Review Summary: A highly stylized and impressive debut from a truly promising band.
So I played the trombone in high school, yes, the trombone. Quite possibly the most nerdy instrument this side of an accordion, the trombone is an awkward piece of brass. And really, for the better part of my public school career, I thought the same. Yet the guys in Radare make it seem like the most depressing instrument around. Full of emotion and solemnity, the trombone can really kick some ass. And in all actuality, the trombone has very little to do with Radare's debut, "Infinite Regress." It's the little extra detailing and thought of using the instrument that makes things so damn interesting. And they don't stop at peculiar brass instruments, Radare add a little bit of flavor and personality everywhere in "Infinite Regress."
Hailing from Germany, Radare are a four piece post-metal act with hints of ambient and hardcore. It's an interesting mixture to say the least, but not the most original, as one will find splashes of ISIS and Rosetta everywhere. Yet that is not to say that Radare are so keen on ripping off other acts, not in the least. Things like the melancholy trombone, and the plucked strings of a bass add an indelible amount of atmosphere to the album. And this is where Radare excel. While they certainly don't do much to tear down the post-metal standard, they do enough to keep things severely interesting. There are beautiful ambient parts, alongside crushing bouts of heaviness, which keep up the intrigue by altering styles frequently. The more ambient sections rely on minimalistic drums and guitar with a far less distorted sound, while the heavier portions are suffocatingly dense. The ambient passages have a very "airy" feel to them and they have quite a calming feeling, which makes these portions completely beautiful. However, the heavier parts have a different type of atmosphere. They're somewhat menacing and dense, but completely contained. The vocals (of which there are very few) also share this dual styling. The screams are low and dark, while the clean-singing is actually very calm, and very well done. The duality of the two styles that permeate the record mesh surprisingly well, making "Infinite Regress" wholly immersible.
"Infinite Regress" isn't an album to take lightly. At nearly forty-five minutes in length, the album meanders across four tracks. Each track is absolutely wonderful in it's own right, but as a whole they tend to bleed into one another. While there is a lot of variety contained within each song, the album is a fairly oppressive listen. The four songs are massive, which leads everything to become muddled with a full listen through.
Yet this complaint seems minor in respect to everything that the band does so well. It's absolutely wonderful post-metal record, with enough creativity and personality to stand out amongst the crowd. With such a promising debut, Radare are a band worth keeping an eye on.