As one door closes, another opens. Or so the saying goes. Yet the conclusion of the A Natural Disaster (Music For Nations) run saw British Progressive Rock act Anathema complete their second cycle, one that had taken them from Doom (Serenades through The Silent Enigma) through a transitional period through more Progressive and emotional waters (Eternity through to …Disaster including the exceptional Judgement), alone in a room without an opening ahead of them, with apparently limited options. Externally, at least, the future of the band seemed shrouded, and their continued existence, let alone any future success, appeared unlikely.Continue reading →
Some bands around have names that describe what they are before you have even started listening to the album. Bleak and cold, Hypothermia’s depressive and atmospheric rock music embodies the slow freeze of the condition itself. The album contains a simple mix of introverted, despondent guitar lines that seem to exist outside of conventional timing as they drag their way from beginning to end, driven solely by a mid-paced drum beat.
At 8 and a half minutes long, opener ‘Invokation’ set the tone of the album, introducing the droning chords that runs through virtually the entire record. Each track adds a little extra to the sound, with ‘Svartkonst’ and ‘Regnvals’ introducing vocal and violin lines that murmur beneath the chord lines. The biggest change however comes in with closing track ‘Vy,’ the slightly uplifting harmonies sound positively joyful compared with the previous tracks and prove relief from the monotonously depressive sound.
Svartkonst (Agonia) captures the feel of early Forgotten Tomb’s acoustic tracks, however Hypothermia has crafted sound that relies far more on the subtle layering of parts than most bands. Distorted riffs, string sections and vocal flourishes hide beneath the tide of jangled guitar chords, slowly adding colour to the droning tone that purveys throughout.
With no main focal point, this album could easily be passed up as background music or dismissed as sounding empty and without focus, but this would be a mistake. For those listeners willing to give the album a chance there is a lot of to gain from the sound. Svarkonst will take you on a 35-minute journey though some of the bleakest emotional paths, with only those who can make it through to the end of the album provided with the faintest glimmer of relief.
Erupting from the speakers with a dirty barrage and a clatter akin to Trap Them, title track and opening number ‘Pelon Juuret’ reaches for the throat, rips it open and roars down the gaping hole. Its successor, ‘Vihan Lapset’ isn’t far behind, swinging gut-punches and sonic upper-cuts with a Wolverine Blues-ramped-to-11 aggression and swagger.Continue reading →
The reunion of three fifths of post-metallers Isis alone is something to raise intrigue and hunger but add Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno into the mix and that appetite takes on a more voracious stance. It also ignites wondering expectations as to which direction their sound and presence together as Palms would take, the heavier more rapaciously intrusive fascination of Isis or the experimental atmospheric devouring of Moreno’s day job. The self-titled debut reveals it is somewhere in between whilst exploring its own evocative and enthralling soundscapes.Continue reading →