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POST ROCK/MATH ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Post Rock/Math rock definition

POST-ROCK:

The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords."

Originally used to describe the music of such bands as Stereolab, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and Pram, it spread out to be frequently used for all sorts of jazz- and Krautrock-influenced, instrumental, electronica-added music made after 1994. Bands from the early 1990s such as Slint, or earlier, such as Talk Talk were influential on this genre. As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.

The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoise-sound" and were often described as post-rock.

In the late nineties, Chicago, Illinois, became the home base of many different groups. John McEntire (of Tortoise) became an important producer for lots of them, as well as Jim O'Rourke (of Brice-Glace, Gastr del Sol and many more). Post-rock began to range from the slow, guitar-based ambience of Boxhead Ensemble to the up-tempo electronica of Stereolab.

Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! - later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' - brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.

By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favor, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.

Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post-rock".

POST-ROCK TEAM MEMBERS:

Angelmk (Angel)
Zravkapt (Darryl)
The Truth (Tanner)



MATH ROCK:

Math Rock is a genre that emerged in the late 80's and that was influenced by both the intricacies of progressive and avant-garde rock - King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow - and 20th century composers such as Steve Reich and John Cage. The music is characterized by complex structures, angular melodies and constant abrupt changes in tempo and time signature. The name Math Rock is a term that grew out of the Chicago scene and the artists working with engineer Steve Albini in an effort to describe the new style.

The basic building blocks of Math Rock can be traced back to the late 60's and 70's where Progressive Rock artists were making more elaborate compositions than the standard rock bands and were experimenting with song structures. Early Avant-garde groups like Massacre, and artists such as Captain Beefheart and John Zorn were highly influential to Math Rock bands and traces of their music can still be heard throughout the genre. Another big influence to the Math Rock approach was Slint with their album "Spiderland" which showcased many techniques that Math Rock bands will follow in the future. Punk also had significant impact on the sound of Math Rock bands. Other notable influences are: Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, and Jazz.

Although there are Math Rock bands in different countries around the world, most reside in the United States, the Midwest in particular, and tend to be divided by regions: Pittsburgh bands (Don Caballero, Six Horse) Chicago bands (Shellac, U.S. Maple), Ohio bands (Keelhaul, Craw) Louisville bands (June 44, Rodan, The For Carnation, Crain), and San Diego bands (Drive Like Jehu, Tristeza) among others on both coasts. Japan was also an important country in the Math Rock genre with bands like Ruins and Zeni Geva.

MATH ROCK TEAM MEMBERS:
Andy Webb
Austin (Horizons)
Tanner (The Truth)
Jason (Second Life Syndrome)

Post Rock/Math rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Post Rock/Math rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.12 | 410 ratings
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4.49 | 20 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
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4.13 | 140 ratings
ENTER
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4.09 | 378 ratings
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4.18 | 38 ratings
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4.02 | 295 ratings
F# A# ∞
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4.28 | 22 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe.
4.40 | 15 ratings
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Jardin de la Croix
4.26 | 20 ratings
THE COLLIBRO
Lis Er Stille
4.02 | 84 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.42 | 12 ratings
BEAUTIFUL
About Tess
3.99 | 113 ratings
IN A COLD EMBRACE
Battlestations
4.03 | 63 ratings
CODENAME: DUSTSUCKER
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4.84 | 6 ratings
DREAMS THAT COME A THING (PT I) ...NEVER THOUGHT IT MAY SEEM…
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4.35 | 13 ratings
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3.99 | 86 ratings
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4.14 | 23 ratings
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Samuel Jackson Five, The
3.94 | 287 ratings
( )
Sigur Rós
3.94 | 228 ratings
YANQUI U.X.O.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.07 | 33 ratings
PHANTASIA
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Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 Replacements by HIBERNAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 67 ratings

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Replacements
Hibernal Post Rock/Math rock

Review by PlanetRodentia

5 stars "The Replacements" is a wonderful radio drama with prog music accompaniment. I find the story compelling, well-written, evocative, and well-acted. I find the music ranges in style from ambient to exciting and melodic. Given that the music accompanies and drives the story so well and that the story is well-told, I find no fault with it and consider it a masterpiece of its kind. Anyone who likes progressive music and misses old-time radio shows will find this album essential listening.

Story: Ex-con Artimus runs into an obviously synthetic woman whose behavior and beauty beguiles him into a mystery with interesting consequences.

Voice-Acting: Scott Gentle does an excellent job as Artimus: world-weary, lonely, and vulnerable to the strange attraction he feels for Sabel, the synthetic. Faleena Hopkins does an admirable job of navigating the cryptic nature of her character. The other two actors do fine work, as well.

Music: Ambient proggy soundtrack music. Gorgeous guitar solos. This music fleshes out the story to convey moods and landscapes. It works as music but is essential to the story experience.

I find that I cannot listen to this album track-by-track. It must be apprehended in one sitting. I've listened to it many times straight through, and even the dialogue hits its beats in a way that I don't mind hearing the same words and voice-acting over and over again. Scott Gentle's lines, in particular, have a music all their own.

Finally, the story's finish is haunting and provokes contemplation of who we are and who we want to be. I find myself wanting more of this story and those tangential to it. Highly recommended.

 Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada E.P. by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1999
4.40 | 147 ratings

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Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada E.P.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy

5 stars The 2nd release from GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR is the SLOW RIOT FOR NEW ZERO KANADA E.P. which continues the crushing bleak apocalyptic atmospheres that shocked the world on their debut. Stylistically this is basically in the same vein but a little more refined and half the length. The packaging is rather confusing as it makes no indication to the name of the band or tracks and the cover is graced only by Hebrew that translates into "formless and empty," a title that brings to mind the post-apocalyptic world of a dead and lifeless landscape.

The first track "Moya" is the shortest of the two and sounds like the bleakest chamber rock of "Heresie" era Univers Zero with additional post-rock accompaniments. It winds and wends throughout the now established slow and organically reached climax that GODSPEED created on the debut before mellowing out and ceding to the longer second track...

" BBF3" is the longer track which is notable for using the lyrics from the song "Virus" by Iron Maiden. The joke seems to be that the guy being interviewed, who is the same one as the debut is named Blaise Bailey Finnegan III and thus the lyrics of "Virus" were from the lineup with Blaze Bayley as vocalist. A little humor amongst the otherwise humorless music is an unexpected extra here. The music unfolds its sound as the others do with the repetitive riffs giving birth to new sounds slowly emerging to a fully more climatic ending.

Only so much you can say about this type of music. It is all about the spectral experience of the mood set forth by the guitars, bass, drums, cello and violin trying to extract every ounce of melancholy there is to be had. A very well done and enigmatic little EP they have created here and one that rightfully deserves the popularity and praise that it has earned. Clocking in at less than 30 minutes it graciously releases you from its grip so you can put on something more uplifting like possibly the soundtrack to "Schindler's List."

 Blake by LOWERCASE NOISES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Blake
Lowercase Noises Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars The third child

"Blake" is the third installment of Andrew Othling's "in utero" series whereby he creates a work of music inspired by, and in honor of, his arriving children. Each is named after the child and features a very personal cover photo like this one. Lowercase Noises is his musical outlet but for the most part it is a one-man show.

Othling has two main styles based on the albums I've heard. The first is more typically post-rock in that there is recognizable structure/format and the emotional soaring/melodies I think of with post-rock, his latest album "This is for our sins" would be an example of that. The second is the ambient, quiet, Eno like album. "Blake falls into this second type of Lowercase experience. Slow, soft, quiet interludes come in wave after wave, putting the listening in a very relaxed state. The songs are built around quiet and contemplative guitar notes/chords delivered one by one and allowed to shimmer, to ripple away.

Behind the shimmering guitar you will hear occasional lilting piano lines and a bit of complimentary cello that works really well. The entire album move in this manner allowing one to really sink into it without distraction, save one sweet moment where the voices of children appear in one song. All of these albums are such beautiful and unique expressions of love from a young father to his future children. As I listen I am thinking about that inspiration and how it is informing the songwriting and my only conclusion is that you are hearing pure love emanating through your speakers. Simple as that. If that all sounds a little too precious for your tastes, don't write it off so quickly. There are no lyrics here so the presentation is really not sentimental or sappy.

"Blake" and all of Lowercase's discog can be streamed at their page. If you love post-rock or ambient instrumental music in the guitar realm, you'd be wise to check it out.

 Children of God by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.49 | 20 ratings

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Children of God
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars The 'prog' versus 'progressive' label has never hit home to me more than this release. Children Of God, to me, is not only one of the best albums I've ever heard, but also one of the most important in regards to my own development as a fan of rock music itself. Decades later, there's been no shortage of bands incorporating styles akin to certain tracks off this album and even developing them further, but back in 1987 this release was such a unique beast for its time, equal parts beautiful and monstrous...unlike anything I was used to.

The most obvious development of the band at this point was the increase in Jarboe's presence vocally, as well as the haunting ballads interspersed throughout the album. Heavy industrial sounding monolith "New Mind" is followed by the ethereal yet eventually eerie piece "In My Garden", proclaiming this album to be an experience in which how the next track will sound would be anyone's guess. I was hooked by this point during my inception by this time.

There are two different versions of "Our Love Lies" that I know of, in which the original heavy bluesy Caroline Records version that I own on cassette is superior to the more folksy version found on re-releases. Hopefully, subsequent re-releases will retrieve the original version to its rightful place within this album.

About the instrumentation...it's perfect in establishing a mood in an almost trance-like way, not as something to scrutinize technically. That isn't important here, but the compositions themselves are worthy of praise for their unsettling nature. From the haunting creepiness of the Jarboe sung "Blood And Honey" to the ferocious pulpit bombast of "Beautiful Child" to the tranquil beauty of "Blackmail", there's such variety of sounds and ideas going on while maintaining an almost singular theme that its almost hard to believe that the band were able to pull this off without coming across like a band in transition. They weren't. SWANS were on fire at this point. Just about everything mattered, with only "Like A Drug" being a bit off-putting to me, but not enough to lesson the overall power of this release and all of its sublime qualities.

In 1987 my musical interests had shifted so far away from the prog rock I was into during the early 80's to crossover thrash metal to such an extent that I was due for something different, and Children Of God was my catalyst. Not only did I embrace this album, I drifted into non-metal music that retained a gloomy aura and subsequently even branched out into delicate music in general as well as other forms of rock that I had ditched for a few years. Floyd became relevant again, and while I never stopped listening to metal...in fact I delved deeper to the more extreme side of things (in which early SWANS stuff arguably could be seen as an influence), my interest in progressive and experimental styles of music went ballistic in the late 80's and continues to this day.

Outside of my own personal growth, the merits of this album may be a little off-putting for some, but the creative aspects involved in this recording shouldn't be denied. Gira based his boisterous vocals on Southern preachers and the effects these fire and brimstone preaching types held over their congregation, and he pulls it off with aplomb, matched by Jarboe's unnerving vibrato.

Equal parts venomous and tranquil, Children Of God remains my favorite album of there's, and while each tune carries a sort of pin-pointed impact, as a whole this album captures a lot of emotions and atmosphere that very few have equaled in my own experience while growing up in the 80's, and it resonates strongly still whenever I feel the urge for the primal currents of power, fear, glory and destitution that surge throughout this opus. Whether it's essential or not is your decision, but to me it's a masterpiece regardless of whatever terminology of "progressive" one chooses to utilize.

 F# A# ∞ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.02 | 295 ratings

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F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy

4 stars After taking their name from a Japanese documentary about a biker gang called the Black Emperors, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR took some of the ideas laid down by Slint on their highly influential album "Spiderland" and ran away with them creating some seriously epic sounding music on their debut F♯A♯∞ which is pronounced F-sharp, A-sharp, Infinity and refers to the keys in which each side of the vinyl LP begins and to the endless loop at the end. The first time I heard this it screamed soundtrack and an apocalyptic one at that, so it was no surprise to learn that this strange melancholic chamber music that makes me think of a world of death and destruction where cockroaches, rats and pigeons will finally have their day, was a major influence on Danny Boyle's post-apocalyptic thriller "28 Days Later." A little bit of "The Sad Mafioso" appears in the film.

This is some very strange music indeed. It takes the term post-rock and really expands its boundaries by incorporating not only the Slint influenced eschatological field recordings that originated from the unfinished screenplay written by guitarist Efrim Menuck to usher in the bleak atmosphere that sets the stage for the lugubriousness to come, but in addition to the standard post-rock of the day, GYBE incorporates everything from a spaghetti western feel to surf rock to musique concrete and free jazz. But what mostly this reminds me of the RIO chamber music usually associated with the likes of Univers Zero or Henry Cow in terms of mood modifying tonalities and mind-numbing darkness.

The number of musicians here is quite impressive and the three lengthy tracks that really don't have any set musical form just move like a liquid flowing down a hill bending to the curves of the land and only a slave to the gravitational forces that steer them. The gravitational pull in this music all revolves around the fact that anything is fair game as long as it leads to the most abysmal, catastrophic and doom-laden. Repeated listens are necessary in order for this to soak in because there is not much to latch onto in terms of memorable musical segments. This album really has the effect of taking me out of an intellectualism towards the music and evokes the emotional response mechanism of the brain, a technique that post-rock aims to achieve and GYBE more than does so on this fascinating debut. With this release GYBE created a new standard for this type of music to be compared with and it rarely gets more original than what is presented here.

 This Is For Our Sins by LOWERCASE NOISES album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

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This Is For Our Sins
Lowercase Noises Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars An incredible (true) story set to wondrous music

Every time another quality work is released by Lowercase Noises I am amazed anew that this artist has not caught on at ProgArchives. This album is yet another winner that is available for a test drive on Bandcamp, so hopefully more of our reviewers will give it a fair chance.

Lowercase Noises is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist Andrew Othling who hails from Albuquerque, NM. Andrew is building quite the respectable catalog of beautiful and accomplished post-rock/instrumental (primarily) prog albums and this one is no exception. What made this album particularly compelling is the interesting true story that inspires it. It's about a Russian family who fled the Bolshevik's religious persecution. After one of their family members was shot, they fled into the wilderness and kept going, deeper and deeper. They ended up completely off-the-grid, living in total isolation from human contact from the 1930s into the 1970s. They had no knowledge of world war 2. They were discovered by researchers who documented their family's amazing story. They were in a part of Siberia so remote that even Russian military never went in that zone. Most of the family have since passed away, but one of the children born in 1943 continues to live in her family's hidden homestead to this very day!

"This album follows the story of the Lykov family, who lived isolated in the Russian wilderness for over 40 years before their discovery by geologists in 1978. Agafia, born in the wilderness in 1943, is the last remaining member of the family. She continues to live in the harsh Siberian landscape to this day." -Liner notes

Othling himself seems inspired by the story as well, creating some of his most elaborate arrangements and pushing further with the colorful elements he employs alongside his guitar. Some of his albums are more to the ambient side but on Sins he has included more vocals and guests musicians. The album opens with lovely choral vocals, there are cellos, percussion, even banjos! Of course it soars with lots of emotional welling and release, building up into great volume before easing into quieter sections led by piano or cello. But great care is taken to make the melody and force of each track match the chapter of the story. The story is not told in the traditional lyrical method but by the music. Thus one has to read a bit about the family's story and then the song titles and the music make sense. "Silence of Siberia" is a slow piano meditation that would fit onto an Eno album. "The Hungry Years" introduces the banjo which works surprisingly well in his style, imparting the rural challenged of the family's struggle against the elements, as well as the rustic beauty.

The banjo returns many times throughout the album while Othling uses his guitar up against it, the two instruments perhaps representing the family's emotions versus the curiosities of the outside visitors and the world. While Othling is usually more than capable of expression with his guitar alone, telling this human story required the use of vocalists and they are so on the mark, just gorgeous solo singing and harmonies lift several tracks into the stratosphere. Jenny Thomas I believe is the main soloist and she is incredible here. The overall effect of the music just breaks down your walls and takes you into the world of these people in a way that written word cannot. You must read the story first which you can find by googling the article below. Once you do, this music will blow your mind. I've never been a huge fan of post-rock in general and I'm certainly no expert as to where this music fits into the genre against its contemporaries, but I do know that this guy is a compelling musician whose compositions have always moved me.

"The daughters spoke a language distorted by a lifetime of isolation. "When the sisters talked to each other, it sounded like a slow, blurred cooing"..... All that Agafia and Dmitry knew of the outside world they learned entirely from their parents' stories. The family's principal entertainment was for everyone to recount their dreams..... Agafia's unusual speech---she had a singsong voice and stretched simple words into polysyllables---convinced some of her visitors she was slow-witted; in fact she was markedly intelligent. She thought nothing of hard work, either, excavating a new cellar by hand late in the fall. Asked whether she was not frightened to be out alone in the wilderness after dark, she replied: "What would there be out here to hurt me?"...... Perhaps the saddest aspect of the Lykovs' story was the rapidity with which the family went into decline after they re-established contact with the outside world. In the fall of 1981, three of the four children followed their mother to the grave within a few days of one another."

-A few excerpted sentences from a great Smithsonian article by Mike Dash. (Just google Lykov, Mike Dash, and Smithsonian, and it should pop up the article for you)

The album is available as a limited edition red-vinyl double album, a lovely presentation for enthusiasts. It is also available via download for Lowercase Noises' site. Find them on Bandcamp and sample many of their fine releases.

 Gang Banged With a Headache and Live by DON CABALLERO album cover Live, 2012
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Gang Banged With a Headache and Live
Don Caballero Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars "The first ever live album from legendary instrumental juggernaut Don Caballero" beams the notes that accompany this release from Joyful Noise out of Indianapolis, and so it is. But perhaps not the live album the quartet would envision. It is taken from a performance in Chicago just after Damon Che had reformed the group in November, 2003, and it has all the earmarks of a midrange audience recording in front of a small crowd. Which is to say if you're in the band and you've been drinking and smoking and generally played a good set and got a smile from that cute redhead at the foot of the stage and are feeling pretty good about life this sounds like a mighty fine document. It's only the next day in the sunlight that you realize you may have attributed too much to a humble tape of a fun night. I mean let's face it, you really have to like these guys to add this bumpy ride to your collection. Lucky for me I do, but the thought of foisting this rough mix on anybody, even mathrockers, conjures images of cold horror; degradation; tightly forced smiles; and deep, bewildered disappointment. This is the unclean side of progressive rock archiving, and it isn't pretty. Oh no, it isn't.

But you don't dig deep in the still fertile soil of lost music to stay clean. You do it because it must be done. God's work, it is. Eventually Damon Che should (and presumably will) mix and put out a real performance from Don Cab, something worthy of them that sounds friggin' good. Until then we have this and we'll take it, but we don't have to love it. Che's glorious old school jazz hihat intros 'Fire Back About Your New Baby's Sex' from American Don, a fair warm-up for the boys. Punch-drunk 'And and and, He Lowered the Twin Down' is beaten into submission; 'In the Absence of Strong Evidence to the Contrary,One May Step Out of the Way of the Charging Bull' finds a groove; And the confusion of 'Let's Face it Pal,You Haven't Lived Afro Pop' reaches the merciless onslaught in 'Belted Sweater' with a taste of Thrash. Indecipherable mess 'Palm Trees in the Fecking Bahamas' and familiar 'I Never Liked You' are met with a loud and enthusiastic crowd and the gig ends with the skipping LP funk-o-rama of 'From the Desk of Elsewhere Go'.

I don't doubt the performance and had I been there would probably have had a thoroughly good time. But a show heard is not a show seen, and therefore must have a higher standard of playability and consideration for the listener. Someday we'll get the live album this group is capable of. But this ain't it.

 Replacements (Instrumental) by HIBERNAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 7 ratings

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Replacements (Instrumental)
Hibernal Post Rock/Math rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Having played the 'full' version of this album so much I wasn't quite sure how to go about reviewing this as obviously I already know the music quite well, but I was actually pleasantly surprised at just how well this stands up on it's own. It is also easier to hear just how many different styles are being used throughout, and while I'm not a fan of some of the electronica style keyboards that are used in one section, there is still plenty of Floydian and rock influences going on that makes this a genuine delight in its' own right. What is interesting to me is that this isn't nearly as dark as it appears to be when listened to with the words, which just goes to show how much presence is put into it by the performance of Scott Gentle. But, the presence is still there and the result is an album that I thoroughly enjoyed playing, as it has much more going on than many instrumental projects I come across. It's not whizz bang in terms of notes density, but is all about feel and a strange future worldly emotion. Somehow the science fiction feel comes through on this, even there are no verbal clues.

So, a solid piece of work, but to get the full picture then one has to get 'Replacements'. Of course, if you already have that album then you should get this one as well. . www.hibernal.bandcamp.com

 Replacements by HIBERNAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.96 | 67 ratings

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Replacements
Hibernal Post Rock/Math rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars When Mark Healy contacted me last year about his project Hibernal, and the first album 'The Machine' I did as I always do with 'new' bands, put the album to one side and wait until I have the opportunity to listen to it with an open mind. 'Replacements' wasn't accorded the same luxury, because as soon as I had it I just had to play it to see if Mark had dared to stay with the same construct as before, and this he has done, except now there is even ore depth and presence. There have been many acts who have released concept albums, but there are very few indeed who have provided a story where the actors speak their lines and the music is there for support. This is cinema for the ears, and science fiction to boot. But what makes this work so very well is that each element is there for the other, each providing the drama and passion that the other requires.

Rowan Salt provides the bass, with Mark all other music, while there are four actors, with Scott Gentle taking the main lead of Artimus. His voice and presence reminds me of Humphrey Bogart, with a grittiness and realism that shines through. It is hard to talk about the story without giving too much away, so let's just say that it is set in the future and the replacements in the title are human-looking androids who now undertake the mundane tasks that humans don't want to do. But, there are a large number of twists within what must be a very short number of words, and Mark has left so much hanging that I don't feel that this has yet come to a full conclusion. Whereas in 'The Machine' it would have needed a new story to follow on from the last, this feels much more like a new chapter of the same. When I first played it I was rather surprised when it finished as I felt that the story was only half-told, and I found myself thinking about it even when the album wasn't playing, such is the power of a few carefully chosen words. I came to the conclusion that although I can see why the story ends where it does, I would rather have some more explanation of what had previously occurred to Artimus, and how he got to where he was. There are suggestions, but no more than that, what it has done is made me go back to the album time and again.

But hang on, isn't this supposed to be a music review? Well it is, but on this album it is about the music supporting the lead players, the actors. Mark riffs when he wants to, or provides gentle Pink Floyd type noodlings, but importantly the music very much stands up on its' own right as well. Mark has so much confidence in this that he has also released the album as an instrumental, so it is possible to hear the music without the words.

This is not an album that can be picked at, but rather must be played through to completion each time, and also it needs to be in the foreground as opposed to the background as it is only by properly listening to it that one gets the full benefit. It is possible to order this as a download through Bandcamp, and there is also a CD available with a full colour booklet containing more artwork. I love it. www.hibernal.bandcamp.com

 Valtari by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.04 | 88 ratings

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Valtari
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Drifting past the target.

A full four years after the incredible and criminally overlooked Me' Su' ' Eyrum Vi' Spilum Endalaust Intitle in 2008 Sigur Ros finally returned with Valtari in 2012. After their fifth studio album the band had announced an indefinite hiatus at the end of their tour. The guys in the band had been forming families and although several sessions had formed to record new material at least two attempts at making a new album had been scrapped. The band had been recycling old material and didn't like the way things were going.

So they split - until the release of this album.

Valtari is in many ways what most people would expect of the atmospheric post-rock band, but with a certain sense of absence permeating through the course of the album. It has moments where the band comes through in all their gorgeous glory, but for the most part it is slow, minimalistic and even, in some cases - boring. The band self-described the album as "an avalanche in slow motion," which does suit the overall feel well. These are the kinds of tracks that would make for a good break-up in an otherwise bombastic album but in a collection on their own they feel tedious.

While it is a great achievement to come back from such a hiatus and definitely a good thing to see the band back in form again it is tough to recommend this album to anyone outside of the band's core group of fans. Fans will find something new to love in the perhaps experimental approach to the album and may even consider it a gem in their discography but for the general prog enthusiast it would be an album to come around to much later in your explorations of an otherwise interesting and highly emotionally charged band.

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Post Rock/Math rock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
*ANCIENTS Multi-National
100 ONCES United States
1099 Norway
12TWELVE Spain
33.3 United States
37500 YENS France
3ND Japan
417.3 Russia
52 COMMERCIAL ROAD United Kingdom
65DAYSOFSTATIC United Kingdom
A. ARMADA United States
ABOUT TESS Japan
ACTARUS Luxembourg
ACTIVITIES OF DUST United States
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM Russia
ADEBISI SHANK Ireland
AERIAL Sweden
AESTHESYS Russia
AFFORMANCE Greece
AIUA United States
AL SABO United States
ALBINOBEACH South Africa
THE ALBUM LEAF United States
ALFHEIMR United States
ALL ANGELS GONE France
ALL WILL BE QUIET Finland
ALL YOU'VE SEEN Switzerland
THE ALLSTAR PROJECT Portugal
ALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN United Kingdom
AMBIENTE Mexico
THE AMERICAN DOLLAR United States
ANA NEVER Serbia
ANALECTA United States
ANATHEME France
AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR Ireland
AND STARS COLLIDE United Kingdom
ANOICE Japan
ANTARCTIC United States
THE ANTARCTICANS United States
ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN United Kingdom
APRICOT RAIL Australia
ARBOR LIGHTS United Kingdom
ARCTIC PLATEAU Italy
ART.FICIAL Brazil
AS THE POETS AFFIRM Canada
THE ASCENT OF EVEREST United States
ASTRO SONIC Norway
AUSTIN TV Mexico
AUTO!AUTOMATIC!! United States
AUTOMASSAGE Slovenia
AUTUMN MOONLIGHT Argentina
THE AUTUMN PROJECT United States
BAFFODORO Italy
BALMORHEA United States
THE BALTIC SEA United States
BANGLADEAFY United States
BARK PSYCHOSIS United Kingdom
BATTLES United States
BATTLESTATIONS Belgium
BEAST PLEASE BE STILL United States
BEATEN BY THEM Multi-National
BECAUSE OF GHOSTS Australia
BELEGOST United States
BELL ORCHESTRE Canada
BELOW THE SEA Canada
BELYE FLAGI ZAZHIGAYTE MEDLENNO Russia
BEWARE OF SAFETY United States
LA BIBLIOTECA DESERTA Italy
BILL IN THE TEA Italy
BILLY MAHONIE United Kingdom
BLACK FOREST/BLACK SEA United States
BLUEBRIDGE QUARTET Sweden
BLUENECK United Kingdom
THE BODY LOVERS United States
BOSCH'S WITH YOU Russia
BOXHEAD ENSEMBLE United States
BRAINBOW United States
BRASS KNUCKLE SURFER United States
BREADWINNER United States
THE BRONZED CHORUS United States
BROUGHTON'S RULES United States
BULLETS IN MADISON United States
THE BURNING SEA Australia
BY THE END OF TONIGHT United States
C Czech Republic
C'EST MORTEL United States
THE CALM BLUE SEA United States
CANYONSOFSTATIC United States
CARTA United States
CASPIAN United States
CAUDAL Germany
CECILIA::EYES Belgium
CELESTIAL WOLVES Belgium
CHARTS AND MAPS United States
CHEVAL DE FRISE France
CHICAGO ODENSE ENSEMBLE Multi-National
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE United States
IL CIELO DI BAGDAD Italy
CINEMATIQUE Austria
CINEMECHANICA United States
CLEAN OF CORE Japan
CLOUD ARCHIVE United States
COALA PASCAL Ukraine
CODES IN THE CLOUDS United Kingdom
COLLAPSE UNDER THE EMPIRE Germany
CONCENTRIC United States
THE CONQUERING LIGHT OF FLORA AND FAUNA Denmark
COPTIC LIGHT United States
CROMBIE United Kingdom
CUE United States
CUL DE SAC United States
DATURAH Germany
DAY FOR AIRSTRIKES United Kingdom
DAYCAST United States
THE DEAD SEA Australia
DEADHORSE United States
DEL REY United States
DESERTSHORE United States
DETWIIJE United Kingdom
DIANOGAH United States
DIETRICH Argentina
DIRTY THREE Australia
DISCO INFERNO United Kingdom
DO MAKE SAY THINK Canada
DON CABALLERO United States
DON'T LOOK BACK France
DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS Croatia
DORENA Sweden
DRESDA Italy
DROP ELECTRIC United States
EASTSTRIKEWEST United Kingdom
EATEN BY TIGERS United Kingdom
THE ECHELON EFFECT United Kingdom
EDGAR (ANIMO) Belgium
EF Sweden
EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK Canada
EFTERKLANG Denmark
EIMOG Italy
EKSI EKSO United States
ELLIS THE VACUUMCHILD Sweden
EMPHASIS Croatia
EN PLEIN AIR Italy
ENABLERS United States
ENGRAMA ([ENGRAMA]) Multi-National
ENVY Japan
EPIGRAM Canada
EQUUS Switzerland
EROICA United States
ESMERINE Canada
EUPHORIA Japan
EVERYTHING IS MADE IN CHINA Russia
THE EVPATORIA REPORT Switzerland
