Post-rock, a unique genre, but one that has become progressively predictable throughout the years. A typical post-rock song would start of softly, quiet or with ambient sounds and slowly it would start to accelerate, a long crescendo would start and eventually it would explode into the moment the song had been building up to, only to end softly. While this tried-and-true formula might still have been used to create some brilliant songs and albums, one cannot deny the genre is starting to feel a bit predictable.
Meet The Elijah
, a band that decided to do Post-rock just a little bit different.
They crafted orchestral, dynamic, and beautiful post-rock that happens to utilize its members’ vocal chords, a lot, a lot more than the average bands of the same genre. Where most post-rock bands only uses vocals sporadically The Elijah uses them as their main selling point and uses them like they’re part of the instrumentation, two instruments that battle over each other. On the one hand a beautiful soothing croon and on the other a harsh, slightly forced but emotional scream.
Musically this band draws a lot of comparisons with another British post-rock influenced band, more specifically the band Devil Sold His Soul
. Much like them The Elijah
isn’t planning on dazzling you with technicality, they rather prefer to softly drown you in their music. Which is both beautiful and brutish, sometimes even at the same time. The album was recorded in an abandoned country mansion, leading to a –surprisingly clean- resonant but bleak production. One that gives this album a lot of charm and beauty, as well as creating a haunting atmosphere that will haunt trough your head for the entire album. All of this is glued together with ambient or classical-influenced interludes, which makes it sound like this entire album flows from one track to the next causing the album to feel like one massive journey.
Sadly there is also a dark side that covers this journey, a problem that claws itself deep into the album and –for some- might even drag it down. The problem I’m talking about is the repetitive nature of the album. Duo to the production every sing sounds rather similar, the instrumentation found in every song is also not that diverse as it should be. Both of these problems can make the 45 minute playtime of the album feel longer then it really is, which is said because the stand alone songs are all of great quality.
Another thing that has been gathering a lot of critique are the harsh vocals, while personally I wasn’t bothered by them at all, many complain that they would have been much better suited for emo bands like Gantz
, or Post-rock emo bands like Fall of Efrafa
and The Blue letter
instead of a pretty post-rock band like The Elijah
. Because of the similarities in sound with Devil Sold His Soul
I’d rather refer to Dan Tomley’s screams as an answer for Dan Gibbs high screeching. For those who couldn’t get past the vocals in ‘Blessed & Cursed’ The Elijah
offers a great alternative in ‘I Loved I Hated I Destroyed I Created’. And if you are bugged by both the vocal performances there’s still the instrumental ‘In regret’, a song which will surely appeal to everyone who appreciates beauty in music.
has delivered a beautiful debut album, one that showcases originality and a great production, even with its flaws clawing at its deserved spotlight. If They can work on keeping every song fresh on their next album I can see them being named in the same breath with bands like *Shels
or The Pax Cecilia
. The Elijah
certainly is a band to keep an eye out for, but for now an ear will do.4/5