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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".



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.

POST/MATH ROCK TEAM MEMBERS:
Zravkapt (Darryl)
Kelvin (LearsFool)
Audun(The Bearded Bard)
Angelmk (Angel)
The Truth (Tanner)
Austin (Horizons)
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

4.35 | 81 ratings
RANDOM AVENGER
Magyar Posse
4.34 | 82 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
Swans
4.14 | 539 ratings
ÁGÆTIS BYRJUN
Sigur Rós
4.13 | 550 ratings
LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.09 | 399 ratings
F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.17 | 54 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe
4.13 | 72 ratings
SOUNDTRACKS FOR THE BLIND
Swans
4.08 | 185 ratings
ENTER
Russian Circles
4.06 | 253 ratings
SHADOWS OF THE SUN
Ulver
4.23 | 29 ratings
KING NINE
Blueneck
4.27 | 23 ratings
HOW LONELY SITS THE CITY
Ascent Of Everest, The
4.36 | 17 ratings
PIEONEAR
Silence Kit
4.55 | 10 ratings
LABRADFORD
Labradford
4.12 | 44 ratings
SINES
Jakob
4.05 | 103 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.05 | 99 ratings
AMERICAN DON
Don Caballero
4.03 | 150 ratings
BERGTATT - ET EEVENTYR I 5 CAPITLER
Ulver
4.03 | 144 ratings
ULVER & TROMSØ CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: MESSE I.X - VI.X
Ulver
4.14 | 36 ratings
VIXIT
Battlestations
4.06 | 82 ratings
THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE
Battlestations

Post Rock/Math rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Post Rock/Math rock experts team

JINX
Kammerflimmer Kollektief
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM
Actual Music Quartet RSM
RECORDING A TAPE THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT
Bell Orchestre
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS
Tenebre

Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 The Assassination Of Julius Caesar by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.70 | 85 ratings

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The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by patrickq

3 stars A very modern, electronic album,The Assassination of Julius Caesar is nothing at all what I expected. First of all, I thought it had something to do with, well, the assassination of Julius Caesar. Interesting concept, I thought. Second, although they're classified as Post Rock here, I had understood Ulver to be a progressive-metal outfit. So you can imagine my surprise when The Assassination of Julius Caesar turned out to be an art-pop (or maybe art-rock?) album on which Julius Caesar is at best a minor character.

The Assassination of Julius Caesar has been referred to as synthpop, and I agree. Among the influences here is Gary Numan: the lyrical mood of The Assassination of Julius Caesar is dark and often introverted, but not quite as robotic as Kraftwerk - - and much more somber than Kraftwerk or Devo. In this respect it reminds me of some Human League songs (e.g., "Seconds").

As to the lyrical content, there is a vague theme, even if it's not the assassination of Julius Caesar. Many of the songs reference dark moments in history, sometimes prosaically: "Nero lights up the night / 18th to 19th of July, AD 64;" "There used to be a house at 6114 California Street / 'Helter Skelter.'" In addition to the Great Fire of Rome and the Manson murders (by way of the Church of Satan), reference is made to the Bubonic Plague, the death of Princess Diana and the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. But there are many less literal lyrics which seem to fit the theme, such as "an army charges upon the land to the sound of retreat." This is all fodder for religious allusions, and the lyrics duly name-check a pair of Catholic saints; cite, but do not name an "ancient goddess of the moon;" and refer to both the Roman persecution of Christians and the Second Coming. And perhaps as an amplification of a Greco-Roman lineage of tyranny, Oedipus makes an oblique appearance in the second of two songs to mention Nero. The title of one of the songs, "Angelus Novus," may hint at the lyrical concept. Angelus Novus is a 1920 graphic-art print about whose subject Walter Benjamin wrote, "where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet." This déjà vu is also represented by repetition: in addition to literal repetition of stanzas, there are other repetitions; two of the eight songs mention the moon, while two other mention the sun, for example.

As well thought-out and economical as the lyrics are, the concept underlying The Assassination of Julius Caesar is more engrossing than the actual product. There are several excellent musical passages, but there are also plenty of mundane melodies and chord progressions.

Nonetheless, I consider The Assassination of Julius Caesar to be a "good" album: imperfect, but better than average. I'd especially recommend it to fans of 1980s synthesizer-based pop or rock music.

