Released: Jan 26, 2012
Number Of Tracks: 18
"After Peril", the first in a double album for the UG Community's third endeavour into Post-rock, is an album that, repeatedly and consistently, knocks on the door of wonder, only to be told that nobody's home.
Post-Rock Album 3: After Peril
Colohue, on march 12, 2012 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: "After Peril", the first in a double album for the UG Community's third endeavour into Post-rock, is an album that, repeatedly and consistently, knocks on the door of wonder, only to be told that nobody's home.
We begin on a seeming lull in play, and never quite escape it. The inescapable impression left behind is that we've entered a new place. A surreal environment where the usual laws don't apply, but the imprint of reality remains, and the differences that make this album unique also serve to weigh against it far too strongly.
Like too many albums by UG members, the background is once again far outweighing the foreground, and the finished product seems as though it would likely be outweighed by the unfinished previews. // 7
Lyrics: An almost invitingly casual opening double captures the interest, but sadly fails to inspire, where some tracks finally muster up the force of rock necessary, and then sadly fail to expire. It is frankly impossible to tell when the first track ends and the second begins.
The first stand out track is without a doubt "Silence Of Apples", mostly for being the first track to realise that there is actually some rock in post rock. "I Wish That My Fingers..." also manages a clear display of power, but stays far beyond the allotted welcome it received for being daring enough to do so. "The Stare" is equally daring, but for different reasons. It is composed cleverly, and one of the few tracks to deliver it's message, and make you realise that there actually might be one.
The talent here is clear, but this is only a piece of the puzzle, else the album would be akin to a work of art. There are too many long builds and slow sections that leave the audience, like a whiny partner, asking so early "where is this going?" A perfect example of this is "A Towering Inferno..." I still find myself wondering where on Earth it was supposed to go. It was simply infuriating. "I Won't Be Home" seems almost out of place before it, delivering a packed punch that starts off loaded with promise, trails off somewhere in the middle, and you're left wanting to start it again, but ignore everything that comes in the second half. Sadly, the moment can not be recaptured.
The track "Phalanx", like much of the album, seems to trip over itself, introducing new harmonies, and then falling into a lull. This one though, is typical Landforge: the ambient section is, by itself, thrilling, and serves the album well in the long run. While the rhythmic tone is something of a let down, I would put this track as another highlight just on the carefully planned out elements that keep your interest throughout.
Each individual track shows immense care and attention to detail. Ultimately, the let down is simply in the fact that this is a compilation album, and that you can't just follow something in particular to the very end. Too many tracks are guilty of attempting to show only the best, and thus there is constant tredding on toes. Individual moments can capture you and grip tightly, but each moment of harnessed brilliance is ultimately betrayed by the next artist in the queue.
Thankfully, "Not An Eye Was Left Open...", particularly halfway through, attempts to raise the game, competing with its fellows, and this proves a crucial turning point in the album. The casual listener is temporarily grabbed by the throat and made to open their ears, while the lull finally begins to shift into some good old post-rock. While this track proves somewhat repetitive and sloppy, it does serve a valuable purpose in capturing the attention of a listener whose ears are being both treated and punished for it.
And then the mould begins to break. "Blessed Be The Fishes", for all it's ambient sections filled with yearning vocals, proves to be beyond the static, formulaic album beginning. Though the genre is likely to make it a difficult one to swallow, the quality and composition make for an admirable piece of work, swelling and falling in a way that the rest of the album simply hasn't managed and pulling the audience of out the beginnings of a rut with it.
And then, with "Eastwatch-By-The-Sea", we're back in the eternal lull, hearing the album pass us by with little to no interest. Everything from the production value to the display of invention takes a hit. Everything slows down again, and the effect is altogether lost. This remains a problem throughout. From being so close to brilliant, we fall back into the comfort zone of slow, easy, idle music. "The Spaces Between Us" comes at the wrong time, starting out reminiscent of lounge music and failing to hit the mark until it's too late. Again, as a stand alone piece, this one would likely hit the spot, but somewhere along the way it just stops working. It is once again repetitive, drawing back towards the formula, the system, the uninventive. "If It's You, I'm Not..." is guilty of the same to such a degree that it honestly bears no description whatsoever.
