Real talk. You know what? I dropped the ball several times on some absolutely outstanding releases in 2017 and I just couldn’t find my chill after doing the normal Top 10 list until I’d made some sort of penance. So below is a handful of the best stuff I DIDNT get around to penning reflections on. And I feel bad. Continue reading The Other List. (aka amazing releases I didn’t write up > but should have.)
From the cinematic drone that opens the album (calling back to the closing moments of their last release) to the crushing blow that follows with ‘As Fools Ripen’ it is obvious that this band is going to take the listener on a journey. A very dark and angry one. Continue reading Lo! – Vestigal (Pelagic Records) 2017
No way I’m going to do this justice with my limited vocabulary and mere words. Suffice to say it was incredible.
Dark. Brooding. Unpleasant. Heavy. Depressing. Not metal. Impressive. Continue reading Adrift For Days – A Sleepless Grey (2017)
The mob at Birds Robe Records sure know how to pick em.
This is an instrumental record first, post rock album second. The musicality of the art on display here is better explained as simply beautiful music rather than genre casting it into several neat little boxes which rob you of any freedom to interpret the work for yourself. If I go on and compare it to this band or that band for reference, it’s fair to assume your mind would consider if you like ‘those’ artists first and then proceed to judge Grun’s new album accordingly without having spent any time with it. Continue reading Grun – Manyana (2017)
This is the best the band has ever sounded. This is the best they have ever done. This is one of the best. Period. Continue reading Sleepmakeswaves – Made of Breath Only (2017)
Progressive-post-metal done damn well.
This 5 piece outfit from Sydney will turn some heads when this drops. Continue reading Stare At The Clouds – This Clear Divide (2016)
4 piece Sydney based outfit Dumbsaint make intense instrumental music that swings between really heavy and really pretty. They also make short films. Not like video clips though…more like visual narratives. This combination of mediums puts them in a category all of their own. The duality of both stage and screen has long been part of the bands appeal and has earned them respect and attention.
The latest record is ‘Panorama, in ten pieces’ and it’s the second full-length from the band, available from the lovely people at Art As Catharsis records & Birds Robe Collective. (rad aussie indie labels putting out crazy good stuff, go suss em out)
The opening song ‘Low Visions’ is a massive introduction to the body work. It grinds away with low tuned guitars and huge drums delivering rhythmic blasts and clever off-time signature stuff. Very tight and very engaging.
It follows with ‘Communion’ which introduces some pretty melodic guitar twinkling and spacey verbs before reaching almost post-metal territory mid way through. It builds tension and keeps the pace up until about the 5 minute mark where it retreats to a more chilled but darker ambient sound. It’s quite a ride!
As a listener, by the time you’ve reached track 3 you should have a fair idea of what you are in for: well executed and dramatic rock music that dabbles in prog/post metal that hits some soaring highs and bleak lows.
Production is superb on this. Guitars have body and thickness when hitting heavy and the sounds dialled in for the quieter parts aren’t too washed out or bright. Drums are solid, big and live. A lot of what is going on rhythmically has to do with the busy and creative patterns played out here and although the band members all have standout moments…the drums are just unreal! Take the frantic energy of the opening minute to ‘Cold Call’ for example… amazing.
Another album highlight was the brilliant bass and guitar work on ‘Graceland’. This Tool-esque piece of music made me hit replay almost immediately. Gorgeous melodic progressions play under clever percussive tones and made for a standout moment amidst all the awesome heavier tracks.
At present just the music is out.. as per normal.. for stream/download or purchase but the truly innovative part of this bands art is the companion piece which is not yet available…a full 60 minute film. That’s all available for pre-order along with the vinyl issue of this opus which is due to drop early 2016.
In the interim, video’s for ‘Communion’ and ‘Cold Call’ are up for viewing so definitely go check them out for a good indicator of what is yet to come from these ambitious overachievers!
This is an outstanding record full of intense, creative and powerful sections of music. It’s really engaging and easy to digest compared to other releases in this style which require a little more patience for the pay off. There is depth here that will yield other gems with further listens but on first spin..it’s a great ride. Without doubt a contender for some top listings on AOTY polls.
RIYL: As We Draw, Isis, Botch, MONO
More about them here: http://dumbsaint.net/
Go buy/stream/order it from here: https://artascatharsis.bandcamp.com/album/panorama-in-ten-pieces