It’s really no real secret that post-metal is in a tight spot. Some of the bands of years gone by have been so good at the genre, that shaking off their influence has become a task few bands are up to. Sure, we’ve seen good releases in the past few years but the yoke of plagiarism has been lying heavily on them. Luckily, we have Minsk. Somewhat a part of the generation that formed this genre but better classified as its direct descendant, the band have always been an outlier in what we could expect from their like.
The Crash & The Draw, their latest album and first release of the last six years, is no different but much, much better. Where past experiments in psychedelic rock enclaves in the post-metal genre suffered from lack of cohesion and proper production, Minsk has never been more focused and crystal clear than they are on this release. It is, simply put, a vital energy fix this genre has craved for a long time.
It is without a doubt that we turn first to the vocal performance on this album. This is not just excellently performed but also amazingly composed and envisioned. Instead of fading into a monotonous background, like it often does in both the doom and post-metal genre Minsk inhibit, it has been bought front and center. Exceptional examples include the last 15 seconds of second track ‘Within and Without’, housing one of the most emotionally impressive screams in recent memory, and the intensely oppressing ‘The Soil Calls’.
Mentioning that track is a good opportunity to discuss an obvious feature of this album: ‘Onward Procession’ is a four-part epic of which the aforementioned track comprises the second part. This is a well known and utilized tool in the genre but here it is exceptionally placed. Taken up the bulk of the middle of the album, it’s almost a release onto itself. More than that, the subtle return of internal motifs and its overall structure, enable this track to lend its weight to the record as a whole. It anchors it and speaks not only within itself but also with tracks outside of it.
There really is very little at fault here. Perhaps between ‘Onward Procession’ and ‘When The Walls Fell’, the closing track of the album, things get a little stale. However, the closing track itself more than makes up for that, with a chilling intro and an overall execution that builds well on all that has come before it. The longer ‘The Way Is Through’ should also be mentioned, reminding one of the excellent closer to Yob‘s The Path to Ascend, in its dedication to a softer approach to doom.
When all is said and done, this is the Minsk album we all wanted and that the genre needed. Like seminal releases before it, it is quite likely that it will become a burning point for the generation to come in post-metal. It shows exactly how the genre can be kept alive and interesting, by turning towards varied composition and execution. Minsk are not afraid to continue down their path and this time they’ve really nailed it: all outside influences ring true and enrich the base strata of their sound.
Minsk’s The Crash And The Draw gets…