Joliette
Luz Devora


4.5
superb

Review

by MarsKid CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
July 4th, 2019 | 270 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Soaring above a crowded scene with flying colors.

The art of crafting a musical album is no different than the process of formulating a conventional invention: try as hard as one might, rarely does a first attempt at publishing a concept go completely and totally according to plan. There were a lot of broken limbs and lost lives before the airplane could truly take flight in any commercial capacity, not unlike the number of sacrificed drumsticks and leisure time spent towards recording a full-length, though hopefully without serious injury outside of mental strain. It seems appropriate to mention aviation specifically as the procedure behind album distribution is akin to strapping together paper wings, climbing to the apex of a nearby hillside, and taking a leap. Errant wind currents—a lack of press or otherwise bad publicity—might deter the venture, or a potential fault could be found in the device’s construction and it falters. All the while, the eyes of the world watch on, silently or not-so-silently passing judgment. Joliette’s entrance into the market, Principia, managed to soar quite high owing to its intense post-hardcore contents, but it perhaps overstayed its welcome in the sky and slowly dwindled down as time passed. True to the inventor’s spirit, the Mexican quartet returned to the drawing board to make adjustments; the result came three years later in the form of Atáxico wherein the duration of the prior disc was nearly halved, leading to shorter tracks immersed in chaotic instrumentation. The stunning onslaught nevertheless proved too brief and spiraled out of control due to an absence of restraint or strong memorability. So the series repeats—reset, redraw, try again—and the band emerges into the densely-populated release cycle of 2019 to try and definitively cut out a slice of the proverbial pie for themselves. The third time turns out to be the charm; Luz Devora demonstrates that Joliette have thoroughly perfected their sound and certainly deserve all praise coming their way.

Unlike previous entries, Luz Devora does not lean on one specific cornerstone of post-hardcore in order to earn its title as a flying ace. The confrontational nature of Atáxico and the more subdued, textured approach offered by Principia are linked in harmony. Central melodies dominate individual tracks to provide them with distinguishable personalities, the instrumental performances boasting commendable technical mastery of the craft, simultaneously exhibiting a willingness to scale back and let the quiet reign—if only for a time. This captivating mixture stands outside the progressive sector ala A Lot Like Birds and their ilk; the sounds contained in the over-50-minute disc seem reminiscent of an older age where the underground was locked down by Portraits of Past. Minus the emo influences, the comparison appears to be appropriate: a hazy production quality accentuates the pounding heaviness, guitars freely dance throughout a variety of different passages—some purely hardcore, some similar to post-metal installments—and the rhythm section retains powerful command over the escalation of intensity and the always-important low end. Whatever a tune calls for, be it crushing, abrasive assaults or high-speed exertions, the percussion kit is more than able to rise to the task. At the forefront lies a passionate, desperate vocal performance that is positively fueled by unlimited energy from start to finish. That being said, no individual member outshines another, which speaks greatly to Joliette’s ability to place creative songwriting above any desires to sprint off on wayward solos or otherwise purposeless sweeps. Everything runs very smoothly under the foggy blanket laid down in the recording studio.

What inevitably makes the greatest difference is the heightened impact delivered by the post-rock and post-metal tendencies. Joliette flirted with these sorts of elements before without really committing to their full inclusion in their identity. Any lingering reticence is thoroughly disposed of—if the two concluding numbers, 7 minutes and 10 minutes long respectively, weren’t already an indication. By paying closer attention to the construction of their output piece-by-piece, the unit behind Luz Devora ensures that all included ingredients are balanced and coalesce to become a unique product. The tonality and mood ebbs and flows between rage-induced outbursts and emotional epics grounded in more subtle, textured manners. This dichotomy is best illustrated by the brief “Muletilla Japonesa” and the not-so-brief finale “Defenestra.” The former is ruled by a frantic duel-guitar blitz, the drums racing ahead as penetrating screams laced with anger chase them down. After an expertly-achieved syncopated shift, Joliette manage to augment the near-busting level of force captured by the sub-three-minute opus, the leading strings adopting a haunting, siren tone, gradually winding down in an absolutely devastating breakdown. The latter track announces itself softly through gentle strumming and hushed percussion, a clean melody guiding the progression. After four minutes of laying down a foundation, Joliette amp up the discord, the guitars implementing a dirtier resonance as the vocals raise ever higher to spill out the narrator’s grievances. The climax begins its final engagement as a mournful passage repeats in the background, the instruments receding bit-by-bit until the last remnants of the titanic track are nothing but static. Each of these examples, regardless of length, end up speaking volumes.