 The Taut And The Tame / Find The One by TORTOISE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
2.05 | 2 ratings

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The Taut And The Tame / Find The One
Tortoise Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After Tortoise released their 2nd album 'Millions Now Living Will Never Die', they commissioned a series of 12 inch singles featuring remixes of material from that album. The single 'The Taut and Tame' features a remix of the 4th track from the full album of the same name as the A-side to that single.

The original was an upbeat track featuring vibes, heavy bass lines and a somewhat sparse guitar melody which is developed on through the track and also features a synth riff in the middle of the track. The remix version, which is the one featured on this single, is remixed by Luke Vibert (Wagon Christ), who is an European club music experimentalist. The melodic aspect of the original is still there, the overall feel is still quite sparse, but the percussion style is changed, sounding more electronic and fast moving, but also more complex. There are also some nice effects done to the guitar and synth parts. You can tell it is the same basic song, but there is a definite difference and the biggest addition is in the excellent effects that in the end, justifies the few minutes of extra time added over the original version.

Side B is an 11 minute track called 'Find the One (Wait, Abstraction No. 3)' The track is a reshaping done by Tortoise member Bundy K. Brown of a track done by Jeff Parker originally called 'Wait'. At the time, Parker was not a full-time member of Tortoise, but he worked with them and would later join the band. Parker originally composed the original version after he had heard Tortoise for the first time. I am not familiar with this original track, but this reworking starts with vibes playing a repetitive two- chord pattern with a very soft drone sound in the background. Faint and subtle instrumental sounds can be heard underneath it all. As the vibes continue, the background slowly becomes more noticeable, and soon drums and percussion come in. A slight variation of the vibe pattern changes things only minimally. A slight trip-hop beat comes in with electronic glitches and tones, but it all stays quite sparse with minimal build-up. Don't expect a melody here, as this is a study in repetitive patterns, and the use of percussion in minimalistic music. After the midway point, the build up reverses and slowly fades away.

This is not necessarily music for entertainment purposes as it is for experimental purposes, changing sounds around to create new inventions. The music is very sparse throughout and will not appeal to many except those familiar with the original sound of the A-side track. It is good for meditation, or background music, or if you like to listen to the slight changes of the B-side. Anyway, it's interesting, but only for collectors and fans. It might prove to be interesting to composers of electronic and / or minimalism music.

 The End Of The Beginning by GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.97 | 38 ratings

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The End Of The Beginning
God Is An Astronaut Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Formed in the idyllically named Glen of the Downs which exists just south of the Irish capital city of Dublin, the post-rock band GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT was formed in 2002 by twin brothers. Niels and Torsten Kinsella took the band's name from a quote in the movie "Nightbreed." Before these bros joined up with Lloyd Hanney on the second album "All Is Violent, All Is Bright," GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT was only a duo with Torsten on guitars, keyboards, drum programming and vocals while Niels handled bass, more guitars and yet more keyboards. The debut album THE END OF THE BEGINNING emerged shortly after the band's inception in 2002 and the title is supposedly comes from a famous Winston Churchill speech.

GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT has become a fairly well known post-rock band since the mid-2000s but in the beginning the band sounded a lot different. THE END OF THE BEGINNING firmly sits in the post-rock camp but at this point these guys were a bit eclectic with many layers of space rock, shoegaze inspired walls of sound and more trip hop and downtempo chilled out percussive beats. While many post-rock albums can sound rather monotonous as they tend to be quite lengthy, THE END OF THE BEGINNING is quite diverse in the tones, timbres, dynamics and tempos. The most notable part about this debut release is how thick the atmospheres are with a tapestry of synthesizer layers.

While the title track and following "Lost Symphony" and "Twilight" are rather mellowed out, the track "Fall From The Stars" on the other hand sounds more like a early U2 post-punk track which just happened to fall in love with the atmospheric textures of 70s Krautrock and progressive electronic as heard from Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze. While post-rock generally strives to create some ethereal astral plane of sound, THE END OF THE BEGINNING stays within the confines of a general rock paradigm. Not that there are choruses and verses but the bass grooves and guitar riffs are much more traditional rock than post-rock but overall the album comes off as some sort of electronic album that incorporates some rock instrumentation much like the space rock of Ozric Tentacles without the hyperactivity.

