2017-03-25 04:34:33 UTC
Even though the independent rock scene is quite inundated with new acts, there’s always a welcome place for an outfit that changes the formula enough to be consistently interesting and worth taking notice of. The New York-based alternative rock group Voices from Deep Below attempts to do just that, fusing together a variety of styles into a surprisingly coherent sound. Their new record, “I Want to Stand Where the Sun Himself Shakes with Fear”, is a five song album that navigates alt-rock, experimental, and borderline metal and progressive influences all at the same time.
Voices from Deep Below open their album with ‘This Is the Way,’ a near eleven- minute jaunt through intense, distorted electric guitar and heavy rock tinged soundscapes. The atmosphere comes in waterfall-like waves, though, and it’ll tear out of its cage, slowly subside back into atmospheric rumblings, and then maneuver its way forward again. At its more aggressive points, “This Is the Way” sounds like a Queens of the Stone Age demo tape. At its subtler sections, it feels like a Flaming Lips or Roger Waters tune that straddles the line between experimental rock and prog rock.
The second track of the album, “Blurred”, has a similar song structure, rising and falling in methodic waves of reverberated electric guitar and soft, almost indistinguishable vocal croons. True to name, “Blurred” does eventually blur together into a giant hodgepodge of noise, as if the songwriter had spent a little too much time listening to “Metal Machine Music” beforehand. This does more or less become the tone of the record: fuzzy electric riffing atop a bed of sparse vocal harmonies and copious reverb. “I Can’t Speak”, for example, is essentially eleven minutes of distorted chaos with a loose structure. Some of the soloing is excellent, however, making the latter parts of “I Can’t Speak” quite good fun to explore.
“Indigo/Younger” turns down the volume knob for a larger chunk of the song, letting the vivid lyrics and more intricate electric guitar musings shine through. The first two minutes of “Indigo/Younger” is arguably the most beautiful moment on the album. During its nine-minute run, though, the song takes several twists and turns, eventually exploding in a cacophony of distortion followed by a full minute of drowned out samples and electric meandering. “White Columns” closes the album with the most intense instrumentation of the bunch. The song slaps the listener in the face repeatedly for the whole run time, and it’s aggressively committed to doing so.
“I Want to Stand Where the Sun Himself Shakes with Fear” is only going to appeal to a very niche audience of music fans who are looking for modern alternative rock that pulls heavy influence from prog and experimental. Though it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, however, one can’t help but admire how Voices from Deep Below have crafted a sound that is unlike anything else out right now. Is it noise rock? Sort of, yes. Is it alternative, progressive, experimental, and bordering on heavy rock or metal? It’s all the above, and that’s why it’s worth taking a listen to.
- This Is the Way - 10:52 download
- Blurred - 08:48 download
- I Can't Speak - 10:37 download
- Indigo/Younger - 09:14 download
- White Columns - 11:02 download
alternative, rock, post-rock, shoegaze
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.
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