Review Summary: barely a year on and a promising band has already reached stylistic stalemate.
Wherever you stood on Cold Body Radiation's debut, it's difficult to overlook the success of the record and the fact that no one had really sounded anything like it before. Though it was quickly thrown under the 'post-black' umbrella, it didn't sound like any other band it was compared to. However, there hasn't really been an ounce of 'post' in any of Cold Body Radiation's music, and most listeners are very quick to throw anyone with a relatively interesting guitar tone in the 'shoegaze black metal' category. Understanding of dynamics doesn't certify a band as post-whatever, either. But fan's perceptions aside, the focus is the oddly smooth and bright sound the record had, but it was in an odd shade. Far from other bands mixing black metal and positivity, the record was in an oddly despondent tone and mood, which appealed to many listeners from many different backgrounds, and didn't feel too stagnant in an already stagnating scene. On Deer Twillight, the opposite feeling dominates the album, already showing the stagnation in both the inspiration behind the record and just how far this sound can go before it hits a dead end.
Though some things have changed, you'd be forgiven into thinking they haven't. In terms of textures, aesthetic, structures, ideas and production, Deer Twillight is simply a clone of the previous album with a slight difference in the dynamics which lean further into more quiet sections. This would be fine, if there were any noticeable progression since the last album, even in the production - but it isn't. The very foundations of the last album are the exact same ones as this one. The soft, bright guitar tone remains to be soft and bright, the drums remain buried and in the background, the bass remains to be the backbone of the composition and drives most of the music forward - again. The tracks wander and meander in the exact same way, getting quieter and louder in the same ways before a 'climax' hits. There's the addition of clean vocals, but if you were only passively listening to this, you'd nearly be forgiven for not even noticing them - they're barely even there. Though this is typical for a shoegaze influenced band to have soft, buried clean vocals echoing behind the walls of instrumentation, when it's pretty much the only change it just sheds light on the fact that very little has changed, or probably will change. It's just as sparkly and twinkly as the previous album, and any changes are so minute that they'd have to be explained to you for you to even realize it's a different record.
Before this album came out, many proclaimed, including me, that they'd be happy with just another album of more of the same. Unfortunately, we got what we wished for. The enjoyable textures and a fairly unique sound is the only thing their debut really had going for it, but it was enough to keep it afloat and to be re-visited multiple times. But at least The Great White Emptiness felt like an album, with standout tracks and proper pacing that didn't feel like a bunch of clone compositions strung together. Deer Twillight isn't so lucky, every song being about as inoffensive and bland as the last, and where it can still prove to be somewhat enjoyable it just sheds light on the fact that this band and the scene it allegedly belongs to is stagnating faster than many people thought possible. It's difficult for an album that is so inoffensive and redundant to be in any way interesting or enjoyable when the previous album is just the same thing done better. Barely a year on and a promising band has already reached stylistic stalemate, and it's a pretty sad realization.
what? no, i was referring to post-bm. the post-bm scene has existed for a fairly long time so i don't know why you assume it didn't. cbr's debut only came out in 2010, and before it we had les discrets, two alcest records, amesoeurs, two lantlos records, etc.
not to mention a horde of rabid fans calling it the most beautiful music ever, it was and definitely is a scene.
well this came out after ecailles de lune, and only really got any recognition months after. even by the time that heretoir album came out it was starting to become stale. it was more or less a developing scene as soon as alcest's debut surfaced.
i mean, the only reason neige sang for lantlos is because the guy behind lantlos was a huge fan. :[