You might be wondering why there have been so many of these lately. Some of it has to do with backlog; post rock is a notoriously hard genre to parse, sparse as it is, requiring more time from my ears to translate into words. But some of it is also to do with the sheer amount of interesting post rock that has been released this year. The true beauty of the volume of releases is its quality and variety. There have been great releases from more “classical” post rock bands, like Heron or Ranges, as well as releases doing new and interesting things with the formula, like Afformance or This Patch of Sky. Alongside these younger bands, we’ve also seen the successful return of massively important bands like sleepmakeswaves and Mogwai who have continued to grow their sound and solidify their legacy.
We’ll cover these trends more in depth as we near the year’s end but, for now, it’s safe to say that there’s a spirit of revival running through the oft-beleaguered genre. Adding to this revivification which, if we’re being honest, properly started last year or even a year before that, are Australian Echotide.
Yes, I know I’ve just written one of these posts where I said I rarely dedicate one to the same band but it’s really not my fault that bands we’ve already covered here keep releasing amazing music. It probably is my fault, however, that the format of these posts didn’t really take that into account. I’ll say a few prayers to a delay pedal in penance. For now, let’s talk about Afformance again. These guys, based in Athens, Greece, peddle in the most cinematic and expansive kind of post rock. Thing is, they make it work, standing high above the cut in the sea of mediocrity that has unfortunately come to categorize this brand of post rock in the past few years. Just last month, they released two albums: Pop Nihilism and Music For Imaginary Film #1 and while the former is just fine the latter is where I’d like to focus today.
It’s rare that I dedicate two Post Rock Posts to the same band; usually, they’re all about new artists operating within or around the post rock genre. However, sometimes artists change their sound so much from album to album that I feel as if they justify another entry in the same column. Besides, this is Heavy Blog; when have we been super strict about our definitions and categories? With these things in mind, let me update you as to Salvya and how they’ve been doing. I first wrote about this Israeli band over two years ago; they were gearing up for Unrecognizable then, an ethereal album that was firmly rooted around progressive and post rock influences and a strong main vocalist. Last week, the band released Impostor Syndrome and let’s just say there have been some changes. Head on over the jump for an example.
September 22nd 2017, will forever be remembered in the music community for two things: having so many great releases in one day and having so many great post rock releases in one day. Sporting albums from This Patch of Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, RANGES and many, many more, this last Friday was an incredible day for post rock fans. However, the amount of releases can also be a hindrance, burying otherwise worthy music under its weight. Some albums will be lost; there is no stopping that. But there’s one album I simply couldn’t let float by without my giving it my attention, without doing what I could to make sure as many people as possible heard it. I’m talking about Balmorhea’s Clear Language, a touching and ephemeral release blending post rock, electronica and drone.
This is third Post Rock Post that has emerged from A Thousand Arms dropping their latest compilation two weeks ago and I don’t think we’re even half way through them. There are plenty of more bands I’d like so shine a more specific light on; we’ll get there. For now, we have what is perhaps the most important name in this list of newly discovered (for me) post rock and metal bands: Seeress. As if the track on the compilation, “Attractor’, which opens their latest album wasn’t enough, the text on the release itself reeled me right in. It works marvelously with the grandiose sound of the band, giving the vibe chilling context. Let’s head on over the jump for a listen, a read and then, a discussion.
Hello! A little over a week ago, I informed you that good guys A Thousand Arms are back with yet another incredible compilation. Side A of Open Language Vol. II, with which the last post was mainly concerned, focused on post rock and metal bands from the good ol’ USA. We dug deep into the release finding plenty of gems hidden without it. Now, I’m back as promised to take a close look at Side B, which collects post rock and metal bands from all over the world. This side caught me a bit unawares; it suffered from a slightly lackluster opening half. However, there are some bands almost hidden as a reward for the careful listener near the end of the volume that more than make this side a must listen as well. Let’s dig in!
What better format to study the interesting duality between morality and knowledge than a massive post rock album, filled with nuance and subtlety? This is exactly what Ravena did in 2016 when they released Laocoön, an impressive foray into the realms of cinematic post rock and post metal. We spoke about them recently on the blog when I covered the Open Language post rock compilation (second part coming soon!). I had extolled their virtues there but I felt that their music warrants a post of its own and so, here we are!
A formula for making Stone From the Sky: put your hand on the dial that says “Camel” and then slow it way down. OK, you went too far and now you’ve made Earth. Bring it back up a notch, just a little bit. Wait, whoa, you went too far and now we have Cambrian Explosion. Slow it down again just a tiny bit and there we go! Stone From the Sky are like stoner rock that’s passed out in a field of post rock poppies, intoxicating delays doing some very weird things to its perceptions of timing, tone, and delivery. Their album, aptly named Fuck the Sun, is all rolling hills and wide meadows, a sojourn in the diffused light of some other source of illumination.
The annals of post rock will look kindly on the somber parts of the genre. In the past few years, they’ve been some of the most prolific, drawing on the once-not-obvious proximity between post rock and post metal. These bands, like If These Trees Could Talk or Outrun the Sunlight, create an atmosphere that is darker in its shadings than the post rock of the mid 2000’s, relying on booming drums and thick bass to garnish their delayed guitars. Into this context burst Astralia, a Barcelona based band with three albums to their name. Their most recent effort, released just a few days ago, sees them polish their style and cohesion. On Solstice, Astralia make a worthy addition to the realm of ponderous post rock and all the intonations one might expect from that label.
We’re on the record now on multiple occasions spilling our love for the blog post-engineering, both for their posts in general and especially for the massive and free Bandcamp compilations they’ve put out. After assembling two incredible comps of fantastic post-rock and metal from around the world the past couple of…