Flares
Levitation



Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Levitation is a focused, varied and masterfully executed post-rock EP that manages to catch and reward the listener's attention without meandering overlong; a definite recommendation to genre enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Flares are a relatively unknown, self-described "instrumental rock band" hailing from Saarbrücken, Germany. In 2008 they made their debut with Levitation, a cohesive, mesmerizing and well-crafted post-rock release that rivals many of the genre's greatest. Though the band was a mere year old at the time of its release and remains fairly obscure to this day, this EP showcases some very mature songwriting as well as a strong musical vision.

Levitation's four tracks mostly adhere to the tried and true post-rock formula of starting slow and soft, gradually adding layer upon layer of sound building up to a grandiose climax. With that said, however, the band do sprinkle some interesting and perhaps unexpected changes of pace to the old formula, most notably perhaps the drum section halfway through the first track, 299 792 458 m/s. It is these subtle additions, combined with the fact that no song overstays its welcome, that keep the music fresh and captivating throughout its 26 minute length.

The band's varied ideas and charming compositions are brought to life and realize their full potential as a result of the excellent musicianship. During the soft sections and build-ups, the guitars create dreamy, ethereal soundscapes through excellent use of delay and reverb and intricate layering. But there is also a good amount of heavier riffs on display here, as well and thunderous walls of sound a la Isis or Rosetta and even some more direct lead melodies occasionally added on top.

As for the rhythm, the bass has a strong presence in the mix and while the basslines are rather simple from a technical standpoint, they complement the softer passages very well and add a lot of weight to the climaxes. The drums are far more of a standout, in that the beats are surprisingly complex and energetic for the genre and their contrast with the more mellow guitars and bass ends up working very nicely. A good example of the drums' playfulness, apart from the aforementioned, would be the entirety of the second track, Rope Dance, from its catchy intro to the more vigorous beats later on, but really none of the songs is short of excellent drum fills.

But Levitation is by no means a slow burner. The band wastes no time in entrancing you with their spacey atmosphere, subtle melodies and infectious rhythms, suspending you in their tranquil dreamscape. And once you’re fully immersed, they take you by the hand and lead you through the land and have you experience even grander things. Their musical ideas develop and intensify at a very natural pace, and when the tension is finally released those moments feel breathtaking and cathartic.

All in all, the band succeeds at creating some truly memorable moments as well as a very alluring atmosphere. Levitation is a focused, varied and masterfully executed post-rock EP with some progressive elements that manages to catch and reward the listener's attention, while also resisting the temptation of droning on or meandering overlong; a definite recommendation to genre enthusiasts and newcomers alike.




Recent reviews by this author
Prong Primitive OriginsDeath Angel Frolic Through the Park
Cerebral Fix Tower of SpiteBurzum Thulêan Mysteries
Burzum Reh/Demo 91 (Demo II)Immaculate (SWE) Atheist Crusade
user ratings (6)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
parksungjoon
May 30th 2016


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you like post-rock, check this out.

If you think post-rock is boring, check this out

If you haven't tried post-rock before, this should be a very easy introduction to the genre I think.



Stream:

https://flaresmusic.bandcamp.com/album/levitation

Digging: Prong - Primitive Origins

parksungjoon
May 30th 2016


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So yeah... A mate introduced me to this release some 5-6 years ago and I've been listening to it ever since, could be 100 spins by now. Needless to say I really like this, and the more post-rock I listen to, the more I appreciate this release's brevity (even as a big fan of the genre in general).



Any writing critique is appreciated.



Also big shout out to hype for giving me a few tips!

PortalofPerfection
May 30th 2016


2300 Comments


Sweet sweet review man, it's actually a bit disconcerting how many reviews here fail to actually give me an idea of not only what the music sounds like but what it feels like (at least to the reviewer). Bravo.

"If you think post-rock rock is boring, check this out"

On it!

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

parksungjoon
May 30th 2016


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. I'm not a writer or reviewer by trade so my biggest worry here was that it might be a little too dry and verbose and not useful enough, so to speak.





parksungjoon
June 1st 2016


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as we're about to leave the front page, i'd recommend that more people check this out honestly, it's very accessible

Valkyrion
June 1st 2016


1161 Comments


I listened to the album and it was pretty good, albeit not unique; most people around here would probably enjoy it as well tbh

parksungjoon
June 1st 2016


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, it's not very unique but it does do some things a little differently than most post-rock.



thanks for checking man!

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2016


4153 Comments


hardest neg I ever gave

parksungjoon
June 1st 2016


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:[

parksungjoon
June 1st 2016


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice troll negs agreed

parksungjoon
March 16th 2018


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sputnik: DAE POST ROCK IS DERIVATIVE BORING SHIT TO SLEEP TO



me: well heres some short and sweet post-rock thats dynamic and interesting all throughout



sputnik NAH LOL MISS ME WITH THAT SHIT

Bedex
February 18th 2020


1844 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

have a neg on the house

Digging: Zach Bryan - DeAnn

parksungjoon
February 18th 2020


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bless brother

Pangea
March 10th 2020


4303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review. this sounds amazing

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

Pangea
March 11th 2020


4303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great stuff. the drums are very good indeed

parksungjoon
March 11th 2020


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweeeee glad u like it :]

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2020


26623 Comments


damn, vintage park review

Digging: Boris - NO

parksungjoon
April 8th 2020


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea

budgie
May 16th 2020


20195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

worst review ever

parksungjoon
May 16th 2020


21051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy