Toundra – Vortex

Toundra have an interesting career. This Spanish post rock/metal band have been operating in the same semantic fields as bands like If These Trees Could Talk, Sleeping Bear or Afformance  making their way through the uncertain and, sometimes, downright disastrous, genre of heavy post rock. They were making music way before the current resurgence of the genre and, in Heavy Blog circles at least, were often cited as a light in the darkness, something original and fresh in a genre which seems to have lived out its welcome. Their second album, aptly titled II is a masterpiece, one of the best groovy/heavy post rock releases around. But now, when plenty of other bands are making fantastic music in the same vein, are Toundra still relevant? Following up on some releases that weren’t as powerful as the all-mighty II, are Toundra still up there with the best of them when it comes to making expansive, instrumental music?

Love Of Cartography: A Taxonomy Of Post Rock

The goal of these taxonomy posts is not to provide an exhaustive and accurate list or definition of a certain genre or genres. Quite the opposite in fact: attempting to make such a complete list would only replace one stagnated image-object with another, creating an equally irrelevant definition, whether it can be considered currently accurate or not. Therefore, we want to keep some of that fuzz, to leave ends untied and room for further articles and discussion among our readers. We’re not saying that this is going to be a series; these posts take far too much time and energy to commit to something like that. We are saying however that there’s plenty more to discuss, within and without the progressive metal genre and we’ll try and do that when we can.

So, post rock. Post rock is a perfect candidate for such an examination. On the one hand, there’s a very strong and often negative image of what post rock is. Seminal bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, God Is An Astronaut and Explosions In The Sky have enjoyed widespread, cultural popularity, solidifying the image of post rock in the eyes of the public. Pretentious, long-winded, dreamy, beautiful, cinematic, instrumental and rarified are all adjectives which were born from this image. Post rock was, and still is, perceived as a genre for the few, starry eyed and sentimental. Perhaps owing to just how good the afore-mentioned bands really are, their music also overpowered the conceptual space for the genre, leading people to expect certain things from the music that fell under the moniker.

Hey! Listen To Lighteater!

As a resident of New York City and Brooklyn, it is far too easy to become complacent as a music fan. Any band with any aspiration is going to come through here at some point, so you just gotta wait for new and great music to come to you. It’s…

Hey, Listen To Sleeping Bear!

We’ve had a plethora of great post-rock albums come out so far this year, and now it seems here’s yet another one for us to enjoy. Sleeping Bear are a young band hailing all the way from Kiev, Ukraine and they’ve recently released their self-titled debut record. Their music sounds a…