Super• continent: (noun) a single landmass made up of all modern continents.
Post metal seems to take the cake when it comes to shoving verbs like ‘epic’ and ‘adventurous’. When a band that goes by the name Supercontinent comes around, you can bring it to the bank that that is exactly how you will be able to describe them. While a short lived band, especially when compared to most post metal giants out there, Supercontinent
left a lasting legacy that rewards the listener quite well. Leaving only one full length album, Supercontinent released their debut and final album, Vaalbara
, to the masses in 2008 that takes the listener on a new musical journey in a world of split opinions and hostile environments.
In geological terms, Vaalbara is a term that can play a mind*** with the brain in terms of scope. Any idiot that sleep through high school geology classes can say that the term ‘Pangaea’ refers to when Terra Firma was one whole continent, hence the term ‘supercontinent’. Vaalbara takes that and multiplies it nearly a thousand fold, as it refers to the ‘original’ supercontinent that some estimate to be somewhere in the reams of thousands of millions of years ago. Now, how does this have any relevancy towards the band and album itself? It’s simple; Vaalbara takes the aforementioned terms that can be used to describe competent post metal bands like Cult of Luna or Isis and takes them to whole new levels of grandiose scales.
Now this does not mean that Supercontinent exceeds the current leaders of post metal, no. Occasionally, Vaalbara can seem daunting and quite boring at times. Most of the songs on this release exceed the eight to nine minute marker, and with nine whole songs on this album it can seem quite a daunting task to keep the listener actually engaged for the duration of the album. Now Supercontinent cannot be faulted for that alone, as this is the basic approach that most post metal bands carry about themselves in the genre. They were a relatively new band to the perspective genre and because of this they tend to fall short occasionally in terms of replay ability but not nearly enough to the point of it becoming a major hindrance for the entire record.
Standout tracks on Vaalbara include the epic track ‘Earthrise
’ which follows a basic formula of post metal, with corrugating riffs that build upon each other for nearly seven minutes. While this may seem typical or even uninteresting, it’s the simple fact that they can create these types of song and still keep the listener wanting more that makes it such a standout track. ‘In Rust
’ and its sister track ‘The Monolith
’ are stellar tracks that feature impeccable soundscapes that go from post metal to sludge metal nearly interchangeably. The sounds that Supercontinent conveys on Vaalbara is polished and quite clean as compared to most post metal bands out there, more akin to later-Isis material, both in style and in approach.
Obviously, this is worth your time to check out. Great music to sit back and relax to and yet equally good enough to rock out to as well. Vaalbara is an excellent record that, when given enough time to actually let sink in, rewards the listener heavily with cleverly crafted riffs, extended sonic soundscapes and every other verb that can be thrown at a post metal band. While maybe overreaching and dull at times, Supercontinent leaves their legacy in their sole album that will be a treasure for any fan of the genre.