended rhythmic breaks and slumbering melodies that nestle themselves in the back of your head. The third song, Siphrodias, is probably the best example of that. The guitars and moody noises are building up the tension and when you'd expect the song to burst out into the most emotional heavy part, there's just a few seconds of silence… It's details like these that make this album as powerful as it is. As said before, Siphrodias is a good song, but it lacks the underlying mood-shifting melodies that lift the three other songs on this album to a higher level. The first two songs, Parhelion and Arch & Hum, as well as the last one called Klarheit, are beauties of experimental rock. They're taking your mind away on a trip that's never revealing what's about to come next. And that's exactly what makes it so captivating. Everyone that's willing to do some effort to get into the instrumentally painted Shoral landscapes, is about to encounter the thrills of beauty, joy, despair and hope in just over half an hour of music. Malval is an album of undisturbed guitars, subtle drums and moody keyboard touches. Anyone into postrock can gear up for another instrumental mysterious voyage that might look a little typical at first sight, but that's far away from postrock clichés in the end. Forget about metal, Shora anno 2005 is softer yet touching souls harder than ever. No need to be sceptical. (semtexinc.com)
Monday, July 14, 2008
Artist: Joy Wants Eternity
Album: You Who Pretend To Sleep
Label: Beep Repaired
01. Exitences Rust
02. Above the Clouds Lies Eternal Sun
03. From Embrace to Embrace
04. Death is a Door the Opens
05. What Lies Beyond
06. Yet Onward We Marched
08. You are the Vertical, You are the Horizon
Joy Wants Eternity is a 5 piece band based out of Seattle, Washington that by sifting through materials online would lead you to believe that they are another instrumental post-rock band. Honestly that’s what I figured it would be when I initially checked out the group’s page on MySpace, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear what began to play as soon as it loaded. The song, which was “Existences Rust” from their upcoming debut album You Who Pretend to Sleep, sparked the thought in my head that if I were to be in a band like that, then this is what I would want to sound like. So I was thrilled to find the actual album show up in my mailbox this past Friday and it has proved to be every bit as good as my first impression of them led me to believe.
Comparisons to fellow post-rockers like Mogwai, Mono, and etc. are sure to be pinned on these guys. It’s obvious that there are parts of You Who Pretend to Sleep that draw from these bands, but I found myself being taken in by the amount of warm feedback and the almost full scale ambient direction they tend to take the music at times. I would consider this album to be more motivated by past shoegaze acts than anything else. The crashes of slow melting feedback are quick to remind me of either Slowdive or Flying Saucer Attack, especially the more ambient and spaced out tracks like “Death is a Door That Opens” and “What Lies Behind”. To me, this is where they really excel, in creating such warm and lush sounds that will do more than get your blood pumping for a few mere minutes. Joy Wants Eternity has created an exceptionally beautiful and powerful sounding record that will wrap itself around the listener for eight solid tracks. I can’t recommend this one enough for those that enjoy both post-rock and shoegaze; it’s a great mixture of the two that will surely please fans of either. -by Jonathan (builtonaweakspot.com)
Friday, July 11, 2008
Label: Consouling Sounds
02. Mira Mama
03. Your Dreams Are My Dreams
04. Spides On the Moon
05. Blue Space
06. Milk Stars
07. Faster Than Speed Of Light
08. Gamma Channel
The future of post-metal is blurry. As blunt a statement as it is, I'll go even further and say that it has always been. From its inception, the genre has been searching for itself in the same bumpy, awkward way a blind man looks for its cane on a hungover Sunday morning. Ask ten different people what post-metal is supposed to sound like, you'll most likely get as many different answers. This is easily explained: every established band switches sounds completely in between albums, sometimes in the most harmful way (as usual, see Pelican), while those that aren't recognized as leaders try their best at copying their forefathers measure by measure. One could argue that it is standard procedure for a genre to take some time to find its marks; but post-metal has come to a point where there's been a debate among fans for years about its very existence(!). While some claim it's just a style that oscillates between melodic doom-metal and heavy post-hardcore, others state that it does exist, but is indeed comprised of and limited to anything that sounds exactly like Isis' Oceanic.
