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Battles - Mirrored CD (album) cover

MIRRORED

Battles

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.82 | 130 ratings

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MonsterMagnet
5 stars Innovative masterpiece! Mirrored has every typical elements of math rock : mainly instrumental, rythmical complexity, melodic poverty , mechanical aesthetic, original sounds, noise... however, it distinguished itself by an avant-garde aspect such as bands like Thinking Plague -but in another style-. Maybe it's hidden behind its catchy and joyful side but Battles is much more avant-garde than pop, even if the avant-garde aspect is finally more obvious in Thyondai Braxton solo works than in the next Battles' releases. "Race : In" is great and proves instantly the rythmical skill of the band (guitar ostinato passing from binary to ternary like an african groove) and their innovative potential with many weird ideas (atonal-bluesy riff, crossed patterns between guitar and keyboard, ascending voice at the end). The single "Atlas" is very fun and like a psychedelic blessing with full, metallic and soft guitar sounds giving a dreamy texture above a swinging ryhtm and ingenuous melodies. The crescendo in the middle working on rythmical layers is amazing. After that, it becomes angrier with the aggressive -but always joyful- and almost noise "Ddiamondd". "Tonto" is more catchy thanks to cool pentatonic riffs and, despite that rock spirit, we're still in an extravagant area with multiplied voice, strange dissonances, chinese stuff and composition effects (slowing ostinato changing the atmosphere into something deeply meditative). "Leyendecker" is an (insipid) R'n'B attempt. More exciting is the minimalist and naive "Rainbow" based on a major arpeggio in 19/8 repeated above all sections (except a very humorous one with a horn imitation) until an ethereal climax in which we hear the natural voice of Thyondai for the first time. In "Bad Trails", above a tribal rhythm on a birds singing background, the band shows a rich range of sounds (thirds, timpani, big reverb, saturated bass, noise effects and various keyboard sounds). After the African interlude "Prismism" and "Snare Hangar" sophisticated metric, "Tij" is another top of this album: weirdness, groovy polyrhythmic game which superimposes binary and ternary, and a subtly techno moment where the guitarist insists on a single note. If you haven't the Japanese version, the album ends with "Race: Out" which begins on a highly hypnotic part and continues on a more traditional groove (once is not custom) with a melody in crossed motifs. It certainly deserves five stars!
MonsterMagnet | 5/5 |

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