Saturday, August 7, 2021

Year of No Light : " Consolamentum"

 This French sludge project delves deeply into post rock. I am unsure how many members are in the band as I have seen pictures with as many as 9 , but they seem to tour with six. The opening track is big and cinematic and for a 12 minute instrumental they kept my attention so they must be doing something right. It can not all just be capturing a sound , there has to be a sense of composition if not song writing in play. The second song , is not as heavy but more post rock in the sweepingly grandiose soundtrack feel . This one is seven a half minutes, the two drummers are earning their pay with this one.  Sonically the scope of what they do here and the scale of dynamics employed could easily appeal to fans of more progressive appeal and I feel like post- rock has always had one foot in prog while pretending to not be as pretentious. I like how they pound the point home and bring the heavy back in the last two minutes of the song. 

The third song is darker in tone and more doom like in the deliberate manner it trudges to life. Five and a half minutes into things the riff shifts into something more doom like. The laying of sound they have crafted does make a good argument for the small orchestra of a band assembled to create this. The song slowly builds speed until they are hitting you with a much more punishing pounding of sound.  They make the 11 minutes pass by pretty easily so they must be doing something right. At almost thirteen minutes the fourth song is just a little longer than the opening track , though it is more atmospheric and tender in it's intentions. This is the first song that sheds all metallic aspirations and soars into a place more focused on the post rock dynamic. A few minutes into this one the mood changes and a more foreboding aggression clenches it's teeth in the manner of attack. In many ways these guys are not far removed from the kind of sonic ground covered by Russian Circles , though the bass lines are not the primary back bone .

Where guitar drove the point home earlier the synths that jockey for equal footing in the mix here, bring a retro sci-fi soundtrack here. More Kraut rock in the droning throb that they build around. By sci-fi this is big budget art house not campy 60s sci fi.  The first six minutes work of  the spacey narcotic drone I mentioned earlier. The fact that it can hold my attention as an instrumental says something. In fact it is a pretty solid testament to this entire album since instrumental music is not normally what I listen to and tends to fall along the lines of what I appreciate, to to win me over this album gets a 9.

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