In such a context, as the new album queue swells up, it’s becoming painstakingly difficult to find anything good. Let's take a look at this year's pedigree: the new Russian Circles made a good impression, and... that's it. Six months, one noticeable album. The picture isn't pretty, and it makes me wonder; have we reviewers grown tired of the countless half-assed attempts at this music, or have the artists themselves? Some of these records sound like the people behind them aren't even trying anymore. I, for one, am ready to give a chance to anyone who still feels like making some good music. And on cue comes Barcelona's promising new one-man band, Exxasens.
As any astute reader of this review will have guessed, this is a long way from being the album of the year, but keep on reading. Polaris is one of those albums that give a very enjoyable impression on the first listen. Exxasens' music is catchy, tailored for the listener to fully express himself through the art of headbanging. Often, it's right after this first listen that most records of the sort fail to impress; the early excitement dies down, you start paying attention to more than the main riffs, which may lead to plain disappointment. Fret not, a more acute analysis of Polaris doesn't give heartburns, but it does point out the fact that something is missing.
Like I stated before, one of the plagues of post-metal is the distinct lack of originality in up-and-coming acts. Most tend to walk in the footsteps of their elders, in more or less successful ways. I can't help but feel that Exxasens relies too much upon what's been done before:obvious progression from quiet to loud, hefty use of layering, doom-esque basslines, subtle drum breaks every few measures; if you've listened to anything from the genre before, chances are you'll easily anticipate ten seconds in advance everything that's going to happen. Thankfully, and this is where Exxasens separates himself from his peers, it doesn't stop here. Some elements give Polaris a feeling of freshness, the most salient being the incorporation of electronic structures within the music. The album is very fast-paced and samples are thrown in here and there, while the drum breaks often resemble the percussions one can find on an idm record. Fellow reviewer Tom Butcher said it best in his review of Blackwaves' [album artist=Blackwaves]012[/album]: drumming can make or break an album. The drum work on Polaris is really what kept me hooked throughout my many listens, and while it's not the most innovative, it makes for a perfect backbone to the upper layers of sound.
For a debut CD-R, Polaris shows a great amount of potential. In a genre where fans have become used to disappointment, the bits of originality and seriousness Exxasens displays are enough to look upon his music in a positive way. What he needs now is to further explore his own voice and let go of the reassuring hand of the bands that paved the way. I can tell he has a genuine passion for his music, and that single fact convinces me that his next release will be one to watch out for.-by Samy (The Silent Ballet)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Artist: Expedicion A Las Estrellas
01. Daksha Kinich Ahau 3113-5.125
02. La Distancia Se Oscurece Entre Petalos De Luna
04. Ens Seminis (Phoenix)
05. Entropνa Cegada Ante El Horror Autumnal Del Satelite Mas Distante
Expediciσn a las Estrellas is a conceptual cosmology band with a unique genre in Latin-American; they have a huge influence by the atmospheric sounds from East and Europe. They have made an amazing fan-base through all this years: they are epic, emotional, and inspirational gathering a perfect balance between metal and post-rock. ‘EALE’, as all the fans know, they find a spiritual landscape with their music. The lyrics are beautifully builded in Spanish, describing us what is going to happen in the year 2012. All the band members are artists in various genres such as films and documentary’s makers, photographers, painters, literature and very special music lovers. This band is the pioneer here in latinamerica and we all want to be part of this expedition, they write beautiful notes to the stars and feed us back with
spiritualism. This Promo EP is is one of the most expected releases of this year for the underground masses. ‘72’, it's the sinergy to fly to 9, the number of GIO "god of red oceans, their god as they describe him. All members are Sxe and Vegans but they respect each lifestyles and try to give a unique cosmovision doing the "mirror effect" the sky represents the earth.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Artist: Mouth Of The Architect
Label: Translation Loss
02. Hate And Heartache
03. Pine Boxes
04. Guilt And The Like
05. Generation Of Ghosts
06. Rocking Chairs And Shotguns
08. A Beautiful Corpse
Download part 2
What is rage? I'm not talking about the angst that bands like A Silver Mount Zion pander to in order to make a living (hey, we've all got to get by somehow), but pure, unadulterated rage. It seems that, at least in America, we're rage-deficient, a passive-aggressive generation, if you will. We bottle up our rage at our jobs, at those around us, at wars, all to maintain a sense of comfort in the known. What I am saying is nothing new, nothing extraordinary – it is probably a clichéd platitude by now – but that doesn't make it any less true. The question that needs to be asked, however, is where has the rage gone? Where is the purifying, obsessive voice that the emotion lends to human individuals? Dayton, Ohio's Mouth of the Architect has found it, and wants you to find it, too. Quietly is the band's first complete monument to rage, a beast of a release with a purpose.
