And So I Watch You From Afar – All Hail Bright Futures
All Hail Bright Futures is an odd proposition for a metal fan. A mix of upbeat post-rock, twisting math-rock ideals and an entirely liberal approach to incorporating instruments such as flutes and steel drums alongside their own personal moments of ‘metal’ heaviness may be a description enough to put more than a few of you off them instantaneously. However, for those of you still able to see the riffs through the trees, as it were, there’s a vast amount of fascinating and varied ideas on offer here that would satiate any fans of forward thinking metal music.
And So I Watch You From Afar waste no time in making a statement of intent early on and the combination of the chirpy, opening build-up of ‘Eunoia‘ and the frankly sublime ‘Big Thinks Do Remarkable‘ do that in a rush of synth-drenched leads, gang vocals and a complete ADD approach to post-rock. The entire concept could be described in rough terms as all the most sugary sweet sections of Torche meeting the sheer uplifting emotional left-hook of If These Trees Could Talk and Pelican, most obvious in tracks such as ‘Like A Mouse‘ and ‘AMBULANCE‘ that manage to sneak in some heavier sections that segue seamlessly in with the rest of the track.
All Hail Bright Futures is a record out on it’s own, few bands could take the energy of heavy music and infuse it with twee, jangly pop sections.And So I Watch You From Afar may have changed, but they’ve changed for the best and produced a record that could even put the most po-faced black metaller in a cheery mood. – DL
Gifts From Enola, the four-piece post-rock band from Harrisonburg, Virginia, has called it a day and are disbanding after completing an impressive seven year career. The band released a statement via their website explaining why they decided to hang up their instruments after a somewhat successful career. This comes as a surprise since they just recently came out with a new album A Healthy Fear about six months ago that was well received by most people and were still in the process of touring it. But as the explanation says, being a touring band is no easy task and there’s nothing glamorous about breaking the bank to be able to play a handful of shows.
To call And So I Watch You From Afar a ‘metal band’ might be stretching the word a little too far, but bare with me. My first interaction with this Northern Irish post-rock was actually at the UK metalfest Damnation in 2009 where they were nestled in a timeslot between two extremely heavy doom/sludge acts on the smallest stage. From there, it becomes the clichéd story of a band completely stealing the show but ends more surprisingly (sometimes I swear my brain is working against me) with me completely forgetting to check them out.
It wasn’t until 2011′s There Is A Hell… that I gained an appreciation for the polarizing metalcore group Bring Me The Horizon. Often credited as being one of the bands responsible for popularizing deathcore in their early days, the band has since grown and evolved, picking up more mature musical influences and going for a somewhat artsy aesthetic. My interest was piqued for their upcoming album Sempiternal when the band stated in interviews that the new material had a touch of post-rock influence; after all, who wouldn’t be slightly curious at the prospect of BMTH aping If These Trees Could Talk and This Will Destroy You. If anything, the most cynical of us could say they’ve gotten bored of ripping off Architects and instead decided to take a grab at Devil Sold His Soul.
While not necessarily in the ballpark of post-rock, Sempiternal‘s leading single ‘Shadow Moses’ does have an epic sort of air about it and has layers of ambiance. The single sounds massive, and while all we’ve got is a decent quality radio rip from Daniel P. Carter’s Rock Show on BBC Radio One, Terry Date’s production shows signs of being extravagant. Also, bonus points for the Metal Gear Solid reference.
Stream the track below:
Sempiternal will be out later this year, perhaps around April.
For whatever the reason may be, whenever I get round to making my end of year list, it seems the entirety of it is built up of well-established, well-known acts and the whole thing reads like a list of the most anticipated releases of the year. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I guess I’m drawn to the more refined and streamlined releases of a band who have found their sound and know how to utilise it. But when my taste is so predictable, it destroys the main point of these lists — to shine light on those elusive releases that blew up without anyone noticing. So in lieu of the standard records that I’m sure most people are enjoying (Meshuggah, High On Fire, Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death… the list goes on and on), here are 5 records that don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve and you might not have picked up on yet. But I promise you, they’re worth your time.
It seems that all things drawn out and epic are coming out on top this year — with great releases from If These Trees Could Talk, Frames and Pelican and even the recent reformation of legendary post-metallers Bossk all vying for attention for the past six months. To add to that, it turns out Metal Blade have recently signed Germans Downfall Of Gaia, whose crusty meanderings bring to mind a whole collection of influence including Isis, Humanfly and even the aforementioned Bossk. Having formed only in 2008, the band has released material in a multitude of formats, but most recently in the form of a split with Swedes In The Hearts Of Emperors, which you can listen to over at their bandcamp page.
Despite stretching two songs over twenty minutes, it’s a compelling listen that sways naturally from bleak and desolate guitar breaks through to crushing elephantine riffs. Definitely a band to keep an eye on and thankfully they have chosen to release their new concept album Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes later this year — another record to add to the ever growing list of things to look forward to.
04. Calm Wisdom
08. Don’t Stay Here
09. End Of A Decade
Instrumental music has always been somewhat of a ‘living oxymoron’. It seems that by taking away the one element of direct communication between the band and the listener, you unwittingly open up a packed toy box of ways to make the listener feel a whole palette of emotion, whether it’s through fanatic delay pedal abuse or even the oft-neglected use of dynamics. That ‘wordless expression’ is what defines post-metal/post-rock and the application is what separates the amateurs from seasoned veterans — Frames, for whatever the reason may be, have this down to a tee. View Full Article »
01. Breath Of Life
02. The First Fire
03. Barren Lands Of The Modern Dinosaur
04. They Speak With Knives
05. The Gift Of Two Rivers
06. Red Forest
07. The Aleutian Clouds
08. Left To Rust And Rot
09. When The Big Hand Buries The Twelve
Opening in an elegant drone of distant guitar feedback, acclaimed post-rock outfit If These Trees Could Talk set the scene for their sophomore album Red Forest with foreboding anticipation. One almost gets the sense of being amidst the landscape emblazoning the cover, as the atmospherics achieved right out of the gate accurately capture the spirit of its subject, especially once the hauntingly beautiful melodies come into play. If These Trees Could Talk have done it again.
Is it just me or does Guitar World get the best new song premieres? It seems like I’m paying them a visit for every other album I’m excited about. This time, they have the new track from post-rock shoegazers If These Trees Could Talk, ‘Red Forest.‘ Go give it a listen.
We’ve had the promo for a couple of weeks, and I can say with confidence that the whole record is absolutely filled with quality. We’re working on a full review of the upcoming record that should be good to go for next week, but I shouldn’t have to tell you that you don’t have to wait until we gush about the record to get excited. Spin ‘Red Forest‘ at Guitar World and give another album track ‘Barren Lands Of The Modern Dinosaur’ your undivided attention after the jump.
If These Trees Could Talk’s sophomore self-released album Red Forest is due out March 20th.
It’s pretty much common knowledge that we at Heavy Blog have a collective love of post rock. If These Trees Could Talk are big names around these parts, and ever since I heard 2009′s Above the Earth, Below the Sky, I’ve been in love with the band’s haunting atmospheric rock sound. I’ve been yearning for some new post rock to drift off to, and this year it looks like I’ll get it when ITTCT release their new album Red Forest this March.
You can hear and download a new song from the record right now over at RCRD LBL, where they’re streaming the track ‘Barren Lands of the Modern Dinosaur.‘ As expected, the track is just absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to hear more. As these things go, it wound up on YouTube. Give it a spin below.