Tracks like "Coda" seem like they stray out of post-rock altogether with funky bass grooves and melodic call and response synthesized layers of sound with processed lyrics reminding me of artists like the French band Air. Same goes for "Route 666." While the album starts out fairly interesting it suffers the same fate as many post-rock albums and becomes monotonous 3/4 of the way through. Add to that the trip hop beats get tiresome after a while and tracks like "Coda" only prove that the duo could've thrown a little more creativity into the mix. All in all, this is a decent debut but hardly stands out as one of the most essential moments in post-rock history. GOD may be AN ASTRONAUT but clearly needs a little more space travel before true cosmic inspiration sets in. As a trio GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT would take on a more traditional post-rock style but on this one it's fairly unique. I just wish it was a bit more creative.

 Achromata by AESTHESYS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 11 ratings

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Achromata
Aesthesys Post Rock/Math rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars This album is a tour de force of symphonic violin melodies atop a post-rock foundation. Calm, melodic intros of violin yield to big, brooding, triumphant post-rock guitar finishes. It has the grandeur of a heroic, cinematic epic. I could imagine making a movie just so I could use this album as the sound track. My only issue with the album is that after several tracks, they all begin to sound alike, at least, to my ears. I would have enjoyed more variation in composition. I was thoroughly engaged at the beginning, but bored by the end. Nevertheless, a very good post-rock album that would be an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Four stars.
 The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety by TOE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.11 | 19 ratings

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The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars When I think of math rock, I think of high energy and extremely complex passages of music, often with large amounts of abrasive qualities and distortion, along with a certain hyperactivity. This makes Toe a very interesting case, fusing the complexity of math rock with teh atmospheric qualities of post rock, leading to rapidly changing time signatures being made into some incredibly relaxing music. While each song has a very similar feel to it, it ends up working quite well here, sounding more like an extended passage taking on various rhythmic patterns than a collection of songs.

From the short opening track, you're immediately made fully aware that there will be a lot of focus on rhythm, strting off with crackling, seemingly off beat notes before introducing other elements until it becomes an edm style beat. After this, the rest of the album follows a similar kind of sound, one involving each note feeling perfectly calculated, especially the drumming, which is genuinely some of the greatest I've heard, being incredibly fast and technical, keeping a good amount of variation, but also showing the perfect amount of restraint. The album is in a constant state of being perfectly on the line just before devolving into excess, but never hits that point, instead maintaining a high level of excellence througout, with each song being led primarily by this simply incredible rhythm section. It amazes me how such incredible technicality can manage to morph into music that I could see myself comfortably dozing off to. All I Understand is that I Don't Understand is one of the best tracks here, with soft riffs playing off each other meticulously, sounding like a complex indie rock track more than anything else, but being so lovely in the process. C is probably the most energetic tracl here on the other hand, with a really cool, strange drum beat, and some of the most focus on the guitar elements, along with a really groovy, prominent bassline. I really don't feel like I can say much more about this album without beginning to repeat myself, each song shares very similar features with one another, but are all played exceptionally well, even if it does lead to some issue with memorability and a slightly repetitive feeling by the end, not that it is enough to majorly detract from this album.

I find the middle ground taken here between the expansive, softer aspects of post rock and the excessive, wildly technical nature of math rock to work exquisitely, as it balances these in such a wy where neither overpowers the other, all topped off by some out of this world drumming. The one issue I do have is how the album is definitely somewhat one note, but despite that it's still highly enjoyable, as well as quite easy to listen to. I'd recommend this album to a fairly wide range of people, namely those who like chill music, as I think you'd have at least a passing interest in this album.

Best songs: All I Understand Is That I Don't Understand, C, Everything Means Nothing

Weakest songs: none

Verdict: Surprisingly soft, melodic math rock that I'd honestly recommend for anyone who likes relaxing music to listen to, as it provides an element of beauty, while also being an incredible display of technicality.

 Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997) by MOGWAI album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
2.98 | 20 ratings

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Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Ten Rapid" is a collection of "Mogwai" early recordings that weren't released in their original forms on any of their albums released previously. The release dates on these various songs are between 1996 - 97. This album will give insight to fans and other listeners on how Mogwai's sound started to develop. The recordings, being early performances, are somewhat noisy in nature, but reflect the direction the band wanted to take it's sound and expand the post rock genre.

