Inbox finds are the best; 75% of these posts were spawned from albums that we just randomly received. However, they’re usually submissions that do one thing really well or that don’t have enough runtime for a full review. Neither of those is the case here; I just love this album so much by now (after hearing it nonstop for three days) that I simply couldn’t wait for a review slot to open up. OK, let’s backtrack. A Great Adventure Or Nothing (named for the famous Hellen Keller quote) is a one man project from Canada. Nic Sauve, the man behind the music, produces this enchanting blend between post-rock, djent, progressive music and electronics. His debut, self titled release is nothing short of an achievement; it goes so many places and yet has its own identity. It’s really a wild ride, so let’s jump to the music and then meet back for some commentary.
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OK, so you hear this first track and there are two names that should spring into your head immediately: Animals as Leaders and Cloudkicker. The djent-y riffs with added dream-y ambiance summon forth the first name. Something about their glittering timbre screams Tosin Abasi. But the overall vibe with the drums and bass figured in is pure Cloudkicker, setting forth a big, chunky, hopeful sound that’s impossible to escape. However, the ending of the track is nothing like those two bands. It reminds us of electronic passages and samples found on a sleepmakeswaves album or We Lost the Sea.
And then the second track overlays really throaty and moving vocals over the whole lot. Suddenly, there’s all this alternative rock vibe here, while also still maintaining the djent sound and the electronics? Thing is, the album doesn’t even stop there. The third track is this spaced out, completely electronic sojourn in a far away land. And further on there’s “Quasars in the Distance” which dabbles in Wide Eyes brand of djent/progressive metal? Somehow, a cohesive sound is achieved through all this genre hopping and blending. Perhaps the secret is in the super clear production or the fierce dedication to that ephemeral, gazing-into-the-stars vibe that’s so prominent in the opening tracks.
However it’s achieved, this debut album puts to shame many bands, some much more veteran than Sauve. It doesn’t lose itself in all the normal trappings of instrumental, djent-oriented metal and never once drops its dedication to electronics. It’s not a gimmick, not a nod; it’s part of how the music sees itself and how it progresses. Long story short, it’s goddamn brilliant and completely from left field. This is set to be one of the surprises that the already excellent 2016 throws at us and I’m beyond grateful to have received this submission. Head on over to bandcamp and throw money at the man, will you?
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