It's rare that I dedicate two Post Rock Posts to the same band; usually, they're all about new artists operating within or around the post rock genre. However, sometimes artists change their sound so much from album to album that I feel as if they justify another entry in the same column. Besides, this is Heavy Blog; when have we been super strict about our definitions and categories? With these things in mind, let me update you as to Salvya and how they've been doing. I first wrote about this Israeli band over two years ago; they were gearing up for Unrecognizable then, an ethereal album that was firmly rooted around progressive and post rock influences and a strong main vocalist. Last week, the band released Impostor Syndrome and let's just say there have been some changes. Head on over the jump for an example.
Sometimes, I get to do really cool things as a music journalist. Sometimes, I get to do amazing things and this is one of them. Arjen Lucassen, AKA Ayreon, has been a musical hero of mine every since the first notes of The Human Equation played in my ears, right after I had purchased the album in Paris (I was there seeing Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. Good trip). It was a split earphone cable arrangement and I was listening to it with one of my best friends, who had insisted I get it. Sure enough, I wasn't disappointed; vocal lines by some of the my favorite singers (James LaBrie, Devin Townsend, Mikael Akerfeldt, Devon Graves, to mention just a few) echoed in my ears, set to amazing, progressive instrumentation. An obsession was born; over the next few years, I bought every single Ayreon album I could get hold of and start following him fervently.
As any fan of metal music should know, darkness can be a beautiful thing; with this firmly in mind Katatonia have continuously set out to carve beautiful and melodic albums that are deeply entrenched in the gloomier side of the human subconscious. Through a heavy reliance on imagery that calls to mind thoughts of isolation, depression, death, and loss, the band capture a spirit of fear and beauty while at the same time melodic albums that are also deeply entrenched in the gloomier side of the human subconscious. Relying heavily on imagery that calls to mind thoughts of isolation, depression, death, and loss, the band capture a spirit of fear and beauty while at the same time continuously furthering themselves from the metal template, much like their Swedish peers, Opeth --- another band whose formative years were rooted in death metal. Unlike Opeth, however, Katatonia have taken a decidedly more subtle and transitional route to developing their sound; slowing changing, adding, and subtracting elements from each release to create something that is entirely their own, as opposed to the jarring and slightly unsettling abandonment of metal qualities as on Opeth's latest release, Heritage.