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Jakob - Sines CD (album) cover



Post Rock/Math rock

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The only negative thing about Jakob was the long hiatus between their previous album, Solace, and this album, but boy was it worth the wait. One of the finest post-rock albums I have had the pleasure of hearing. The opener "Blind them With Science" is among the highlights, continuing the type of sound found on Solace, whereby drummer Jason Johnston is almost the lodestone, providing the underlying pulse and foundation on which the other two members can create - a canvas, if you will. The album as a whole, however, finds Jakob going a bit more minimalist, abstract, and ambient than their previous recordings, and this approach finds its most extreme instantiation in the title track, where drums are absent, ending the album with a mystical ambient drone which gradually builds up layers upon layers, almost like an orchestra gradually swelling. In between the aforemention tracks is plenty to admire and be swept up in, from the beautiful ballads "Emergent" and "Darkness" to the sweeping majesty of "Magna Carta", "Resolve", and "Harmonia". The entire album is captivating and engrossing from start to finish. Initially I was unsure that the wonderful Solace could be bested but these gentlemen have done it again. When I find myself in the mood for post-rock/ambient I inevitably reach for this record. Highest possible recommendation.
Report this review (#1472036)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Jakob is a post-rock band hailing from the far-away kiwi land, having their new album "Sines" out in 2015, after quite a hiatus. And no, I would not be surprised, if I found out that these guys were doing nothing during their break but building the new album. Because boy, Sines really is nothing short of perfection.

First of all, post rock is a tricky genre. You do have to be in the mood to take it in, especially if it's Jakob's soaringly dark music being on display. Sines will not break this circle either, given that at places it is even more downtempo than its predecessors. And that is a compliment for Sines. Because as heavy and as great the opening track ("Blind them with science") sounds, bringing back the power of "Controle" (especially when the heavy riffs and the solid drum work kick in), that is how much the new, laid-back style fits the band also. Even though we are not talking about a long album (7 songs rambling through 44 minutes), it is safe to stay that thanks to the band's brave effort to experiment in new directions, the album is much more varied and diverse than their previous ones. And yet, each piece of this puzzle manages to fall into the right place on Sines.

Besides the kick-ass opening track there is one more "loud" song to mention ("Magna carta"), whilst all the others would mark the band's expansion in this new, laid-back direction. Standing out of those, "Emergent" comes with some surprisingly mature and beautiful melodies, whilst my personal favourite, "Darkness", might be one of the best the band has ever written, thanks to its minimalist, yet beautifully ambient sounds, with the drummer taking the back seat (and still adding so much to it). If you close your eyes during this song, there is no place it will not take you to. Not a happy song overall... so after that, it is no surprise that the band goes for a bit more optimistic-sounding song to close it all with, which is the title-track "Sines". And make no mistake; again, it might be the best ending of a cd the band has ever gone for. Listening to the song I ask myself the question though, how these guys manage to sell five-minute-long songs so much built up around nothing but one basic sound, shifting the band closer to drone music even at times. The title track delivers a solid answer, as it starts from zero, building up this one sound from scratch in the most downtempo way ever, gathering more courage to expand further with each minute, whilst still repeating the same melody... and really not doing much else. Yet, it works, which goes for the whole cd too: Sines is Jakob's most mature album to date, with their ideas all fleshed out, let it be the usual, loud, (almost) post-metal sound of them that any fan might expect, or the new, dreamy musical journey they embark upon here, which suits them just as fine, too. Having said this, it is no surprise that they manage to stand out again from the sea of mediocre contemporary bands, which is not easy in the genre. So, until they return to hopefully build on these strengths on their next album too, I give them two thumbs up for such a multi-layered, mature and beautiful comeback.

Report this review (#1540359)
Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2016 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Flawless, sophisticated Post Rock from New Zealand, this is such an odd and welcome Post Rock album for the use and presence of a strings section on almost every song. Very worthy of your attention.

Five star songs: a soft, almost country/classical song due to its lavish strings arrangement, 2. "Emergent" (5:08) (9.5/10); a very catchy, melodic chord progression grows in a MONO way with tremolo guitars and great drumming before strings arrangement takes over the final third, 4. "Harmonia" (6:05) (9.5/10); atmospheric layers of guitars with insistent drums and bass, 1. "Blinded Them With Science" (6:57) (9/10); a spacious, spacey keyboard-filled soundscape with gently rolling tom play and bass lines builds gently, in a kind of ROBIN GUTHRIE-HAROLD BUDD way, 6. "Darkness" (5:37) (9/10), and; a really perfect soundscape with an awesome drum and bass play to go with the atmospheric guitars that flounders a bit in the second half--maybe didn't need to be this long, 5. "Resolve" (9:11) (9/10).

Four star songs: until the final two minutes, this rondo-like song is very formulaic in the standard PR tradition, 3. "Magna Carta" (6:15) (8.5/10) and the final song which sounds a bit like a slowed down, slightly edgier version of the first half of #3 "Magna Carta," 7. "Sines" (5:27) (7.5/10).

A near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and one of the better Post Rock albums I've ever heard.

Report this review (#1667159)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2016 | Review Permalink

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