Another day, another excellent release from Art as Catharsis. We’ve already spoken about Bear the Mammoth‘s Years Under Glass when we premiered “Known Unknowns”, one of the brighter tracks from the album. But now it’s time for the full thing, streaming exclusively here ahead of its release on October 5th. In case you’ve forgotten or are unaware, we’re dealing with rich, textured post-rock with this release, summoning forth a real knack for depth, expression and intriguing composition. These traits are even more important when listening to the full thing is opposed to one track; there’s a lot going on in this album that derives its impact from the overall structure of the thing. More on that below; for now, scroll down to listen to it in full.
First things first; “Eyes Still” is one of the best album openers of the year. It just spells the intent of the album so brilliantly from the get go, setting a heavier tone for the kind of post-rock we’re handling here. It also has that brilliant bass in the middle of it, calling to mind once again the excellent Sleeping Bear. But as said above, we can now also dig into the “meta structure” of each track; listen to how the groove between the bass and the drums which opens “Mossian”, the next track over, “talks” with that in the middle of “Eyes Still”. These kinds of clever callbacks and progressions continue all through the album and tell us nothing less than this: Bear the Mammoth have their own style but they aren’t afraid to dance a cool little circle around it.
And that’s the secret to making good post-rock in the year of 2018; you have to know who you are but also willing to step outside of your comfort zone every now and again (like Bear the Mammoth do right after that initial groove of “Mossian”, trekking bravely closer to the realms of ambiance improvisation). Doing so creates albums that are engaging and filled with secrets and little touches, as this album is. Make sure to click through above to their Bandcamp page and pre-order it; it’s set to be one hell of a winter album (which is ironic, since Summer is beginning in Australia, where the band are from).