The album starts out with "Summer" which was released as a double A-side with "Ithica 27:9", which is included later on this album. It was also released in a different version on the debut album "Young Team". Beginning with a noisy and distorted version of the song's chorus, this soon fades and is replaced by a more melodic melody with occasional bursts of heaviness. The sound is similar to the direction the band "Tortoise" was taking in the beginning of their career but the song gets quite chaotic again as it continues while the vibes still shine through the wall of noise that comes and goes. "Helicon 2" (otherwise known as "New Paths to Helicon Pt. 2) , was released on a 7" single along with Part 1 of the song. This has a more laid back sound with the melody played by bass at first and then developed further by guitar as the drums move the track slowly along.

"Angels vs. Aliens" is a re-recorded version of the track of the same name that was released on a split single (shared with "Dweeb) in 1996. The track fades in with jangly guitars, bass line and drums. There are the typical subdued vocals that were often heard in Mogwai songs in the early days. The guitar lines get more complex and build up in intensity and the darkness contrasts with the sudden addition of bright chimes and a heavy wall of sound is constructed from guitar feedback and noise. "I am Not Batman" is a track that was released on a multi-artist compilation cassette that was given away free at the Ten Day Festival in Glasgow, Scotland in 1996. This one begins with a guitar drone that softens to allow a bass and guitar line to come in with the minimalistic vocals. Noises emerge from the drone generated from guitars as a pulsating drum and simple bass line stand out above the drone.

"Tuner" is one side of the band's debut single (the B-side "Lower" is not included on this collection). It starts out in a minimal fashion with tapping drums, bass and soft, barely discernible vocals. The song doesn't develop past this minimal sound. The version on this collection is a re-recording of the original single version. "Ithica 27:9" is the other half of the "Summer" single which was the first track on this collection. It builds from a soft beginning based off of a melody created from repeating notes. A sudden extreme increase in tempo and heaviness turn this into a wall of distorted noise before it suddenly settles back to the main theme again and then it fades on the last note.

"A Place for Parks" was included on a free multi-artist compilation given away at the Camden Crawl II show in England in 1996. It is a more simple guitar melody with some barely discernible spoken word and a soft base of bass and drums. "Helicon 1" is the other half of the "Helicon 2" single. This track has been used in several TV shows and movie previews. It fades in off of a descending 3 note guitar riff and layers build on top of this with a slow, almost march style drum pattern. After a few minutes, there is a sudden increase in intensity, the 3 note melody continues against a loud background. Later, the wall of noise drops and the track continues in a soft bass rift and the continuing guitar melody playing quietly and then fading out. "End" is the last track and is simply "Helicon 2" played backwards.

This is a rather short compilation at only 34 minutes total, and it is also mostly a study in extremes going from minimalist to a heavy wall of noise in a split second. The production is questionable, as should be expected from a collection of mostly singles and previously rare tracks. This was Mogwai experimenting with their sound in the beginning of their career. Of course things would get much better as the band continued on their path to become one of the most popular and innovative post rock bands that would influence the genre immensely. They would go on to become quite influential, along with Tortoise and Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the post rock world. This album, however, is probably more suited for the fans, and is definitely not a good entry point for those interested in exploring the band's sound. The music is quite rough sounding and abrupt, not really the sound that the casual listener would equate to Mogwai's later music.

 Young Mountain by THIS WILL DESTROY YOU album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
4.13 | 22 ratings

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Young Mountain
This Will Destroy You Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Post rock is a genre often accused of being stagnant, never moving forward, simply repeating the same thing over and over to no end. While I do find there to be a formula in the genre, starting off slowly and quietly and building up to explosive climaxes, I feel like this is a very simplistic way of looking at the genre as a whole, as many bands have their own nuances and takes on it. This Will Destroy You, while being quite Post Rock by numbers in its songwriting, follows the general compositional style of bands such as Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. The difference this artist has compared to those is that the band has a certain emotional warmth to it, compared to the sparse, minimalistic nature of Mogwai or the more uplifting, all encompassing emotion brought forth by EITS. This is also quite a bit more eventful than a lot of post rock I've heard, having long stretches of wall of sound and climactic moments, making it also a somewhat more accessible album than their counterparts.

Quiet sets up what the album is going to sound like quite quickly, begiining with some isolated, yet beautiful keyboard chords, then backed up by a nice drumbeat and guitars that fade in and out. The main focus of the song is this constant build up that never lets up, as these quiet, pleasant melodies are replaced with increasingly loud and distorted guitars, until the final section becomes more noise than song, with a layer of distrotion over everything, becoming absolutely massive sounding by the end. The World is Our ___ is a more varied song, with multiple peaks throughout, each valley to follow providing something different, my personal favourite being where the song briefly takes a more electronic route. As before, the song ends in a massive climax involving extensive amounts of distortion. The album definitely ends up being slightly weaker past these first two poewrful tracks, but nothing here is what I'd consider bad either. Each of them are slightly different in the bigger picture, but I'm given fairly similar impression from all of them, that imporession fortunately being a very positive one, as despite the relative quality of these being lower, each song still carries immense power. This is all within the confines of a much simpler sound, focusing much less on the ambience and imagery of many post rock giants, instead crafting excellent melodies brimming with a sense of personal optimism shrouded in a veil of melancholy, creating conflicting emotions in such a beautiful way, causing the listener to feel wistful, yet uplifted.

While this album isn't anything groundbreaking, I do find it to be an album that is quite accessible, carrying more of the indie rock sound in the form of a higher focus on melody, while still being strongly rooted in its main genre. This is definitely a work of beauty, and while parts of it may feel quite samey, I personally believe that it is still a very strong record for what it manages to achieve. This would be an excellent starting point for those looking to jump into post rock, as the album is short and much more direct than a lot of other bands in the genre.

Best tracks: Quiet, The World Is Our ___, Happiness: We're All In It Together

Weakest tracks: none

Verdict: I've already said all I can on this album without becoming redundant, this is absolutely gorgeous and definitely a great starting point for those looking to get into post rock, being far more accessibly written than a lot of other bands of the genre.

 Battlestations by BATTLESTATIONS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 27 ratings

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Battlestations
Battlestations Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The Brussels, Belgium based post-rock act BATTLESTATIONS is one of those shy bands that chooses to remain mysterious and work behind closed doors to bring the artistic visions to the world. Little is known about the band except that they formed in 2009 and that they are from Brussels. While i've seen the name Reivilo Enoignor floating around as keyboardist and this very well could be a solo project, i've yet never seen any other names attached to actually play in this band and all the better since BATTLESTATIONS' mysterious demeanor has created a dark brooding and constantly shapeshifting form of post-rock that takes more than clue from the enigmatic sounds of Godspeed! You Black Emperor and teases them out into new atmospheric objectivity.

The band has released so far four full-length albums but it all began with this 2011 eponymously titled debut album that contains three tracks with a running time of nearly 46 minutes. This one so far has only available as a digital download. The three tracks are beautifully complex which sprawl out into epic journeys with two tracks exceeding the 18 minute run and one just shy of 8. The tracks all have proper titles but are broken down into sub-titles which delineate the shapeshifting effects into completely new musical motifs. In fact, these tracks are more like stitched together assemblages of sounds rather than actual songs and included various instrumental sections punctuated by field samplings and spoken word vocals.

This BATTLESTATIONS debut exhibits an icy cold ethereal post-rock style that mixes classical piano runs with dirty guitar distortion that provides an ever changing instrumental narrative that symbolizes the struggle between dystopia and hope. Cheerful piano melodies give way to apocalyptic bleakness created by a slow to mid-tempo beat with layers of guitar and what sounds like a string section only muddied into an extension of the sonic brume that persists while weaving a startling tapestry of the placidity with the dramatic and the textural sublime with the climatic. The album succeeds in the mission of the post-rock paradigm by taking the listener on a sonic journey that is utterly alien and exclusively focused on the emotional reactions rather than technicality.

I would say that BATTLESTATIONS closest musical relative is without a doubt Godspeed! The tempestuous tones and timbres resonate to rouse the living and portend a future that is ruled by the dead but finds resolution in the ultimate cosmic dance between the polarization. The difference between this band and others is that it takes a more liberal approach to creating a patchwork effect of musical motifs rather than the simple subtleties of ratcheting up the tension of a repetitive cyclical loop that accrues ever more variations and effects. While the dramatic atmospheric gloominess clearly emulates the great Godspeed!, the approach is quite different and for that BATTLESTATIONS succeeds in creating a dynamic display of post-rock prowess. Each work that this band crafts is different from the previous so this is defiantly a recommended band to explore beyond a mere release.

