“As we got nearer and nearer, the gigantic mass of smoke towered higher and higher above us. It was continually billowing in and out, and the sun gave it every colour.”
If you regularly read all the various and blogs and sites discussing what’s happening in alternative music odds are you will eventually come across what is being marketed as “a new wave of post metal”. Aptness of the term post-metal aside, it is true that we are seeing an influx of genuinely unique and challenging bands rooted in the past decade and a half of underground music. Bands such as Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, Sleepmakeswaves or Dumbsaint are great examples and one band that has since emerged as worthy to be placed amongst those titans of post-whatever is the technically dazzling and sonically intricate Melbourne band, Build and Release.
Released earlier this year, the self-titled debut album from the 5 piece instrumental group is exactly what you want in an album like this; aesthetically each song is named after various active and inactive volcanoes, which I believe is a reference to the extended yet constantly driving lengths of motion between the band’s moniker (Build and Release). The motion of all players (with 2 guitarists a baritone guitarist, a bassist and drums) hits the sweet spot between ethereally minded ambience and monumental heavier sounds. Fans of this sort of stuff could probably put the sound amongst artists like This Will Destroy you. Like those bands it executes the balance between electronics bathed capaciousness against surgical guitar work and unrelenting rhythms to sculpt their sonic mountain and the collective sound truly is just colossal.
It’d also be worth mentioning of course (and once again if you’re a fan of the aforementioned bands and sounds you’ll know what I mean) that one appeal for a lot of people is the technical and song writing prowess found on these records. This record has that on display and then some with some seriously virtuosic playing demonstrated by all the guilty parties. This record is so well thought out and executed that it could only have come from some anomaly of talent or through hundreds of hours of labour towards being able to create at that level. Further to that point it must be said that this record is a result of decades of giving every ounce of blood and sweat to your craft. From cutting their teeth in the early 2000s hardcore scene up through the myriad of events that followed, this bands members have arrived at this point in time in 2016 where they have taken a snapshot of their creative universe and it’s nothing short of awe inspiring.
Whilst you can’t put it in the basket of “not bad for a first effort, but let’s see the full picture on LP2” because it truly is the ultimate offering they have here and now. It is truly exciting to see a band like this with so much perpetual momentum, and imagine what masterful compositions they’ll be making in a couple of years. One thing that’s exciting is to see bands that exist in a totally different realm, where the challenges and rewards are different to what is usually expected but where no real satisfaction can come from doing things simply or in a palatable way.
That’s the feeling I get from this record and it’s really inspiring because once you get past the naïve crutches that have bogged down so many people before us, you realise what spending your life creating is really about. You could make a universe.
Reviewed by Anthony from over at https://mutinyinheaven.wordpress.com, solid cheers man!!! ~Sean