Hammock
Kenotic


5.0
classic

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (132 Reviews)
May 28th, 2015 | 105 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the most genuinely heartfelt and uplifting ambient post rock albums the listener will ever experience.

Even though post rock often proves itself to be one of the most engaging genres out there, it ironically is the one that more often than not can go into one ear and out the other. This problem lays in how many bands of the genre are accused of trying too hard to be emotional or cathartic. Not to anyone’s surprise, the most influential and well known bands are even guilty of this at times. As amazing as Sigur Ros is, even they happen to inject an undeniably tolerable dose of forcefulness every now and then. However, the big problem is that not every seasoned music listener can forgive this aspect of post rock. Every genre has their flaws, but when it comes to Kenotic, all flaws are immediately thrown out of the window in favor of some of the most genuine ambient post rock moments the listener will experience. Different styles aside, the pure emotions that Kenotic pleasantly expels into the listener’s ears instantly recalls the lush subtly of Talk Talk. Make no mistake that this album will not only prove to be evocative in the purest sense, but also downright tear jerking at times.

Capable of being both undeniably uplifting and sorrowful, Kenotic definitely packs one hell of an emotional punch. Take the one-two punch of “Winter Light” and “Miles to go Before Sleep” for example. They act like a two part ambient soundscape bursting at the seams with sadness, recalling the loss of someone that was profoundly loved. It’s the droning guitar textures and soaring ambience that truly heightens the mood of driving through a thunderstorm. However, it doesn’t bring to mind a sense of dread that an album like F#A# by Godspeed You! Black Emperor conveys. Instead, it makes the typically dreary weather seem beautiful and even makes it a worthwhile experience to be out in it. Instead of forcing emotions down our throats by means of sound waves, it’s these two tracks alone that displays what it means to admire the beauty of the world.

Further exploring this theme is where “Overcast/Sorrow” and the title track comes in. Making great use of subtle yet epic percussion, “Overcast/Sorrow” immediately invests the listener in its tranquil soundscapes of lush guitar work and downright cathartic atmosphere. Meanwhile, the title track offers a more trippy experience by means of a simple yet fantastic trip hop beat and evocative use of the reverb. It’s songs like these that shows how Kenotic isn’t an album just for listening pleasure. Though it also brings to mind the negatives of life, it’s a means to have the listener’s mind wander through the positive thoughts, experiences and essences of what makes us human as well.

Heightening this mood even more proves to be the post rock masterpiece that is “Stars in the Rearview Mirror.” The beautiful distortion and reverb opens the song, sucking the listener in right off the bat with its positive vibe. The effective percussion paves the ways for the powerful guitar work that truly sends goosebumps down the listener’s spine. It doesn’t build up like tradition post rock does, but instead it seeks out to subtly convey an overwhelming amount of profound optimism and it does so without ever being corny or cheesy. Legitamtely complex and potent, it’s songs like these that without a doubt highlights why post rock has the potential to be one of the best genres out there. The same can be said for “Blankets of Light,” but in the more traditional post rock. Continuously building by a means of emotionally resonating guitar textures and soothing vocals, this song will definitely touch the listener’s heart.

What it really comes down to is that this album is meant to make anyone feel amazing when it comes to everything about ourselves and the world as well. It focuses on the bad things that happen too, but it’s the situations that happen in the past that makes up the person that exists later in life and even now. Songs like “Wish” and “What Heaven Allows” both heighten this aspect of the album. While “Wish” conveys this with a refreshing amount of unique sounds and relaxing guitar work, “What Heaven Allows” defines this. Forget about the insanely atmospheric guitar and effective keyboard use for a second and examine this phrase: “Take a little walk in the back of your mind/Take a little walk in the back of your life.” It’s this lyric that says it all about this album. It’s albums like these that shows us that no matter what happens, no one can give up. Simply wandering deep enough into the back of your mind to dig up the optimist aspects of the self does wonders for the psyche. If one stops and looks around for a while, it becomes clear that light can always be found even in the deepest bowls of the darkness, no matter what. Kenotic fully embodies this.



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user ratings (238)
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4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


18569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Really needed to write this I love how this turned out and this album thought my shit about life for sure.



But goddammit, my original summary was "Take a little walk in the back of your life," but Arts review basically says the exact same thing lol so can't put that oh well.

JS19
May 28th 2015


5767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Everyone comes round to Hammock in the end broski - nice review : )

Digging: VASA - Colours

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


18569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I know bro thanks! I've seen so many people on here suffering from depression so I really felt compelled to write this one. "Stars In The Rearview Mirror" is an amazing song to have in your life.

JS19
May 28th 2015


5767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I didn't realise it at the time but they were one of the things that stuck with me best when I went through that shit. It must feel good to know your music did that for so many people!

Artuma
May 28th 2015


28384 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

dude i'm so glad you made this review

Digging: ostraca - last

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


18569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Me too too, I'm glad you like it!

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2015


15688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Great review, these high ratings are convincing me I need to hear this band soon

Digging: CHON - Homey

RogueNine
May 28th 2015


3176 Comments


CK will love you for this.

CK
May 28th 2015


6104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn right I will

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


18569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha, I forgot to mention that Hammock themselves even don't come off as genuine, but here, fuck yes they always do.

CK
May 28th 2015


6104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"I've seen so many people on here suffering from depression so I really felt compelled to write this one. "Stars In The Rearview Mirror" is an amazing song to have in your life."



Exactly how I feel about the album. Kenotic is filled with naturally uplifting tunes, especially songs like "Stars in the Rear View Mirror" (as you have mentioned), "Blankets of Night", and "The Air Between Us" (although the title sometimes comes off as depressing to me, because while it very well could reference something more romantic, I sometimes get the feeling it refers to the air between someone on earth and someone in Heaven)

CaptainDooRight
May 28th 2015


2166 Comments


don't think ive heard this one yet

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


12743 Comments


Great review mongi

Digging: Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


18569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks dude. Also Captain get on that immediately. It's underrated and criminally unknown.

JS19
May 28th 2015


5767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's not that unknown Mongi, I'd say probably they're in the top 5 most well known Post Rock bands

TheCrocodile
May 28th 2015


2614 Comments


Pretty great review even if your last sentences sound kind of like a motivational speech ;)

Tried Departure Songs by these guys and sorta fell asleep so I'll stay polite and say they're not exactly my cup of tea...

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


18569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well in addition to other things that have happened, this album is one of the things that taught me that, which is what I'm trying to say ;) Thanks though!



@JS you think so? They never came across as that to me.

Artuma
May 28th 2015


28384 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

js is right, these guys are pretty big within the post-rock scene

CK
May 28th 2015


6104 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"I'd say probably they're in the top 5 most well known Post Rock bands"



I honestly wouldn't say that. I mean, they're definitely getting more recognition nowadays, and as a modern post-rock band they are a pretty big deal, but I would have to say the top 5 would be something like EitS, Sigur Ros, GY!BE, Slint, and Talk Talk

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2015


18569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've never met anyone who has heard of them, but then again I don't have any friends but one who frequently listens to post rock like me.



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