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Post Rock Post // May 2024

By the grace of whatever power you think keeps the world running, we have some fantastic music to share with you this time around.

25 days ago

There's an alternate universe where we stopped running Post Rock Post last year. Two of its biggest contributors, Nick and David, simply have too much going on in their life to commit to it like they used it. It's mostly Trent and I now and our ongoing interest in one of the best, and most maligned, genres out there. And that's primarily why Post Rock Post still exists - post-rock, and post metal, and psychedelic, and post-black, and the other sub-genres we allow on here, are all still making really good music. So yeah, sometimes we might take a month off to let the amount of albums gather and justify a column. But sometimes we might run this column for just one album.

It all depends on how good the music and by the grace of whatever power you think keeps the world running, we have some fantastic music to share with you this time around. And, at the end of the day, that's all that matters, right? It is for me.

Please enjoy.

-Eden Kupermintz

Locrian  - End Terrain 

End Terrain by Locrian is a living and breathing machine of an album. Buzzing and pulsating with synth melodies beneath grinding walls of reverberating distortion, fuelled by grief and raw unbridled passion. Like a whirring kaleidoscope of colour and noise, the album matches the feeling of the chaotic and unsettling artwork. This Chicago-based three-piece has been around since the mid-00s, but has largely evaded my attention until recently. The group is most known for their earlier terrifying, noisy dark ambient/drone sound, most prominently recognized by their 2010 album The Crystal World and its equally disturbing artwork. Over time the group has shifted away from drone towards a more cohesive post- sound, dipping into atmospheric black metal and blackgaze sounds along the way until landing in End Terrain, what could be their strongest, and coincidentally most post-rock album to date. 

We’ve covered their drummer, Steven Hess’ other project RLYR on this column in the past, and End Terrain borrows a lot of its synthy post-rock qualities, however that sound is taken to harsher and more experimental extremes here. The sound across the album flows seamlessly between the array of influences and genres they’ve covered in the career, while maintaining a general post-rock ethos. Vocals are dispersed throughout, channeling the desperate passion of Glassing and the haunting doomgaze of Holy Fawn. This collision with the cinematic electro-tinged post-rock of a pg.lost or Bruit lends itself to a refreshing and dynamic listening experience unlike much else you can find. It’s not afraid to get dark and heavy either, with some of the blastbeat and synth barrages echoing the fury of early Genghis Tron

This is an album that rewards a patient listen. That’s not to say it’s overly long or drawn out, the 40-minute run-time and song lengths are probably on the short side for post-rock, however it does embrace some of the drone elements of Locrian’s early work, and makes the most out of emphasis through repetition and nuanced layering. Endlessly swirling, and always in flux, Locrian keeps you engaged with shifting moods exploring pained abrasiveness and pensive ambiance from start to finish. 

Midas Fall - Cold Waves Divide Us

Midas Fall explore an airy, floaty form of post-rock while not being so textural and reverb heavy that it would fall into shoegaze territory. Instead it takes on an ancient, earthen, folksy feeling that is prime company for a good hike. The distinguishing element is undeniably the ethereal, bordering gothic vocals of Elizabeth Heathon. Similarities could be drawn to early A.A. Williams in their melancholic, dreamy, approach to the genre where the mere presence and tone of the vocals contribute added passion and heartbreak among the layers of cinematic and somber song-writing. The songs are full of longing and emotion, while exercising plenty of restraint in their song-lengths which average around the 5-minute mark. As such, some of the tension building falls a little short, but there’s still plenty of strong instrumental passages of pure brooding post-rock that those hesitant of vocal post-rock shouldn’t shy away from.  

Towers of Jupiter - Echus Chasma

Towers of Jupiter might be the band who have gone from “I have no idea who these guys are” to “I am absolutely obsessed with these guys” the fastest for me. I came to III late when it was released but when I heard it, I couldn’t stay away; something about its morose sound and how it captured a deeply enchanted and melancholy view of the world deeply resonated with me. This time around, I listened to Echus Chasma, their latest EP, from the moment it dropped and I haven’t stopped since. 

It’s a beautiful elaboration on the Towers of Jupiter sound, once again channeling that kind of forlorn type of post-rock, stoner, and grunge melange that I can’t quite get anywhere else. However, on this EP, the Towers for Jupiter sound seems more diffuse and less laden with a shoegaze "dampness" to it. To be clear, that sound worked very well on the previous release but I am immensely moved by the more crystal clear and piercing sound that Echus Chasma is made with. It lends the album more of a post-rock feel, with all of the forlorn themes and timbres that implies. Lastly, I can’t heap enough praise on the vocals. Just like on the previous release, and on their albums before it, the vocals effortlessly evoke a profound sort of detachment, less uncaring and more busy with the sky, seemingly looking into another place. It’s hard to describe but the vocals on Echus Chasma always make me want to stop and think, to try and see whatever it is they glimpse elsewhere.

Another point of genius on this release is that, instead of running the risk of a lot of post-rock by losing some of its incisive focus, Echus Chasma keeps things relatively brief by running four tracks and limiting three of those to around the six minute mark. The shorter run time makes Echus Chasma that much more effective, a powerful but short sojourn in a realm of cold fog, clouds shorn by light, and figures seen in the distance, beckoning you to dive deeper into what lies underneath. There’s so much to explore in these twenty eight minutes, a true testament to Towers of Jupiter's ability to do much more with much less than most bands would afford themselves on such a release. But there’s also much to enjoy on the first few listens, immediately beautiful as the album is. And if you fall in love as hard as I have, commit yourself to Echus Chasma and it will reveal itself to you: one of 2024’s most beautifully delicate and deep records.

-EK

Eden Kupermintz

Published 25 days ago