Incorporating a level relationship between post-hardcore’s trademark virtuosity and post-rock’s knack for atmospheric detailing further contributes to wonderful variance between songs. For each “Muletilla Japonesa” there is a corresponding opposite—”Júpiter Jovial” ‘s reduced pace, coupled alongside a reoccurring weighty post-metal riff, is definitely one such instance, just the same as “Strathos” ‘s gorgeous ambiance. Similarly, “Defenstra” is accompanied by the unbridled beast “Lázaro” and its speaker-shattering tempo. The listener must also reckon with lead single “Vac*o,” which arguably sports the most addicting melody present on the record, helped in no small part by an insane drumming outing that freely changes from light tapping to thunderous beatdowns. There is no doubt left to linger concerning Joliette’s position in the post-hardcore scene and their burgeoning rise to prominence in the underground; nor is there any room for critique when conversing about their skills as musical entrepreneurs. The audience beholds instead an unwavering belief that the intrepid Mexican group have taken stock of their inventory, moved a step back to view the full picture, and acted accordingly to equal the sum of their parts. More than anything else, Luz Devora is the sound of a band coming together, fully realizing their objective and what defines them as an artist. When surrounded by fellow assemblies that comfortably adhere to a status quo, there is little else quite as satisfying as witnessing a compelling evolution from newcomer to inarguable genre heavyweight. The men of Joliette are more composed than ever before. Whether it be through sheer sonic bulk or beautiful strokes of instrumentation, these gents are infinitely capable at grabbing one’s attention and never letting go.



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user ratings (57)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


9349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well hey, only took me 3 months. But guess who's back?



Strong AotY contender, for anyone that is interested. Check it out on bandcamp: https://joliette.bandcamp.com/album/luz-devora



Album is also streaming on Spotify.



Comments, criticism, intellectual discourse, reports on the latest UFO sightings all welcome.

Digging: Disentomb - The Decaying Light

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


16182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wish I could read all that but your summary says it all, this band has been standing at the top with one foot on the defeated pile the rest for years now

Digging: Russian Girlfriends - In The Parlance of Our Times

SlicePaperMoog
July 4th 2019


1632 Comments


Listened to Ataxico a long time ago and remembered enjoying it. Should give these fuckers another go.

DDDeftoneDDD
July 4th 2019


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This album. TKS once again Marskid. Will read ASAP!

Digging: False - Portent

Demon of the Fall
July 4th 2019


11513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review Mars. I had already been recommended this by our resident user DDD (he knows I love ATD-I) and your writing confirms my suspicions that this is certainly worth checking out. The fact it's on Spotify will speed up the process of 'getting to this'.



Sounds good, I'm intrigued.



P.S Just as I was typing said user makes an appearance, right on queue.

Digging: Mouth Of The Architect - The Ties That Blind

50iL
July 4th 2019


5207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of the best hardcore bands out there tbh

Digging: Iannis Xenakis - Electronic Music

DDDeftoneDDD
July 4th 2019


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Man...sweeeet intricate Rev! POS

"This dichotomy is best illustrated by the brief “Muletilla Japonesa” and the not-so-brief finale “Defenestra.”"



Muletilla Japonesa was my first stand out, with El Alphabiotista. The pair of closers two. Loved the Rev...now I have to listen to this again m/

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


9349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Calc much appreciated. And with this album, I couldn't agree more. Very solid discography.



@Moog if you liked Ataxio, brace yourself: this is better in every regard.



@Demon D3 is a wonderful hype-man, I trust him to help me get this trending haha. And I can see you enjoying this a fair bit.



Speaking of trending, it's been a while since I've sponsored a good ol' hype train. Time to hitch a ride, gents, this one's worthy.

DDDeftoneDDD
July 4th 2019


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

TKS guys! maybe I'll change the name to Wonder-hype-man X)

I'm so happy you still find this things, with those post influences and still faithful to their roots. It really makes me feel there's still a place for this genre and its breathing healthy on top of it. I find bits of my old self have a place in the present too yk.

Happened quite the same for that matter with Zapruder f.e.

Many tks!

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


9349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've had on eye on these guys since I heard Principia a while back. After my hiatus I saw they had singles and boy was I pumped. This is the real deal.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


16182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Drei Affen released their sophomore recently too. good time for spanish speaking hardcore.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


9349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've been meaning to listen to them, thanks for the reminder. Will definitely pay a visit soon.

DDDeftoneDDD
July 4th 2019


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

DEEMAAAASIAAADO RUIDOOOOO!!!!!!



MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


9349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Time to get it trending bucko, you and me.

DDDeftoneDDD
July 4th 2019


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

How many to hit the Charts? lol

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2019


9349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Doesn't matter, spread the love endlessly brother

Demon of the Fall
July 4th 2019


11513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Does everyone here understand Spanish? I know Portuguese is supposedly similar (re DDD). Wondering if it'll make this hard to get into. I'm not a huge lyrics man anyway and I like stuff where the lyrics are completely indecipherable, so I should be ok.

DDDeftoneDDD
July 4th 2019


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Futuras Campanas" fuckin rules. Damn sweet finale m/

DDDeftoneDDD
July 4th 2019


5855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Some hooks are pretty sweet like screaming "DEEMAAAASIAAADO RUIDOOOOO!!!!!!" (Too much noise)...its well...liberating...they're pretty aware of their abrasiveness lol But don't think that's mandatory for digging this.

I love when those "similar artists" fit perfectly all those bands I love, but in their own way.



nightbringer
July 4th 2019


431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The couple songs I heard from this earlier today absolutely slayed. Looking forward to jamming the whole thing.



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