EXHAUST Canada
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY United States
FALCONBROOK United States
FARAQUET United States
FAREWELL POETRY France
THE FIERCE & THE DEAD United Kingdom
FLIES ARE SPIES FROM HELL United Kingdom
THE FLOWERS OF HELL United Kingdom
FLY PAN AM Canada
FLYING SAUCER ATTACK United Kingdom
FOLLOWED BY GHOSTS United States
FOR A MINOR REFLECTION Iceland
FORM AND FATE United States
FORM OF AN ICE WAVE United States
FOXHOLE United States
FRAGILE China
FRENCH TEEN IDOL Italy
FRIDGE United Kingdom
FROM MONUMENT TO MASSES United States
GANGER United Kingdom
GASTR DEL SOL United States
GEORGE DORN SCREAMS Poland
GHOSTS AND VODKA United States
GIANTS United States
GIARDINI DI MIRO Italy
GIFTS FROM ENOLA United States
GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! United States
GLASS AMERICA United States
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT Ireland
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Canada
GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE United Kingdom
GRANDE DUKE United Kingdom
GREGOR SAMSA United States
HAIDA United Kingdom
THE HALIFAX PIER United States
HAMMOCK United States
HANGEDUP Canada
HANNIBAL MONTANA United States
HAZARDS OF SWIMMING NAKED Australia
HELIOS United States
HELLA United States
HELSINGFORS United Kingdom
HENRY GALE United States
HER NAME IS CALLA United Kingdom
HERMITAGE Italy
HEROD LAYNE Brazil
HIBERNAL Australia
HITCHCOCK GO HOME! France
THE HOSEMOBILE United States
HOW COMES THE CONSTELLATIONS SHINE Portugal
HRSTA Canada
HUA LUN China
HUME United States
HUNGRY GHOSTS Australia
HURTMOLD Brazil
THE HYLOZOISTS Canada
I AM THE ARCHITECT Germany
I HEAR SIRENS United States
I LIKE TRAINS United Kingdom
I WILL KILL CHITA Russia
IF THESE TREES COULD TALK United States
IMMANU EL Sweden
IN THE WAKE OF GIANTS United States
INDIGNU Portugal
INFINITE THIRD United States
INTERNATIONAL KARATE Australia
IOSEB Sweden
JAKOB New Zealand
JARDIN DE LA CROIX Spain
JENIFEREVER Sweden
THE JOE K-PLAN Spain
JOHNNYTWENTYTHREE United States
JOVENABUELO Chile
JOY WANTS ETERNITY United States
JUNE OF 44 United States
JUNG PEOPLE Canada
JUNIUS United States
KAKAOKAMKAMI Finland
KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF Germany
KEPZELT VAROS Hungary
KERMIT Spain
KERRETTA New Zealand
KILLINGTON FALL United Kingdom
KIMIKA Canada
KINDER Peru
KLEVER Russia
KOKOMO Germany
KOMAS MIDA Sweden
KOMATSU Finland
KONTAKTE United Kingdom
KOVLO Switzerland
KROBAK Ukraine
KWOON France
LABIRINTO Brazil
LABRADFORD United States
THE LADIES United States
LARSEN Italy
LAURA Australia
LAZONA Italy
LEBANON Israel
LEECH Switzerland
LET AIRPLANES CIRCLE OVERHEAD United Kingdom
LIGHTS AT SEA United States
LIGHTS OUT ASIA United States
LIKE BELLS United States
A LILY United Kingdom
LINDA MARTINI Portugal
LIS ER STILLE Denmark
LITE Japan
LONG DISTANCE CALLING Germany
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS United States
LOSS OF A CHILD United Kingdom
LOST REVERIE Mexico
LOVELY GIRLS ARE BLIND France
LOWERCASE NOISES United States
THE LUNA MOTH United States
LUNAR Croatia
LUZPARÍS Argentina
LYMBYC SYSTYM United States
MAGYAR POSSE Finland
MAN ZERO Croatia
MAPS United States
MAPS & ATLASES United States
MASERATI United States
MAYBESHEWILL United Kingdom
MEANWHILE BACK IN COMMUNIST RUSSIA United Kingdom
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS United Kingdom
THE MERCURY PROGRAM United States
MESCALINER Netherlands
MIAOU Japan
MIGALA Spain
MILHAVEN Germany
MIRROR Japan
MOGWAI United Kingdom
MŘN France
MONO Japan
THE MONROE TRANSFER United Kingdom
MOONCAKE Russia
MOONLIT SAILOR Sweden
MOTEK Belgium
MOTIONLESS United States
MOUNTAIN MEN ANONYMOUS United Kingdom
MOVING MOUNTAINS United States
MOYA Belarus
MR. MAPS Australia
MUDDY WORLD Japan
MY BELOVED Denmark
MY DAD VS YOURS Canada
MY EDUCATION United States
NEGEV United Kingdom
NEIL ON IMPRESSION Italy
NEW CENTURY CLASSICS Poland
A NEW SILENT CORPORATION Italy
NICE WINGS ICARUS! Ukraine
NO ONE WISHED TO SETTLE HERE Poland
NUITO Japan
O QUARTO FANTASMA Portugal
O.RANG (.O.RANG) United Kingdom
OAQK Japan
OBSTACLES Denmark
