Natural Snow Buildings
Terror's Horns


2.3
average

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
September 1st, 2015 | 29 replies


Release Date: 09/01/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Smoke and mirrors.

Typically, French psychedelic folk duo Natural Snow Buildings embrace drone methodology, creating long, hypnotic epics. With Terror’s Horns, the briefer runtimes combined with odd structural choices make it anticlimactic and ineffective. Allegedly inspired by backwater folklore (going off of the cover art, here), NSB’s newest rarely evokes feelings of fear, confusion, despair, or anything as potentially interesting as the context itself. Much of the content early on creates a sense of anticipation, and little else. “Saturn as Black Belt” grimly awaits a savage gunfight; “Twilight Bells” conveys a sense of dawning; “King in Yellow” is suspended on a tightrope. These songs are all premeditative. In a way, it’s very Blair Witch Project-y (side note: 2006’s The Dance of the Moon and the Sun references the movie in the tracklist). With the film, much of the appeal was in what didn’t happen, leaving it in the hands of your imagination. With Terror’s Horns, the appeal is often in what you wish you were about to hear. While some tracks are interesting in their own right, stacked atop one another they create a frustrating, blue-balling story arch. For a group so gifted in patiently developing rich, detailed atmospheres, it’s disappointing to see so few ideas on display. This is remedied slightly by the instrumentation, as members Solange Gularte and Mehdi Ameziane are experts of their craft. Every tremolo guitar line, every war horn, every drone sounds the part; but, when the album itself is so slow-to-the-punch, all these nuances feel like mere bells and whistles.

Fortunately, “Sun Tower” breaks the chain of ominous dead ends. Gularte’s vocals, though criminally under-utilized as per the rest of Terror’s Horns, are a highlight here. When she subsides, the tracks breaks into a ghoulish call to arms, as though every soldier is wading through waist-deep muck. When the march ceases, it segues rather awkwardly into post-rock relaxant “The Rising Portal”. The title implies a gateway, with the bittersweetness of a departure slowly overwhelmed by the prospect of change. It’s lovely, effortlessly-flowing couch music, and the de facto standout. Closer “Orion Is Dead” should be bone-chilling, with Gularte delivering trembly, somber words of remorse and forewarning; however, with so much of Terror’s Horns feeling like bootless, quick-succession meditation, it’s hard to feel invested. For those seeking a quick entry point for NSB, the forty-five-minute runtime might look welcoming (compared to their multiple-hour sagas); for listeners privy to Natural Snow Buildings' true magic, Terror’s Horns, by comparison, provides little more than snake oil and parlour tricks.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2015


5831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

get CD here - http://www.badabingrecords.com/store/products/natural-snow-buildings-terrors-horns-cd-pre-order/



no full stream yet as far as I know, but you can check segments of the tracks here - http://www.juno.co.uk/products/natural-snow-buildings-terrors-horns/578738-01/



hopefully Ba Da Bing puts in on their bandcamp at some point

IHateRadiohead
August 31st 2015


343 Comments


Given that the band is taking the old quantity over quality approach, it's not surprising that this isn't that good. They should have stopped after the Dance of the Moon and Sun.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2015


5831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

they've had good stuff since. my biggest gripe with this is the condensed approach. they really don't let many of the tracks develop into anything interesting. most of the songs just hang in the air, then fizzle.

DrMaximus
August 31st 2015


12229 Comments


"They should have stopped after the Dance of the Moon and Sun."

ridiculous

treeqt.
August 31st 2015


16877 Comments


they've released 6 albums better than dance of the moon and sun since its release and none before so yeah you might be wrong

cb123
September 1st 2015


2199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

will have to check this out, love this band

Valkyrion
September 1st 2015


1161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

>Given that the band is taking the old quantity over quality approach



implying quantity and quality are mutually exclusive ;)



Good review. album really lacks the more cohesive structure their better releases have and many of the tracks here imo feel underdeveloped; it doesn't really transport me to another world like their music usually does.

Valkyrion
September 1st 2015


1161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

also it is just me or the mix sounds a little different than their other works?

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 1st 2015


5831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

.. idk. i was listening to daughters of darkness not long ago and didn't really notice a big difference in that aspect. you're probably right though.

deathschool
September 1st 2015


21473 Comments


" stacked atop one another they create a frustrating, blue-balling story arch."

lol

Nice review

LordePots
September 1st 2015


36391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best johnnyonthespot review

Digging: Teengirl Fantasy - 7 AM

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 1st 2015


5831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

thx for subscribing 👍

mods where u at

LordePots
September 1st 2015


36391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that should be a middle finger tbh

LordePots
September 1st 2015


36391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

because /thuglifenofucksgiven





JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2015


5831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

ftr, this is actually o k a y, so y'all should check anyway.

deathschool
September 2nd 2015


21473 Comments


Wanna check this band. Idk if I'll start here, but I'll still listen later since it's their latest.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2015


5831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

it's decent in a sense that'll give you their gist in a fairly small timeframe, but if you're willing to commit the time check out centauri agent, the dance of the moon..., daughter of darkness, and night country. all much better

deathschool
September 2nd 2015


21473 Comments


Time ain't no thang

Valkyrion
September 2nd 2015


1161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the most succint NSB taste could be their Sundowner EP, excellent stuff and only 20 mins long

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbJaKgGCxeY



but really I wouldn't have fallen in love with them if this was the album I heard first. Check Dance of the moon and the sun (easy starting point) or some of their other releases like Snowbringer cult, Centauri agent, Waves at random sea, daughter of darkness.

DrMaximus
September 2nd 2015


12229 Comments


I'd prob start with Centauri Agent one of their best for sure



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