Posts Tagged ‘Pelagic Records’

Pelagic Records – 20th November 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

The Swedish quartet’s fifth album finds them freely drawing on myriad genre references to conjure a cocktail that extends far beyond even the broadest perimeters of post-rock to render this a truly hybrid work. The scale of the ambition is immense, and for a band who rarely spent time together and only rehearse ahead of tours or to write and record albums, the way they’ve drawn everything together so organically is remarkable.

The title is quite fitting as they swing back and forth across the forms and styles, with a brooding electroambient introduction in the form of the title track which builds by stealth over the course of seven and a half minutes to a grand-scale swell of cinematic hypnotism with rolling drums driving a cyclical synth motif.

‘E22’ brings the guitars to the fore and is more overtly conventionally post-rock, but it’s got a certain progressive edge, not to mention some weight, breaking into some hefty bass-dominated riffage around the five-minute mark. There’s a pace-rock / psyche twist to ‘Mindtrip’, by far the album’s most accessible and buoyant tune, and it contrasts with the altogether more tense ‘Shelter’, which emanates a simmering tension. The absence of vocals actually accentuates the mood and renders it all the more relatable, as the listener pours the emotional contents of their own experience into the empty vessel the band present.

This, for me – and doubtless for many, having attended countless instrumental post-rock shows in the decade spanning 2002-2012 – is the draw of the genre, at least when well-executed: post-rock presents sonic expanses without authorial steer, without any insistence on specific meaning, leaving the listener to fill in the spaces. And with vast, expansive spaces in which to wander, into which to pour one’s thoughts and experiences, this is music that opens its arms to a world of freedom.

They don’t do short songs: Oscillate only contains eight tracks, but only two of those clock in under six minutes, and the final pairing of ‘Eraser’ and ‘The Headless Man’, both of which extend well past the eight-minute measure. The first of these is a dynamic rush of a tune, with propellant drumming and a solid bass throb, while the second is a redemptive sunburst of a tune, the light of dawn breaking over the horizon.

Oscillate is a strong set, and the album will indubitably appeal to fans of MONO, Explosions in the Sky, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but in context, comparisons are reductive: this is an album that stretches far wider than its influences and is truly impressive in its breadth and scale.

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Swiss progressive sludge outfit Herod who released new album Sombre Dessein last week through Pelagic Records have shared a new video for the crushing track ‘Silent Truth’. 

Herod have arisen from the ever- prosperous Swiss music scene. Throughout their young 4 years of presence, they have already shared the stage with such acts as Gojira, Crowbar, The Ocean, Carcass, Obituary, Napalm Death and Voivod – Attesting their repute as the bus boy’s of King Herod, serving up whole sides of rare riffs, disposition, beauty and authority.

The band comment,

“’Silent Truth’ is the last video clip from Sombre Dessein to be released and it is the first “lyric video” for the band. We decided to make a lyric video for ‘Silent Truth’ because it summarizes the concept of Sombre Dessein. Our Judaeo-Christian and thermo-industrial civilisation will eventually come to end and be replaced by another civilisation – It has always been on the cards. 
Our civilization has values no more.

Civilisations have always been founded/established by the power and assistance of war. We live in a critical moment in history where only a few humans ready to die for their beliefs can put a powerful nation on their knees. Who would die today for a smartphone or a couch?! We are exhausted and immersed in our own inertia; we have nihilism but no fervour anymore.”

Watch it here:

Herod will also be touring Europe in March + April with The Ocean:

13/03 – DE, Stuttgart – Im Wizemann

14/03 – CH, Geneva – PTR/ L’Usine

15/03 – FR, Lyon – CCO

16/03 – FR, Toulouse – Rex

17/03 – FR, Marseilles – Les Pennes Mirabeau

18/03 – FR, Colmar – Le Grillen

19/03 – FR, Bethune – Le Poche

20/03 – UK, Birmingham – Mama Roux

21/03 – IR, Limerick – Dolan’s Warehouse

22/03 – IR, Dublin – Voodoo Lounge

23/03 – UK, Glasgow – Audio

24/03 – UK, Leeds – Brudenell Social Club

25/03 – BE, Antwerp – Trix

26/03 – NL, Den Haag – Paard

27/03 – DE, Cologne – Club Volta

28/03 – DE, Leipzig – Werk 2

29/03 – PL, Poznan – U Bazyla

30/03 – DE, Bremen – Tower

31/03 – DE, Hamburg – Logo

02/04 – SE, Stockholm – Fryhuset, Klubben

03/04 – SE, Gothenburg – Tradgarn

06/04 – NO, Stavangar – Folken

07/04 – NO, Hamar – Gregers

08/04 – DK, Copenhagen – Vega

…and we’ll be down the front in Leeds!

7th September – Pelagic Records

Christopher Nosnibor

The absence of a question mark renders the album’s title a statement rather than a question. But there are no questions about Årabrot: 17 years and a substantial catalogue into their career, the Norwegian noise-rock act are still noisy, challenging, and kicking ass. But according to the blurb accompanying the release, ‘there is more than noise rock to Årabrot’s formula. “I’m interested in feelings, either the very silent or the extremely noisy”, band leader Kjetil Nernes comments. “I don’t care about what’s in between, the middle of the road isn’t my thing. The bible fits really well with that. I’m using it thematically all of the time.”

But mostly it’s noisy, and that’s a good thing. That said, Who Do You Love is very much an album of extremes – which is only fitting of a record that references transgressive French poet Comte de Lautréamont in its opening song, which crashes in with a heavy psych-hued riff – but the guitars are dominant and angular throughout. It’s loud, and it’s insistent. The guitars are choppy, the vocals whooping, sneery, and bathed in reverb and flange. It’s kinda punky, but equally kinda post punk, and kinda no-wave noisy.

With chunky, punky riffs carved out against solid rhythms that are by turn loping, square and stop/start, plus shouty vocals throughout the course of the album – ‘Warning’ is exemplary: Who Do You Love brings the attack in spadesful – but then again, it’s an album with textures, layers. ‘Sons and Daughters’ is a spacious country / shoegaze hybrid that’s both beautiful and captivating.

‘Pygmalion’ marks a real shift, it’s ethereal humming drones fittering like butterflies, while the sinewy ‘Simmerman’ is different again, a howling, roaring country rock stomp replete with anguished vocals that run ragged and pull Biblical anguish over devils and pain from the depths. It’s bold, theatrical, immense, but more importantly, it’s got a gut pull that’s emotionally engaging in its snarling delivery. Elsewhere ‘Look Daggers’ plunges deeper and darker still, meshing together the heavy grey nihilism and insistent throb of Killing Joke with a thicker, more metal delivery and hints of latter-day Swans in its insistent, throbbing groove that’s demolished in a roaring rage. ‘A Sacrifice’ begin with a heavy trudge, and the stop/start riffage, coupled with the blank monotone vocals – heavily treated – call to mind Foetus – before the buzzsaw riff breaks in after a couple of minutes.

Closer ‘Uniform of a Killer’ is all about the ebb and flow, the surge and fall, the climax and drop, not to mention all the drama. It again calls to mind later-day Swans, as well as pacing in hints of Bauhaus and myriad others, but compresses 15-minute builds to a minute or so, the track lasting only six and a half minutes. Never mind the length, check the density! ‘Uniform of a Killer’ certainly packs the density, and the intensity, too.

Who Do You Love is a BIG album. Not so much in duration (although it’s big enough) but in every other sense. It has depth, it has range. It has force. It has intensity, and it has tunes. Really, you couldn’t ask for more.

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Årabrot – Who Do You Love