Review Summary: Post-rock with a twist, ambience with a spin.2 of 4 thought this review was well writtenNoo-muh
. The silent P is evident, but surely what isn't silent is the charismatic art, merging ambience and post-rock into this ten-song release. Almost every track is just as strong as the next, holding the work together.
It's hard for me to go into this album listening to just one particular song. Not only organized and produced well, but also the music is outstanding, and almost haunting. Knowing about this band for several months now, but never investing my time into them was regretful, but finally giving this cd a listen was worth it.
Saying that they're pure post-rock would be like saying Set Your Goals is a punk band. They both contain elements of their predecessors, but are far from the original production. But that's not saying that this album is bad. Far from it.
Being fairly new to Ambient and Post-Rock, I'm not going to make many viable comparisons, although there were a few artists to come to mind while listening to this album.
Starting off, the first track is Aphelion
. In the very beginning, the ambience starts along with some pieces of piano and xylophone. Although it becomes repetitive, the song isn't long and the intensity of the song amplifies at the very middle of it. Desperate, borderline shouting, the lyrical amount is limited but still meaningful. As a whole, it's darker than most of the other content on the album, but it is a very good beginning.
Cover the Roots, Lower the Stems
on the other hand, begins a lot more mellow. Less of the ambient element is in there, and it's more so, straightforwardly experimental. As straightforward as experimental can be. The bass is clearly evident, and as soon as the power begins in the song again, so do the vocals, albeit somewhat overshadowed by the music. It seems that way for much of the album, really. Before slowing down for a little while, exposing the bass once again, the ending is climactic.
Despite one being extensively longer, and mildly more repetitive than the other, Alastika
are similarly styled. Both leaning less towards the ambience, the post-rock elements are more obvious in these two songs. If you can wait out the first two minutes of 8105
, containing the same riff being played over and over, I assure the rest is worth it. Even showcasing a bit of trumpet, this song is unpredictable, and still managing to be enjoyable. Alastika
on the other hand is more simple, but has a catchy light riff before becoming exciting towards the end.
For the most part, the first few songs do follow a formula of light introduction, heavier guitar, light interlude, and climactic finish.
One song breaking this trend though, is Fourth
, interestingly enough, the fourth song on the album. At only 1:22, the song contains mostly piano, along with unintelligible speech in the background, it's almost reminiscent of the end of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's, Gathering Storm. Only somewhat inferior.
Coming up next is Bottom Feeder
, consisting of ambience and what sounds like a wind chime. As far as ambience, this, and The Earth and the Sun
come closest to it, both songs parallel to work on Mute Math's, Reset EP. Though, The Earth and Sun
is superior to Bottom Feeder
. The latter tends to drag on, despite its short length, not even making it to two and a half minutes. On the other hand, The Earth and the Sun
does contain a build up, along with, you guessed it, another climactic ending.
Simply enough, the seventh song on the cd is acoustic, titled Sol Solis
. Carrying a folk tune to it, it's a nice listen, although not quite a stand out track.
Slightly returning to the previous format of songs, there is Grow On, Grow Up, Grow Out
. Only, the climax takes up more than half of the song. Coming up with a rough start, it soon turns into an explosion of post-rock and ambient riffs, the slow down at the end preparing the listener for the next track, The Earth and the Sun
, mentioned above.
Last, but certainly not least, is Ode We Will Bury Ourselves
. Being the second longest track on the album, it delivers. This song contains some of the few moments where the vocalist actually sings, instead of yells, or 'sings' so lowly that it's barely audible. Contrasted from the first song, this one probably has the lightest mood of them all, second up being Sol Solis
. The trumpet also returns for a brief but pleasant moment in the middle of the song. Towards the end, several voices join in with the singing, as the music eventually fades out, returning to the same bizarre noises as were at the beginning of Aphelion
. The end is very conclusive, but leaving on a note of satisfaction.
Despite the fact that this album is largely influenced upon post and ambient rock, it is still worthwhile and should be invested in. It's catchy, infectious, and beautifully written but more so, full of talent. If given the time, I recommend checking out what they have up on their myspace, www.myspace.com/movingmountainsmusic. Considering it has its low points, Pneuma is still a solid album.
-Use of Trumpet, Xylophone, etc.
-Some songs contain repetetiveness
-The borderline screaming in Aphelion
-Not enough focus on singing vocals