port-royal
Flares


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
February 19th, 2007 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Whenever I listen to a post-rock album for the first time I never instantly enjoy it. Take some of the genres most critically acclaimed albums, GYBE’s Skiny Fists..., Sigur Ros’ () and Slints Spiderland take a great amount of time to get into. If you have the patience listening to these albums can be quite a rewarding experience, but I’m a busy man and just don’t have that kind of time. After listening to many post-rock albums I wanted to get into something right away without investing hours and hours of precious time into the album just so it would grow on me.

Fortunately for me I stumbled upon Port Royals Flares. Unlike many other ambient/post-rock albums Flares caught my attention from the get go. Calming keyboard soundscapes, soothing beats, and hypnotic guitar lines are all found throughout Flares giving the listener a very relaxing experience. The organic production benefits the music as it creates vivid imagery, every instrument meshes together creating a trance inducing sound.

Port Royals sound hints towards the more ambient side of post-rock since their music is more keyboard oriented. Zobione pts 1, 2, and 3 all surround the listener with various keyboard tones and soothing samples. It’s evident that the group takes obvious influences from ambient pioneers such as Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno. Flares pts 1, 2, and 3 are completely different from the whole Zobione series. Rather then entrancing the listener with keyboards “Flares” features epic buildups and hard hitting guitar parts. Flares pt. 2 contains trip-hop influenced beats along with crashing guitars and haunting piano chords. It’s not exactly a unique or interesting sound but music slowly builds up and ends with a bang. For me the highlight of the album is the eleven minute Spetsnaz / Paul Leni, this tune nearly goes from crunchy, danceable beats to gloomy keyboard orchestrations. Besides G!YBE I’ve never heard a post-rock group switch moods so quickly without the transfer being abrupt or distracting.

Flares may not be a genre defying album but it represents the ambient/post-rock genre extremely well. Musically Port Royal are kind of like a combination of Brian Eno (during is moody ambient phase) and Explosions in the Sky. Throw in some hypnotic trip-hop beats and samples and you’ve got Port Royals Flares. Any fan of post-rock or ambient will definitely enjoy this album.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sepstrup
February 19th 2007


1564 Comments


This sounds like an album for me. I find Sigur Ros boring and have yet to fall in love with a post-rock album.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


2806 Comments


Sounds cool I'll look into this.

Micky67
February 19th 2007


23 Comments


I would have given this album a 5. It is one of my favourite albums of all time. I cannot wait for the next one in April.

I also think they could really take post-rock in a different direction. "Flares" wasn't particularly genre-defying as you mentioned, but for a debut it is absolutely stunning

Nice review!

descendents1
February 19th 2007


702 Comments


I like the review and it moved me. I'm going to get this just because the word Spetsnaz is featured in the tracklisting.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
February 19th 2007


1588 Comments


Sounds quite interesting, and sounds like theres a good chance I'll dig this. I'll have to check it out sometime soon.

thunderzstruck
February 20th 2007


148 Comments


this sounds very good, im downloading it right now

cometuesday
June 26th 2008


959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was actually my first post rock record and listening to it again recently i've remembered how great it is.



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