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Long Distance Calling

Post Rock/Math rock

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Long Distance Calling Long Distance Calling album cover
3.85 | 166 ratings | 9 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Into the Black Wide Open (8:32)
2. The Figrin D'an Boogie (6:08)
3. Invisible Giants (7:25)
4. Timebends (7:57)
5. Arecibo (Long Distance Calling) (5:53)
6. Middleville (8:30)
7. Beyond the Void (11:40)

Total Time 56:05

Line-up / Musicians

- David Jordan / guitar
- Florian Füntmann / guitar
- Jan Hoffmann / bass
- Janosch Rathmer / drums
- Reimut van Bonn / electronics

- John Bush / vocals (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Sebastian Jerke with Tim Kockentiedt

CD Superball Music ‎- 0454-2 (2011, US)

2LP Superball Music ‎- SBMLP 017 (2011, Europe)
2LP + CD Superball Music ‎- 88985311171 (2016, Germany) Full album on both media

Thanks to Conor Fynes for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LONG DISTANCE CALLING Long Distance Calling ratings distribution

(166 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

LONG DISTANCE CALLING Long Distance Calling reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The third Long Distance Calling album is self-titled.

Now why is that so?

I could think of many examples where bands do this on their first album. But the third?

There has to be some special meaning to it then.

Perhaps they're trying to say something? Is the band feeling estranged from its listeners and trying to reach out to us with this record by using this title? Or could it be that communications have deteriorated such that only a Long Distance Call is taken seriously?

However you want to interpret it, Long Distance Calling provides another almost entirely instrumental heavy and spacey rock album. One that they say is song and theme oriented, despite the lack of lyrics for the most part although there is a "proper" song on here, Middleville, featuring John Bush on vocals. The band states that: "Our writing is very song orientated; the song itself is the most important thing. We're mostly jamming when we write songs, trying to find a basic structure and then filling and building it up with sounds, melodies and atmospheres. On the new album we rediscovered the power of the riff.". One can definitely hear powerful riffs throughout the album's 7 tracks, blurring the border between rock and metal with their heaviness and groove. While the origins of the songs lie in jams, there is certainly clear direction and melody to the each piece as well as development and buildup. While it lacks lyrics, the music is quite emotional, ranging from aggressive and in-your-face-riffing (Invisible Giants) to slower and a little mellower yet still powerful parts (Timebends). Moreoever, there are some sections where the music is quite groovy (Invisible Giants, Into The Black Wide Open), but still the general vibe of the album is somber and dark.

Interestingly the band says the following: "We don't listen a lot to other instrumental bands and we don't see LONG DISTANCE CALLING as a 'postrock' band at all; it's instrumental rock? but it's cool that some people hear them in our music anyway." So, should one care what a band thinks of themselves, or dismiss it altogether and say: "Hey, you're playing post- rock, even if you don't like it to be so". Well, they do play in the same ballpark, do they not? They do share common characteristics with that "style". However, makes them special, is indeed what I mentioned above; they seem to write songs, just without vocals. They also seem intent on making their compositions dynamic and at times unpredictable. They certainly don't rely on a slow build-up, crescendo and then back again formula. They don't just play riffs over and over and let them develop over time. They play energetic and dynamic instrumental rock/metal and seem to progress them into interesting directions. Indeed, their "songs" are exciting and do have elements of the "post-rock" sound, but at the same time, they have other elements in there. The end result is that Long Distance Calling manages to create its own sound that differentiates them from the lot. Good examples on this album are Arecibo, Beyond The Void, The Figrin D'an Boogie and Middleville. These tracks show the diversity of the band's sound and their ambitious song-writing. While it may sound all just loud rock/metal, there is a clear path for the song. There are cool and interesting progressions and side-tracking. And most of all, there is raw power. With all of these songs, you'll find yourself banging your head to. The band itself says "It's the most diverse recording we've done so far." And what I hear here makes me agree with this statement.

One last thing, I'd love to hear cooler drumming such as that in the opening part of Arecibo, which is well done and creates a different atmosphere than the rest of the song. This will lead to even more variety of the band's music. But aside from that I think this album finds the band giving equal balance to their tendencies: Their heavy metallic side with powerful riffs (all songs but Invisible Giants in particular), their mellower side (parts of Timebends) and lastly their creative and progressive tendencies (The Figrin D'an Boogie, Beyond The Void).

