E.S. Posthumus
Unearthed


4.0
excellent

Review

by Marko Polovina USER (90 Reviews)
August 24th, 2009 | 18 replies | 7,024 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You really hear E.S. Posthumus every day.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

E.S. Posthumus or as the men behind the name would like to say "Experimental Sounds/Electronic Sounds of all things past". Brothers Franz and Helmut Vonlichten, who as of recently revealed their identities as the true people behind E.S. Posthumus. Undoubtedly rumors had been spreading quite substantially as of who was behind the album Unearthed due to its immense popularity and role played in film and television. The men finally responded with their true identities behind the project. E.S. Posthumus is essentially the philosophy of Pythagoream which states that "music is the harmonies of opposites, the warring of the elements"; well put and straight from the pages of history Unearthed plays exactly as such.

E.S. Posthumus is the epitome of cinematic musical buildup. Dramatic in as many ways as exotic, the album is featured in countless films and TV programs around the world. Only 4 tracks are rarely used as of today and Unearthed could be a standalone soundtrack for most grandiose, high budget, historical films of eventful wars or prominent figures. While the album seems to take a bit of influence from big name composers like Hans Zimmer as seen in "Tikal" and "Harappa", it's understood that these two were never educated to become composers, only having the piano guidance from their mother and Franz's experience in the record studio are the only two things that are actually worthy of mentioning. Frankly, it's quite amazing these two have created such a wide and accessible album to musical score fanatics and studios alike.

Their new age style along with their neoclassical painting by Michelangelo indicates the album has a focused concept throughout. All though it would seem quite ridiculous to go into detailed history of each track as they all pertain to a past ancient city that was once destroyed (many of which that do not exist as of today). Much of the album introduces Middle-Eastern craft smothered in various movements brought by the violin. The foreign hymns that no doubt are Latin helping the album and its long traveling influences. Visually Unearthed is exceptional as it momentarily grips you in the world that is being captured within the music. Quite odd considering this album isn't attached to a single median. It has yet to be used exclusively to any movie, considering its extensive range of sound that remains an peculiar occurrence. You hear countless references from film and television from songs like "Tikal", "Nara", "Ebla", "Cuzco", "Nineveh", "Lepcis Magna" and "Pompeii", all have distinct sounds that incorporate themselves within everyday television and film.

The scope of this album may seem a bit overconfident or even pretentious, but considering the connection that these track names have with the music itself and the musicians themselves it really doesn't turn out that way. Helmut Vonlichten after graduating from UCLA obtained a degree in Archaeology (soon after teaming up with his brother to create E.S. Posthumus), hence the names of the tracks in connection with one of the brother's past studies. No doubt he would have a keen insight and knowledge on the cultural and traditional musical instruments used within these cities. Unearthed, as it should be is extremely dramatic in its upbringing. Much of the album consists of constant drumming in the background, soaring violins, spacious flutes, tragic Latin vocals and intense buildups. Despite the multitude of cities and problems that could arise with Unearthed they never do. Each track is tightly knit within its own structure, using the inspiration given by these cities. "Tikal" sounds like a match to the death for Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott's Gladiator, while "Ebla", with its illustrious vocals and intriguing synth background makes an memorable track to say the least. Generally Unearthed takes a step forward with each successive attempt upon a new city, despite the obvious inclusion of each city's extensive musical background it works without hesitation or reluctance. The Vonlichten brothers essentially craft an album that please anyone mildly interested in the soundtrack genre, while legitimately breaking a bit of ground within their debut. While the draw of Unearthed is its scope and magnitude from the deserts of the Middle East, to the ancients of Rome, and the exciting history of the samurai in Japan, when it all really comes down to accessibility. And this accessibablty may garner thoughts of generic new age buildups and overly-intensive musicianship, but that's the whole point of this album. E.S. Posthumus' debut is instantly recognizable if you heard a few seconds of any track and once you get the chance to you'll realize why Unearthed is worth your time.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MassiveAttack
August 24th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have this rated higher, but I can understand why some people may feel this is too accessible, but that was pretty much the intention. Almost every track is recognizable to virtually anyone with a TV. It probably won't be hard to find considering its popularity, check it out if you're into classical/new age stuff.

pizzamachine
August 24th 2009



12571 Comments


I have no doubt that this would be good, but I really don't care. Great review btw.

MassiveAttack
August 24th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea that's the general feeling I assumed people would have, but I guess that is the problem with this type of work by them. I have yet to hear their last album The Cartographer which came out last year.

ninjuice
August 25th 2009



6759 Comments


Brothers Franz and Helmut Vonlichten, who as of recently revealed their identities as the true people behind E.S. Posthumus

There's a subject and verb, but I'm pretty sure that's incorrect somehow.
All though it would seem quite ridiculous to go into detailed history of each track as they all pertain to a past ancient city that was once destroyed

This should be connected to the previous sentence somehow. As it is, I believe that's another fragment.
Unearthed, as it should be is extremely dramatic in its upbringing

There should be a comma after "be". Personally, I'd put "as it should be" at the end as well.

I believe I remember reading about this on iTunes in relation to Rob Dougan, but forgot about it until now. So thanks for reviewing it!

Digging: Robin Skouteris - The King of ArtPOP

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2009



15876 Comments


Good review but it sounds like it would be boring ;)

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

MassiveAttack
August 25th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed Willie that's the problem it has, it just would seem a bit boring for most people.

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2009



15876 Comments


Are you saying I'm like most people?

MassiveAttack
August 25th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YES YOU NICKELBACK LOVER

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2009



15876 Comments


haha, there are a lot of mainstream bands I like but not Nickelback.

MassiveAttack
August 25th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YES YOU SHINEDOWN LOVER

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2009



15876 Comments


Guilty (ha ha, actually I don't think I've even heard them). Have you listened to any 16Volt yet?

MassiveAttack
August 25th 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nah I'm still listening trying to get to Fenneesz, Four Tet...pretty much my library. Don't got the time, but I'll bookmark it on my music site.

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2009



15876 Comments


Yeah, this site definitely provides more music reccomendations than can ever realistically be listened to. I've just learned who to trust and who to ignore when it comes to rec's.

OpenDoorLeia
May 14th 2010



72 Comments


I downloaded this recently...it's pretty cool

KritikalMotion
September 3rd 2010



2261 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck this is good, always comes up on my pandora station and i love it

MassiveAttack
September 30th 2010



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see someone is enjoying it.

qwe3
September 30th 2010



21353 Comments


nara is so familiar sounding

ShadowEnvy
September 15th 2011



107 Comments


Pos'd. This music is extremely unappreciated outside of music communities IMO. Great review.



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