Quietly is the album's ironic title – as you'd expect if you're familiar with the band, there's not too much that is “quiet” about Mouth of the Architect. The release does step into the realm of significant ambient passages for the first time, however, and the effect of contrast is nothing short of stunning. The eerie “Pine Boxes” creates the most haunting effect on the release with samples of a woman and man repeating the phrase “I just remember this feeling of... emptiness.” The most interesting part about the track is how it is used to contrast with the track that precedes it, “Hate and Heartache.” The track begins with a sample urging people to anger, to rage against the perceived failings of the world around them, which leads into an overpowering composition the likes of which Mouth of the Architect is famous for. The band follows this with the aforementioned track of passivity, of emptiness, to highlight the distinction between the two: “Hate and Heartache,” though painful and difficult, is ultimately energizing and filled with vitality, and preferable to the mere emptiness that follows. Perhaps the most interesting decision the band makes regarding the ambient track is that it isn't immediately followed by a brutal explosion of distortion. Mouth of the Architect knows how effective quiet-loud compositions can be, and an explosion right after such a quiet piece can really get the listener right where you want them (they do, in fact, use this trick later in the album). But the band wants the unsettling feeling created by “Pine Boxes” to sit with you, and so “Guilt and the Like” develops slowly. If this isn't masterful album organization, I don't know what is.
All of this is elegant conceptual grounding for the heart of the album, “Generation of Ghosts.” The band has found their source of rage in the lack of rage around them, in the utter passivity and emptiness of their peers, and this is the point where the statement is made. Everything is executed flawlessly, from the opening wall of sound to the inclusion of female vocals, used to contrast the guttural growls that dominate the album. But really, the most important thing about the track is that it completes the band's molding of the listener, from a passive receptor of events to an angry, active interpreter, able to roar out with Mouth of the Architect themselves and join them in the beautiful celebration of this achievement.
I must admit, I've never been a huge metal fan – most of it just seems too much like a masturbatory display of technical skill (actual or imaginary) without any consideration to how the music actually sounds (perhaps you find the image of three or four big sweaty guys wanking into your ears a pleasurable one, but it just doesn't appeal to me). But Mouth of the Architect consistently manages to set itself apart from the rest of the genre, creating vibrant and powerful post-metal that goes far beyond the mere massive riffs of many of the band's peers. This is metal to think about, to participate in, and most of all, to listen to actively. Don't put it on and forget it – you'll be doing yourself a huge disservice. Quietly sets the bar for post-metal, challenging any and all other albums in the genre to attempt to top it in even one aspect, be it cohesion, instrumental brutality, imagination, or conceptual prowess. This album is the real deal – avoid it at your own risk. -by Zach Mills (thesilentballet.com)
Buy it(Official release on 22nd of July)