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Long Distance Calling' - 'Long Distance Calling' (7/10)

While a self-titled album may imply that this is a debut work, heavy post-rock group Long Distance Calling have already released two other albums prior to this. A country whose progressive rock scene has typically been driven by hard-edged experimentation, Germany isn't the first place I would inquire about finding a new post-rock band to listen to, but make no mistake that Long Distance Calling keeps the Teutonic penchant for heaviness close at heart. While this band's brand of self-proclaimed 'instrumental rock' is nothing to shock the system and create a legion of copycats as most true innovators have in the past, the band gives a very good, if somewhat basic first impression with their self-titled album, and go to show that while they may not be anything new for post-rock, the band certainly knows how to play.

Best described by the way I hear them as a mix of Ireland's post-rock premiers God Is An Astronaut, with the heaviness and soundscapings of latter-era Porcupine Tree, Long Distance Calling immediately finds themselves a niche in the progressive rock community. While anyone who has heard much post-rock before can get a pretty good idea of the ebb- and-flow dynamic that is constantly at play here in terms of the songwriting, there is a fairly greater emphasis on the actually songwriting here than on many of the drawn-out compositions the genre tends to foster. With there is a generous use of repetition amongst many of the more important ideas in each song, the songs do feel as if they could have easily incorporated vocals, which certainly can't be said too much post-rock. Coincidentally, Long Distance Calling opts to check out this possibility in one song here.

The song 'Middleville' is quite typical for the album in its use of instrumentation, but is made very distinct for the fact that it is the only song that uses a singer. When the vocals first come on, the listener is made somewhat surprised, having been fairly familiarized with the instrumental format that late into the album. Unfortunately, while the vocals do fit into the track, I personally don't care for the way the voice of singer John Bush sounds, as if his singing belongs much more in the context of a grunge song than an atmospheric rock composition.

Highlights for me would include the pretty typical (yet undeniably powerful) post-rock track 'Inivisible Giants' and the closer 'Beyond The Void'. Long Distance Calling's latest album does demand a couple of listens to exert its power, much like any other music worth its salt. But while this personal style does not completely fit my tastes, the band does show promise for harder-edged post-rock bands to come in the future.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Great heavy post-rock album!

Or if you wish, you could call it a post-metal album, as one of my friends told me, anyway, that is not really important, labeling may guide people but sometimes it may misguide them too, so I would say this is post rock and that's it. And a post-rock band from Germany is not what I would expect to see every day, so when I knew about them I was interested. Now I know this is their third studio album since 2007 when they released their debut, and it is curious to see a self titled album as the third one and not as the first one.

So this 2011 Long Distance Calling are again on the map to share this brand new self- titled album which contains seven tracks and a total time of 58 minutes. It kicks off with "Into the Black Wide Open" which is a pretty interesting eight-minute track that offers excellent heavy post rock music, I like how it is gradually progressing until it reaches a climax; the guitars are always creating some emotional feeling so one can feel trapped under the sound. You can feel the power and in fact be part of it, when that happens, I believe the music succeeded.

"The Figrin D'an Boogie" starts with a repetitive bass sound which later will be joined by guitars repeating the same rhythm that may create a hypnotizing sound. But then the song changes a little bit, it slows down so you can take a breath and wait for the next blaze. And yeah, the sound is louder a couple of minutes later with cool drums and guitars. Just before the fifth minute the song explodes and creates that powerful feeling and sound which I enjoy a lot in post rock bands.

"Invisible Giants" starts again with a repetitive (but lighter) guitar sound that will play for a minute while other guitars and instruments little by little are joining. Then it makes that kind of mandatory explosion so the heavy post rock sound is on it again. This track may be my least favorite off this album, which does not mean it is bad, no, but here after three minutes I honestly felt tired, it did not catch me up as the previous songs did.

"Timebends" is a different kind of track, the heavy sound was left out at the beginning and replaced by a gentler and even friendly sound which little by little is progressing while the different musical passages appear. The song has a rich mixture of sounds that together create good atmospheres, so one can easily enjoy it without being as heavy as the previous track, because being different usually is healthy. Nice track!

