Progressive-post-metal done damn well.
This 5 piece outfit from Sydney will turn some heads when this drops.
A brief ambient intro leads into the mammoth opening song ‘The Falling’. A staggering palm muted riff and pummelling drums sound huge right from the start. I expected deep growls or screams to kick in and instead vocalist Keelan delivers an understated and beautifully sung vocal line and at this early stage it becomes clear that this album is going to be a fun ride! This album (if you play it out) has several extended periods without his powerful vocals which can make it easy to forget that this isn’t an instrumental album.
Each song transitions beautifully into the next and if you aren’t watching the screen/display..you might not realise when one song has ended and another begun.. 10 points for well executed song writing and consistency across the material.
This music challenges the perceptions of modern metal and its tropes. There’s huge menacing rhythms and chug-till-your-neck-snaps-parts sure…but the intensity is easily matched by the darkness and tonally heavy moments, the sparse ambient interludes and tension these all create.
The bulk of the material on ‘This Clear Divide’ is found in the 6 part series of songs titled ‘Concurrent Abreaction I – VI. Without a lyric sheet it’s difficult to tell how much each section relates to the next or pushes any story forward. Musically however, there’s much to enjoy.
‘Concurrent Abreaction II – Ocean’ feels every bit as post-metal as contemporaries HOPE DRONE or Tangled Thoughts of Leaving would do. Guitars dripping with reverb and delays mix with heavy moments and loads of wash from the cymbals. A brief vocal appearance in the middle breaks it up before zoning back out again. Excellent.
‘Concurrent Abreaction III – The Outside’ reminds me of COG. It has some bright clean guitars with just the right amount of delay/verb on them.. the drums are crisp and kind of busy which adds to the aesthetic of what this band is doing. The repetitious vocal line that carries it along has a very Flynn Gower (the guy from COG) vibe to it as well…except that Keelan can really sing!
Towards the end of the album ‘Dead Letters’ shows the bands flair and ability with a short prog-inspired instrumental piece. A late highlight to an awesome album.
The closer ‘Cutting the Ties’ is a strong finish utilising some really heavy and slower paced riffing, a great lead break in the middle section and some of the stronger vocal performances on the album. Reminiscent of older Cave-In or Old Man Gloom..but without the growls and screams.
You can grab the lead track ‘The Falling’ from their unearthed page right now..
The album will be out on the 15th April..pre-order it here:
Follow them on the socials: http://facebook.com/stareattheclouds