Show Me A Dinosaur
Show Me A Dinosaur


4.5
superb

Review

by Dean M. CONTRIBUTOR (24 Reviews)
December 11th, 2016 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Post-black metal steps out from under Deafheaven’s pink-and-orange shadow.

Metal has spent the last few years splintering into ever-smaller sub-sub-subgenres to satiate an audience that craves variety and innovation, and we seem to be reaching the point where each genre needs to begin justifying its existence, or else fade into obscurity. Post-black metal leapt ahead in this race for relevance with its breakout record, Deafheaven’s Sunbather. With its gorgeous and innovative use of black metal, post-rock, and shoegaze elements, Sunbather rocketed to the forefront of the metal and indie music scenes, and its surprisingly wide appeal earned Deafheaven a substantial and lasting fanbase. However, post-black metal has done little to evolve since 2013. Most PBM acts that have emerged in the past few years were intent on aping Deafheaven’s signature sound, and while the results ranged from mediocre (Ghost Bath) to beautiful (Numenorean), they seldom innovated. Even when a PBM act like Bosse-de-Nage seemed intent on breaking away from Deafheaven, Deafheaven still came up as a point of comparison in reviews and discussions. Thus, the album that revolutionized post-black metal has now set the main criterion for its legitimacy: Post-black metal needs to prove that it’s made up of more than Deafheaven and their analogs.

With that in mind, it’s time to discuss a post-black metal record that has nothing to do with Deafheaven: the self-titled sophomore album from Russian group Show Me a Dinosaur. The elements that Show Me a Dinosaur use to craft their sound are familiar, yet surprising. Opener “Rakev” begins with a crashing wave of black metal blast beats, then drops to a soft crawl and builds to a hurricane of frantic drums and anxious guitar chords reminiscent of Wake/Lift. “Vjuga” follows a similar trajectory, transforming black metal elements into an even more apparent Rosetta homage, and the combination of influences crystallizes into Show Me a Dinosaur’s prevailing emotional tone: unease. Whereas the most common note for post-black metal acts to strike is one of explicit catharsis, channeling a release of emotions through a pummeling cacophony until it comes out the other end as relief and hope, Show Me a Dinosaur build a subtler sense of unrest that ranges from a slight disquiet to downright dread. The album calms down considerably for post-rock dreamscapes “Lights” and “Gone,” and the nervous tone ostensibly fades from view. But it’s still there, in the back of the listener’s head, threatening to reawaken at any moment and interrupt the dream. That anxiety reemerges with a vengeance in closing track “Wojna,” a tense yet deliberate ten-minute build to a frantic climax teeming with desperation.

Show Me a Dinosaur stands out as a novel approach to post-black metal that combines the subgenre’s typical parts to create a unique whole with a distinct, memorable, affective tone. It stands alongside Astronoid’s Air and Alcest’s Kodama as proof that, in 2016, PBM is finally stepping out from under Deafheaven’s pink-and-orange shadow. Only time will tell whether these albums receive the attention they deserve and cement the legacy of PBM as a legitimate genre. But Show Me a Dinosaur has certainly helped unveil the genre’s potential.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2016


1088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stream the album at their Bandcamp page: https://showmeadinosaur.bandcamp.com/album/show-me-a-dinosaur



Trying to get a couple reviews for 2016 releases in before the end of the year.

FearThyEvil
December 11th 2016


16749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album just kind of brings the snooze

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2016


16069 Comments


despite all these descriptors this sounded no different than every other deafheaven clone I've come across. Gave it a whirl though.

Sabrutin
December 11th 2016


5945 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A bit too much Deafheaven talk in my opinion. Sunbather was hardly innovative, it kinda triggers me when it's given so much praise as if it invented blackgaze or something.



Good album, Gone is my fave cut. Deserved a review, pos'd

teamster
December 11th 2016


3733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Rosetta influences in this band are very apparent and noteworthy. I love this release and might be my "metalgaze" album of the year. Excellent review and thanks.

MarsKid
December 11th 2016


8553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ay, this finally got a review. Sweet.

Digging: Wounds (USA-IL) - Light Eater

SteveOffProbation
December 11th 2016


1445 Comments


forgot about this

gonna agree about too much deafheaven talk, and i'd recommend you dont repeat the summary in the review, but still a good enough review

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2016


1088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol I was kinda worried the Deafheaven talk would be a turn-off for some people. But I stand by my argument. I think Sunbather was huge for a reason, and I definitely think it's been the most common reference point that bands and critics alike have used to create and discuss PBM.

climactic
December 11th 2016


22385 Comments


i couldnt get through the first song when i tried to listen

MarsKid
December 11th 2016


8553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First song is great

brainmelter
December 11th 2016


6238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice this needed a rev

Digging: You and I - The Curtain Falls

Atari
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2016


24235 Comments


This didn't really grab me when I gave it a go a few months ago, but I generally enjoy your reviews/taste so I'll give it another shot

Digging: Millencolin - SOS

Hawks
December 11th 2016


67683 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album.

Digging: Wicca Phase Springs Eternal - Suffer On

Astral Abortis
December 11th 2016


6745 Comments


This was a whole lot of not good

MarsKid
December 12th 2016


8553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nah

Pajolero
December 12th 2016


1043 Comments


Post-metal is not usually my go-to genre, but these dudes play like every month here, and they're actually pretty good live.

Digging: Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken

DinosaurJones
December 12th 2016


10031 Comments


Who called?

Gyromania
December 12th 2016


26502 Comments


Post-pre-post black avant garde bluegrass screamo

MarsKid
December 13th 2016


8553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Buncha fuckers playing untrue metal

Dinosaur
December 26th 2016


1300 Comments


don't care for post-black noodling. i tolerate Sunbather. I don't remember liking this. might revisit for reptiles.

Digging: Bonehunter - Children of the Atom



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