But the power returns with "Arecibo (Long Distance Calling)" which happens to be also the shortest track of the album. This instrumental piece is decent but not their best, I like the drums and of course the guitars that lead the music to its goal. The sound is close to metal, that's why I may not be that enthusiastic with this track in particular.

Next is "Middleville" which has some electronic spacey sounds accompanying an acoustic guitar, and a minute later bass, drums and electric guitar appears, and wait, there is something more: vocals! I was really surprised the first time I listened to it because I thought it was an instrumental album in its entirety. The voice is good, and well received by me, though I honestly would have left them out. The rhythm of this song may appeal to alternative and even grunge fans.

And finally the longest track, entitled "Beyond the Void" which gathers spacey electronic elements creating some ambient and atmospheres, with both the light and heavy sides of post-rock. I like this track because little by little is catching your attention until you are again on it, in spite of the different changes of mood, time and tempo they offer here. The guitar work is great, the solos and the rhythm are worth paying attention.

This is a pretty good album, very consistent and absolutely listenable, so I would recommend it to the post rock fan in special, but also to any prog rock fan who would like to explore this different genre. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good Post Rock/Math Rock but not different enough to save this sub-genre that seems to be being 'all played out.' Highlights here include: The opener, "Into the Black Wide Open;" some of the drum work; some interesting variables in the guitar playing; the use of synthesizer and other odd incidental sounds; the jazz guitar and other jazz-effected instruments on "Timebends;" the study in LED ZEPPELIN riffs called "Arecibo;" the subtle Latin flavor and sustained guitar soli in "Middleville;" in "Beyond the Void," the mix of JIMMY PAGE's fadeout guitar effect from Led Zeppelin's "Over the Hills and Far Away" and the elctro-trip hoppy keyboards; and, the variation in moods and styles throughout (though, ultimately, not enough). A good album, not quite enough for everyone to get excited about. 3 stars.
Review by J-Man
4 stars It's no secret to most listeners that the post rock scene isn't the most ever-changing genre out there. Though one may notice small differences from band to band, it seems that the genre has many more "clones" out there than desired. Germany's Long Distance Calling hasn't ever sent out to entirely revolutionize post rock, but they certainly have a sound of their own and plenty of impressive chops to go along with it. Long Distance Calling, the band's self-titled third album, is possibly their best album yet and an all-around amazing effort. If you like your post rock with a heavy, metallic edge and plenty of atmosphere, it's hard to go wrong with this one.

Although I've mentioned earlier that Long Distance Calling may not the most revolutionary band out there, the music here is still unique to an extent. It's firmly based in post rock, but I also hear plenty of metal, progressive rock, and even a few alternative tendencies. My favorite tracks are probably the beautiful "Invisible Giants" and the heavy-edged "Arecibo (Long Distance Calling)". John Bush (of Anthrax and Armored Saint fame) lends his grunge-tinged vocals to "Middleville" which adds some nice variation to this otherwise instrumental effort. The greatest thing about Long Distance Calling is probably the musicianship, which is spectacular across the board. I especially have to give a nod in the direction of Janosch Rathmer. As a drummer myself, listening to his energetic and refined style is just a breath of fresh air.

The production is also very professional and powerful. This has an organic, 70's-influenced sound that still leaves room for heavy and modern metal bits. This is a spectacular sound, to say the very least.

Long Distance Calling may not be a shocking revolution in the post rock genre, but I will admit that it's rare to hear music of this level of quality anywhere. If you like your post rock with a heavy edge and plenty of atmosphere, this should be one of your best albums of 2011. Seldom do I hear an album with such excellent musicianship and beauty. 4 stars are well-earned in this case.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars Long Distance Calling is a German Post-rock band, and this self titled effort is their third studio album; some are considering this their best album so far, even better than 2009's "Avoid The Light", which was recognized and appreciated by the few fans of the band in the underground scene. But this third album made the band a little more successful, and more fans have gathered around them.