Track listing and breakdowns:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Segment 1: No Survivors (18:57)

Segment 1 No Survivors - Life In The 21st Century - ADX Florence 23/24 Lullaby - This Empty Crowd - Caterpillar Strategy - The Useless Space - Dead End - After You Were Here - Fragile Failure - Dead End Reprise - The Autumnal Context

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Segment 2: The Taste Of The Kill (7:56)

Segment 2 The Tast Of The Kill - Harmful Layers - Memories Of Silent Response

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Segment 3: Accidents Of Ideals (18:36)

Segment 3 Accidents Of Ideals / Marked Passenger - Gone Passenger - Uninvited Memorial - The Needle In Your Eye - Death In The 21st Century

 Ulver & Sunn O))) : Terrestrials by ULVER album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.36 | 46 ratings

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Ulver & Sunn O))) : Terrestrials
Ulver Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ulver is the band of the ever-changing genre, and with their 13th album 'Terrestrials', which is actually a collaboration album with the drone band 'Sunn O)))', they continue to prove this. The album was released in 2014 and is comprised of 3 long and live improvised performances that were later enhanced with other studio additions. The music is slow moving, based on the droning quality of 'Sunn O)))' and the experimental style (or non-style) of 'Ulver'.

'Let There Be Light' is based around a drone style that slowly changes chords in a deep, dark background while heavy percussion crashes and a trumpet provides a slow moving improvisation on top of everything. The music builds on a slow crescendo until when it reaches the end, becomes quite majestic.

'Western Horn' has a more unsettling sound beginning with a deep, wavering drone, then other layers start building over the top of this, creating their own droning sound and a wavering metallic texture created by brass and strings. The sound has got an ancient prehistoric vibe to it. Emerging from the thick drone is a higher pitched texture that just wavers on the edge of being able to break away from the increasing wall of sound. This track is carried slowly forward by a sustained chord progression and by another slow crescendo. At almost 10 minutes, it is the shortest track on the album.

'Eternal Return' starts with the deep chiming of a guitar that sounds somewhat distant while a violin and vibe-like keys move along slowly and cautiously. It has an almost lumbering feel to it and the keys, even though they are bright, do not brighten things up much at all. At 7 minutes, the background noise stops and the track enters into a more melodic sound and Rygg sings in sotto-voce, soft and airy while the strings play and the piano churns out slow chords. Later, he sings out more as the melody takes him to higher notes. After 10 minutes, things get a bit noisier and then tapers off to a more ambient, yet discordant style.

Considering the amazing talent of the two bands involved here, you would have high expectations for quite an amazing collaboration, but the expectations never really get reached. You have to be in the right mood to really enjoy this completely, and even though it is good, meditative or trance-like music, it doesn't quite deliver the goods you would expect. Sure you should expect atmospheric, droning and slow moving music, but it seems to be a little aimless and not quite at the level one expects. It is good for the occasional listen, but there are so many other great albums out there, by both bands, that I would choose over this one. The bar is set so high for both bands though and more direction would have gone a long way for this collaboration.

 Solstice by ASTRALIA album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 2 ratings

BUY
Solstice
Astralia Post Rock/Math rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Ok Barcelona ... is one of the most attractive cities for me I've not visited yet. Everyone says Barcelona has been basically able to receive cultural diversity even if coming up from far away. The cultural production or life style there is refined, due to unification and harmonization of worldwide flavour. Guess you can hear such a diversity via ASTRALIAn soundscape. Cannot feel lots of Spanish texture but polished authentic Post-Rock-ish musical fluid. Yes just like wine in Pened's, their musical attitude should be inspired by progressive rock / post rock scene all over the world you can mention.

Filled with cool atmospheric effects around them. The second "Out Of Nothing" consists of heavy, fuzzy, distorted, but gorgeous guitar riffs and dreamy rhythmic basis like Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound. Exactly as if you would get to the core of the sun, you can grab enthusiasm via their strong intention. On the other hand, you can hear kinda crystal with metallic texture and deep, dark melodic situation via "Abyss Of Light", followed by "Detachment" drenched in critical, boiling movements with theoretically contorted guitar paradise. Sound dissection is your comfort definitely.

The last titled track will let you dream a fantastic dream along with environmentally spread sound collective and magnificent ambient seasoning. Delightful, beautiful structure in the middle is addictive too. The masterpiece should keep you upon the brilliant stream. Completely opposed to familial atmospheric souvenir via the first track "Exhale". Namely variation of appearance they possess, and it's called as diversity of soundscape. Cultural and musical expression in Barcelona is impressive for us really.

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