OSTINATO United States
OVUM Japan
OXES United States
PAIK United States
PARABSTRUSE United States
PAWA UP FIRST Canada
PEACH PIT Croatia
PELE United States
PERHAPS United States
PERTEGO Italy
PETROGRAD IN TRANSIT United States
PG. LOST Sweden
PIGLET United States
THE PIRATE SHIP QUINTET United Kingdom
PLAIN FADE Finland
PLANETS United States
PLOKK Germany
PORT-ROYAL Italy
PRECIOUS FATHERS Canada
PRESENCE OF SOUL Japan
PVT (PIVOT) Australia
RADIO FREE ISAAC Croatia
RED SPAROWES United States
THE REDNECK MANIFESTO Ireland
REMINDER Sweden
RESERVE DE MARCHE Russia
RETROVERTIGO Venezuela
RIDING PÂNICO Portugal
THE ROCK OF TRAVOLTA United Kingdom
ROCKET MINER United States
ROSA PARKS Hungary
RUMAH SAKIT United States
RUSSIAN CIRCLES United States
SADDLEBACK Australia
SALARYMAN United States
SALVATORE Norway
THE SAMUEL JACKSON FIVE Norway
SARAX Chile
SAWHORSE United States
SAXON SHORE United States
SCRAPS OF TAPE Sweden
SDNMT Germany
THE SEA LIKE LEAD United States
SEAWORTHY Australia
SEMIOSIS Romania
SENNEN Netherlands
SEPTEMBER MALEVOLENCE Sweden
SEQUENCE PULSE Japan
SET FIRE TO FLAMES Canada
SGT. Japan
SHALABI EFFECT Canada
SHAPES STARS MAKE United States
SHORA Switzerland
THE SHY TRAFFICKER United States
SICKOAKES Sweden
SIGUR RÓS Iceland
SILENCE KIT Russia
A SILVER MT. ZION Canada
SIOUM United States
THE SIX PARTS SEVEN United States
THE SLEEP DESIGN United States
SLEEPING PEOPLE United States
SLEEPMAKESWAVES Australia
SLEEPSTREAM Greece
SLOW SIX United States
(THE) SLOWEST RUNNER (IN ALL THE WORLD) United States
SOLKYRI Australia
SOMMA Russia
SONNA United States
SONNÖV Spain
SOULS VIBRATING IN THE UNIVERSE United Kingdom
SOUVARIS United Kingdom
SOUVENIR'S YOUNG AMERICA United States
SPACES United States
SPARROWS SWARM AND SING United States
SPEAKER GAIN TEARDROP Japan
STEARICA Italy
STERLING United States
STORMS Croatia
THE STRANGE DEATH OF LIBERAL ENGLAND United Kingdom
STUBBORN TINY LIGHTS VS CLUSTERING DARKNESS FOREVER OK United States
SUNLIGHT ASCENDING United States
SWANS United States
SWEEK Belgium
SWEEP THE LEG JOHNNY United States
SWEET MOTHER LOGIC Canada
SWIMS United States
TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING Australia
TARANTULA AD United States
TARENTEL United States
Japan
TENA NOVAK Croatia
TENEBRE United States
TERA MELOS United States
TERRAFORMATION United States
TERRAFORMER Belgium
THEM, ROARING TWENTIES United States
THESE MONSTERS United States
THETA NAUGHT United States
THIS IS A PROCESS OF A STILL LIFE United States
THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING Australia
THIS WILL DESTROY YOU United States
THREE TRAPPED TIGERS United Kingdom
THREEMOVEMENTS United Kingdom
TIME COLUMNS United States
THE TIMEOUT DRAWER United States
TO DESTROY A CITY United States
TOE. Japan
TOMAN Belgium
TONE United States
TORCH THE BRIDGE United States
TORNGAT Canada
TORTOISE United States
TRACER AMC Ireland
TRANSIT Belgium
THE TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECT United States
TRISTEZA United States
TULSA DRONE United States
TUNA LAGUNA Norway
TUNDRA LIGHTS United States
TUNTURIA Canada
UFAJR Czech Republic
ULAN BATOR France
ULVER Norway
UNDER LANGUID LIGHTS Germany
UNLEARN United States
UNTIL SUNRISE United States
UNWED SAILOR United States
UP THERE: THE CLOUDS Italy
UP-C DOWN-C LEFT-C RIGHT-C ABC + START United Kingdom
UZRUJAN Croatia
VALLEY OF THE GIANTS Canada
VAMPILLIA Japan
VESSELS United Kingdom
VIRVEL Serbia
VOLTA DO MAR United States
VOTIVA LUX Italy
WADDLE France
WANG WEN China
WE ALL INHERIT THE MOON United States
WE ARE KNIVES United Kingdom
WE VS. DEATH Netherlands
WE'RE FROM JAPAN United States
WHYOCEANS China
THE WINCHESTER CLUB United Kingdom
WOLVES IN ARAMID United States
THE WORLD ON HIGHER DOWNS United States
WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND Japan
YEARS OF RICE AND SALT United Kingdom
YNDI HALDA United Kingdom
YOU ALREADY KNOW United Kingdom
YOU SLUT! United Kingdom
YOU.MAY.DIE.IN.THE.DESERT United States
YOUR TEN MOFO Austria
YOUTH PICTURES OF FLORENCE HENDERSON Norway
YOUTHMOVIES United Kingdom
ZALEM France

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