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Long Distance Calling - The Flood Inside CD (album) cover


Long Distance Calling

Post Rock/Math rock

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4 stars I would like to preface my review by saying that I am not an expert reviewer, but rather I know what I like and what I think is good music. I usually won't review something unless I can listen to it from start to finish and be thoroughly entertained.

I am only recently acquainted with this group, but I have all their albums. Amidst all the post rock/math rock groups this group seems to stand out to me; perhaps is the emphasis on the rock aspect of the music that grabs me. Honestly, there's a lot of the post rock groups that just start to sound kind of the same to me although there a handful or two that I really enjoy. It's hard for me to explain why I like this group more than a lot of other groups in the same genre(s). The music has a flow to me and never feels stiff or ponderous. Now onto the new album...

The Flood Inside finds the group continuing in the vein of the self-titled album from 2011 with a collection moderate length songs and one 11 minute plus song that has the definite post rock/math rock feel to it while being more rock driven and less ambient than many post rock/math rock bands. The group keeps their signature sound while adding more vocals to the music than previously. Four of the eight tracks on the album feature fairly significant vocal presences; while the vocals may not be outstanding I think the vocals are good and fit the music well. And THANK THE BIG BANG that they did not add screamy type vocals that some post rock/math rock groups like to do. They continue to keep a good balance between simple, yet solid riffs and spacey jams that don't quite wander off into the realm of ambient pieces.

From a personal perspective I would give this album 5 stars, because I enjoy it from start to finish every time I listen to it and to me that makes for an outstanding album. But for the sake of trying to be objective I will give it 4 stars because overall it could be said that they have backed off the instrumental intensity of the previous albums and they haven't done much to expand upon their sound. Still I think they have gone the distance on this album and this is another great album for 2013.

Report this review (#924377)
Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars German post rock act Long Distance Calling were formed in 2006 by David Jordan (guitar), Janosch Rathmer (drums), Florian F'ntmann (guitar), Jan Hoffmann (bass) and Reimut van Bonn (ambience) who wanted to create music where there would be no rules or preconceptions. Primarily an instrumental act, they had however previously worked with guest- singers such as John Bush (Armored Saint, Anthrax) or Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) so they were aware of the possibilities of using vocals within their own musical style. When founder member Reimut amicably departed in April 2012 they discussed what the next step should be for the band and they soon settle on Marsen Fischer to provide vocals on a permanent basis, with the added bonus that he also plays keyboards.

The new album then is quite different in some ways to the band's previous works, but at the same time fits in very naturally with their history. They have again used some guest musicians to broaden the sound, this time including Vincent Cavanagh (Anathema), Henrik Freischlader, Robot Koch (Casper, Max Mutzke, Marteria), Norwegian singer/songwriter Petter Carlsen, Tuneverse co-founder Alex Komlew and Mario Cullmann (F'nf Sterne Deluxe). 'The Flood Inside' starts with an instrumental number, 'Nucleus', but follows that up with 'Inside The Flood' which does have vocals. But, the songs without vocals don't need them as they are complete in themselves while the songs with vocals are complete without being overpowered by the singer. It is all about doing what is right for the music, and the use of space and clear layers within the sound is spot on. It is an album that can be enjoyed the very first time it is played but the more it gets into the psyche the better it is.

Well structured, complex where it needs to be but simple in others, this is a very strong piece of work and could well be considered their best yet. Worth investigation.

Report this review (#936895)
Posted Friday, March 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Flood Inside" is the 4th full-length studio album by German post rock/metal act Long Distance Calling. The album was released through Superball Music in March 2013. Since the release of the band's third full-length studio album "Long Distance Calling (2011)", a significant lineup change has taken place as Reimut Van Bonn (electronics and sound) left in April 2012. Keyboard player and vocalist Marsen Fischer then joined the lineup, which marks the first time Long Distance Calling have had a permanent vocalist in the lineup. Their music has predominantly been instrumental up until now, with only a few tracks featuring guest vocalists. Among others Jonas Renkse from Katatonia.

Even with a permanent lead vocalist in the lineup, the music on "The Flood Inside" is predominantly instrumental like the case were on earlier releases by the band. Even the tracks which feature vocals also feature longer instrumental sections. The colourful and often atmospheric guitar playing, the occasionally heavy distorted riffing and the quite busy drumming by Janosch Rathmer are still central in the band's music, like they have been since day one. The musicianship is overall on a high level. Marsen Fischer has a bit of an anonymous and not very distinct sounding voice, but his singing is pleasant enough and suits the music well. "The Flood Inside" is well produced and features a warm and pleasant sound.

"The Flood Inside" is in many ways a quality release by Long Distance Calling, but that's to be expected from these guys. However they seldom reach the excellent mark, where their music takes me away to another dimension and therefore my rating is closer to 3.5 stars (70%) than a full 4 (80%). It's still a great release though.

Report this review (#973564)
Posted Saturday, June 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ever since its sudden stride into existence 15 years ago, post-rock has become the dominant style for instrumental bands wanting to stretch their atmospheric and layering limbs, but in recent years of increase in availability of music, post-rock has become the genre of choice for bands who aren't really good at anything, but still want to make music. The waves and waves of generic Explosions In The Sky clones poured through sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, ending most innovation in the genre and causing breakthroughs to be very difficult.

Germany's "Long Distance Calling" was a victim of this. Their very well produced and rather beautiful early music was put aside because, to be honest, it brought nothing new to the table. It was run-of-the-mill post-rock with the same crescendos and atmospheres we expect from the genre. But now, with 2013's "The Flood Inside", they've changed it up. They've got a vocalist.

Going through the current reviews and fans' reactions to this album, it's not looking good for LDC, but the simple fact is that they are being innovative, something the post-rock genre has needed since 1999. Marsen Fischer's voice, which appears on 4 of the 9 tracks, brings the band back to a more alternative rock style, but their roots as an instrumental band remain. Any generic alternative rock band with a guitar and a bass would think very little of the noise going on underneath the hook lines, but it's quite clear the vocals here were the last thing on, with LDC's signature layering of sound and texture crawling underneath Fischer's crystal clear vocal lines.

The backlash against the band is only expected, they have dropped an underground and progressive style for a more mainstream and accessible one, but I think they have simultaneously improved both genres in doing it. Long Distance Calling are simultaneously the most innovative post-rock band of today, and the most innovative alternative rock band of today, and that is something that will let them break through.

Report this review (#981312)
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permalink

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