I've always been really fascinated by Post-Rock, especially thanks to bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Ros, Slint and Talk Talk from the earlier ages. But I can assure you that even if this is a post-rock album by a post-rock band, it does not sound like any of those bands mentioned above. Their sound is in fact quite unique: there is no building of the tracks, or at least nothing compared to the great bands of the genre. There is tons of guitar, clean or distorted,(there is a clear metal influence) keyboards, effects, dynamic bass and drums. And I still have to mention that this is an instrumental band, and no vocals are present, except for the track "Middleville", which is sung by a guest vocalist. But what impressed me the most of this album is the amazing, and I mean amazing, production. Just from the starting minute of the album, with the pondering bass and enriched drums, my mind was blown for it's crystal clear and perfect sound. Luckily this production sticks around for the whole album, making it the best quality of the record. The musicianship and technical quality of the band members is quite impressive, especially for a band that isn't exactly at the tip of everyone's tongue.

I do have some issues with "Long distance Calling", I admit it; not every song is solid and well written as the others, and there are some weak moments that occur during the 56 minutes in some parts of some songs. Moments that are easily forgettable, unfortunately, but without these pieces this album would have certainly been a masterpiece.

Songs like the opener "Into the Black Wide Open", with it's already mentioned amazing intro and great time changes along the whole track, "The Figrin D'an Boogie" very enlivened and catchy, enriched with spacey effects and percussion. "Invisible Giants" is another one of my favorites, thanks to the great opening riff that echoes along the whole song, as well as the energetic and powerful variations. But title track spreads energy like no other song here; I love also how the keyboards give a kind of psychedelic touch to the mood. The already mentioned "Middleville" is the only sung song of the album, with grungy like vocals. But it's also here that I find some low points. I also can't fully appreciate the eleven minute track "Beyond The Void", as well as the fourth track, "Timebends".

But as a conclusion, this is a terrific album, definitely to check out if you're into post-rock or into prog.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This album just shot up to the top of my best of 2011 list, mind you I haven't heard a lot of new releases so far this year but still I can't see this not being in my top five.They did it again ! I was so impressed with the previous album "Avoid The Light" and it was cool to hear Jonas from KATATONIA sing on a track that he had also written.This time they got ARMORED SAINT vocalist John Bush to sing on a track (that he also wrote). Interesting to read that that track was recorded by former ARMORED SAINT bassist Joey Vera who of course went on to play in FATES WARNING. As far as the music goes here I really can't detect much in the way of Post-Rock. Post-Metal for sure. It's dark and quite heavy with dual guitars along with bass and drums. Some added electronics as well for atmosphere which is a nice touch.The sound quality is perfect.The drumming is amazing !

"Into The Black Wide Open" opens with faint atmosphere then a heavy bass / drum section comes in. Some spoken words which are both funny and alarming. It then turns heavier then the tempo picks up before 3 minutes. Nice. It settles back before 4 minutes with bass then builds. "The Figrin D'an Boogie" has some incredible drumming on it. It settles back before 2 1/2 minutes then the guitar comes to the fore a minute later. It kicks in before 5 minutes.

"Invisible Giants" builds to a heavy soundscape. Kicking ass and taking names right here folks. "Timebends" features atmosphere before it kicks in just before a minute. Great sound here. Sounds like keys after 1 1/2 minutes. Check out the bass before 3 1/2 minutes. "Arecibo (Long Distance Calling)" is a great track. Heavy with plenty of guitars and check out the insane section 4 minutes in.

"Middleville" is the vocal track. Fantastic sound here a minute in followed by vocals. Love the guitar before 2 minutes.Vocals stop before 5 minutes as a heavy and dark soundscape takes over with the guitar making noise over top. So good.Vocals are back after 6 minutes.The guitars are setting the soundscape on fire 8 minutes in. "Beyond The Void" has lots of atmosphere then the sound starts to pick up. It kicks in before 3 1/2 minutes.The drums and bass sound amazing ! Keys before 6 1/2 minutes. It stays heavy to the end although it does get experimental.

These guys are fast becoming one of my favourite bands to listen to. 4.5 stars just seem too low for this beast.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Long Distance Calling may not be an absolute masterpiece, but surely is an enjoyable album that displays 58 minutes of good music that will surely catch the attention of post metal fans.This is an entirely instrumental album (except for Middleville) where the most interesting parts in my opin ... (read more)

Report this review (#434861) | Posted by Avtokrat | Sunday, April 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Long Distance Calling is back again with their third offering. Well, their third full album, that is. I think it is fair to say that this German band deserve their post rock label. But they are branching out into metal territory too on this album. But the album opens like a post rock/ shoegaze ... (read more)

Report this review (#414672) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, March 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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