Review Summary: An odd, and pretty, post metal work, stretching across the entire instrumental plane that is post-rock/metal.
This six track album debut is about 70 minutes long. It can be exasperating and hard to listen to during many parts, but every song levels out and explodes into something utterly beautiful and atmospheric. Mixing elements of drone, dark ambient, electronic, avant-garde with some amazingly powerful and/or crushingly aesthetic riffs and climaxes to remove one from the darkness.
The first track "Roads" starts off like if Tim Hecker was making a Mono album, along with odd math riffs to cut in and out of the song before the final build up, that is disappointingly cut off short before the next song, "Serrerh". With this album I find every song is better than the last. "Serrerh" is a little creepier, but cleaner, with a multitude of climaxes ranging from happy post-rock, such as Sigur Ros, to blackgaze, such as Deafheaven. The ending of the song is an odd electro version of the blackgaze shown throughout the song.
This leads into the longest song (18 minutes), called "Coming up For Heir". Aside from the obvious post-rock like naming, this song is very good. It could be a little shorter most likely, and some math-rock like parts seem out of place, however, by the end the whole wall of sound comes to the forefront and there is the first sign of some vocals. Like a lot of Post/shoegaze vocalists, it seems to be instrumental more then intelligible. The vocals seem to fall, with many weird effects, and it turns into a kind of stoner-doom or stoner-sludge section.
This soon deludes into simple ambiance for a period until a very interesting postrock/metal build up as if Russian Circles met ISIS. Of particular interest throughout this song are the polyrhythmic and chaotic drums that seem to just accompany the all the tremolo and loud ambiance very well. Drone Post/Math Rock is what comes to mind for this song.
The final song, "Tunnel Experiment 25" has even more ambiance, drone and cases of oriental music. The song starts off with some very silly vocals that lead into a post-black metal climax. The whole song is shrouded in an odd atmosphere that reminds me of Cult of Luna, Callisto and The Ocean's best post-metal works. The song evolves into another very enchanting post metal climax. Repeating some parts from "Coming up For Heir" with different pace and ambiance.
Two bonus songs are available if you download the album; "An Owl's Rivera", a ten minute post rock song that switches gracefully between sludgey riffs to nylon guitar. This song, along with the last song "Farming" (7min), are much more organized, subtle and pretty than the other songs. They are interesting bonus songs, showing more of the light of the post genres, while the tracks prior show more of the dark side.
Farming uses some ebow, and has similar vocals to that of "Tunnel Experiment 25". The song explodes at the end for a very intricate, polyrhythmic, and oddly timed climax.
Overall, this album is solid and does an interesting mix of atmospheres and modern elements of music, without sticking to any one tone or theme. The last two songs show that the guitarist, Mitchell Minami, has a lot of variety, emotion and finesse. With some djenty, and technical bits thrown in at times, to the slowly developing drone or dark jazz, ending in the bliss and chaos that is post rock/metal from Neurosis to Damascus.
Give this album a spin, let it sink in.