czwartek, 13 maja 2010


I know people shit themselves at the mere mention of Pelican and Isis. I know that the release of their recordings throw skinny metalheads into a frenzy of Beatles-like proportions. Or well, for underground metal standards anyway. Those two American groups have managed to stir quite the pot of beans. They have been cooking it slowly and even though in hindsight, it may seem like their best recording’s are already way behind, their momentum has never ceased. I have been largely unaffected by either. A few years ago I saw Isis live. They were as much fun as watching people paint a mansion white. Surely, theirs is the deep kind of music, the one that emerges slowly and that requires certain degree of contribution from the listener, but to me, openers These Arms Are Snakes were truly vibrant and stole the show.
There are other foreign counterparts that make music with the same flavor and with similar potency and that don’t get the same recognition. A few years ago Gallic nutsos Year of No Light released a gorgeous record titled Nord. It got a bunch of good reviews and that was that. Since, they’ve had four splits with fairly unknown bands and a live album, none of which have received much coverage. Ausserwelt is only their second full length of original material and it features a black and white photo of a tiny island for a cover.
I mention that because as I listen to Ausserwelt I can’t stop thinking about maritime motifs. I shit you not, this is like music for whales or dolphins. This is metal as interpreted by Flipper or Shamu. Ausserwelt shall be a soundtrack for one of those Natural Geographic documentaries about unscrupulous fishermen, or it should have been used as a curtain close to the award winning documentary The Cove. Year of No Light don’t play metal, they make natural post rock, dramatic after metal. The dude in charge of the electronics, keyboards, etc, especially him, is elsewhere, like dolphins, he clicks, whistles and bursts.
There are four songs in this record. They are all cut from the same cloth. And they all spend their combined 48 minutes apparently building momentum; Neur-Isis drums (read tribal and metal) sustaining the whole thing and never arriving to a steady beat. Meanwhile layers of prepotence offer distortion in minor measure to ethereal wail-like sounds that surmount to the call of the wild. Ausserwelt sounds like great soundtrack music, it sounds awesome when it doesn’t take center stage nor requires our full attention. But in the foreground and as a whole, one comes to notice that it builds to no end, and like a joke with no punchline, it never delivers.
try it

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