When I opened this Dead is Dead album I returned it to the mail room, as it has ‘Post’ written all over it. (pauses for audience response….)
Solid blocks ten foot by ten foot, by ten foot drop on me from a tall height and squash me with their sound. In my mind it is post-metal, post-rock, post-post. This is well planned and deftly executed in its understatement. In reality, its not how heavy this album is, it’s actually how heavy it isn’t, if you get my drift. This power trio could have easily released the brakes and run full throttle over anything they had conceived musically. Yet, by holding themselves back, I get to actually hear the album, the music, and the gaps, so that when they rack it up a gear, it really hits home and makes a statement.
Slightly distant vocals, which are de rigour of this post-metal, post-apocalyptic scene are accompanied by distinct guitar work and thunderous drums. There is spacy spacious psychedelic moments of calm, countered with fuzzy repetitive hypnotic cult inducing drone outs and the rise and fall, including a few sudden cliff plummets to vary the sound throughout.
Some discordant guitar is uncomfortable listening at the start of ‘No Longer, No Longer’ and after the calmness of the spoken word middle, the drums sound as though they are actually breaking my stereo from within before we return to that demonic, moronic discordant guitar, a real nightmare of a track.
Six tracks across 40 minutes has shown Dead Is Dead to know their audience, know their craft and not over play their hand.
Constraints of Time is released on September 22nd 2017, and get your pre-orders in early if you fancy their lager soaked extremely limited “transparent beer” coloured vinyl (edition of 100) here:
Florida sludge metal band Ether have unleashed their second album unto the world, opening with, is that Billie Holiday’s gentle voice just audible over a chaotic maelstrom of scrunching noises, before whoosh! the band kick in with their strained NOLA styled sludgy doom. ‘There is Nothing Left for Me Here’ is written during one of the band members separation and divorce, and I feel I am intruding. the main drive of the album focuses on the current state of the world, so I’ll warn you, it isn’t easy listening.
Although this is far heavier than Dead is Dead. Ether also manage to control themselves on the softer elements with some rather beautiful electric guitar parts and later violin refrains as evident midway through ‘Every Nail, a Noose’ – I did warn you it isn’t easy going. This is far more in the emotional hardcore vein as the vocals are spilt out as they bubble up and cannot be contained.
This is far angrier, and it certainly isn’t ‘post’ anything as Ether have not reached their goal yet. Once they have overthrown capitalism, made adjustments and apologies for the human condition, then we may reach ‘post-Ether’ but at this rate, there’s a lot more we will hear from them in years to come. We’re not even ‘peak-Ether’ yet!
Ether are not afraid of a chunky riff, a harmonic vocal or a groove to get lost in. I’m gonna put my head above the parapet and suggest there are Swans sounds within the deep melancholic vocal style, tempo changes and cascading sounds as they tumble from massive swathes of bass rumble to effortless sweet sounds of a spring day. And all this can turn on a penny!
This is a fantastic piece of work indeed! One of my favourites of the year so far!
‘There is Nothing Left For Me Here’ was self-released on July 7th 2017 on CD, cassette, vinyl and digital formats.