"The Swings" seems to be attempting an interval that we neither need nor want. It's all the same; nothing is pushing ahead of the rest or just trying to do more. "L'Etude..." proves to be exactly the same. It's a noise. That's about it. Worse, it lasts twelve minutes. "Black Zale, Orange Swift" begins, once again, in the lull, the quota for it having been absorbed almost an hour ago. The interval continues.
It doesn't have to kick up a gear, or amaze, or inspire. It just has to do something, and it can't manage it.
"Running At Night" finally gives some clue that things are about to get interesting again, but then this proves to be a clever ruse. The album concludes on another interval, conveniently named the "Oban Interlude". Undoubtedly this was a conscious choice, to bring in the next album to come. Sadly, we never quite got out of the interval stage, regardless of how close we came, so many times. // 7
Overall Impression: In the end, this album is a tease. It's the teenage teaching aide to the high schooler, the short skirt without underwear, the smell of chocolate ice cream without the taste. The build up is so sweet, but with no release to follow. At it's most basic, the layered harmonies work well, the riffs are strong, the ambience beautiful and the artists inventive. The disappointment lies in the fact that these things never occur in sync. It's not bad. In many places it's quite good - it just never quite works.
With any luck, "Came Respite", the album that follows this one, will unleash the beast. // 7
Post-Rock Album 3: After Peril
imcrazy814, on march 13, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ok so this is a review for After Peril, the first half of the UG Community's third Post-Rock album. Let me just preface this by saying that this was an absolutely exhausting review, as this is over 4 hours of music. So I apologize for not going super in depth with every song, but there was a lot to get through. Also, this was only initially intended to be seen by other fellow contributors, so it might be a bit awkward in this format.
01. A Season - "Occurrence": A nice atmospheric opener. It's short and sweet, but does its job of setting the mood for the rest of the album.
02. Nickb - "Tower": Very cool track, I'm always a bigger fan of the more traditional, EITS, crescendo-core kind of post-rock, and this is just that, it builds very well into the big huge explosion of awesomeness in the last minute, very well done.
03. Corey's Monster - "Silence Of Apples": The track starts off with a cool jazzy guitar part, and the bass sounds great here too. And then the riff!! Its huge and awesome and doomy, and I love it. This is a really fantastic track.
04. Best Kept Secret - "I Wish That My Fingers Were Nails, Because Yours Are Already Crosses": I love this track. I loved it the first time I heard it, I loved it even more after it was revised, and I still love it. The build up is wonderful, it gets crazy big and awesome, and the vocals are just one of the most incredibly fantastic and emotional things I've ever heard.
05. Dinosauria - "The Stare": Hmm, this track is kind of strange. The vocals just seem really out of place. I guess its just not really my thing.
06. Regen - "I Won't Be Home For A While...": Very cool track with a great riff in the beginning. I love the way it builds, and the ending is fantastic.
07. Holocene - "A Towering Inferno In The Middle Of The Ocean": Very cool industrial sort of track. There is a definite Godflesh sort of vibe going on here. I kind of takes a while to get going, but once i does its very awesome. This track also does a good job segueing into the super heavy upcoming tracks.
08. Landforge - "Phalanx": Totally awesome, super heavy track once again. This is really cool because I really can't think of anything else like it. Its kind of proggy at times and super heavy throughout, but the tone and style of the riffs are very unique for this kind of music. Its not really super doomy like you would expect, but it works really well. This is a perfect example of how to keep music atmospheric even when it gets super heavy. Once again, Landforge has contributed one of the best tracks on the album.
09. A God Or An Other - "Not An Eye Was Left Open To Weep For The Dead": Awesome continuation of the heavy here, the drumming, in particular, is fantastic. The vocals are very cool too. Some of the transitions are a bit awkward and could probably use some work, but over all this is a really awesome song, with some black metal, a bit of doom, and plenty of atmosphere, and the production is wonderful.
10. Best Kept Secret - "Blessed Be The Fishes": Best Kept Secret again. I really love this band. I don't know what else to say, the vocals are wonderful again, I love this. I would buy a full length, and I don't buy music very often.
11. Eastwatch - "Eastwatch-By-The-Sea": I love that opening riff, it definitely has like a My Dying Bride kind of doomy vibe, which is awesome. The production is perfect, I love the guitar tone, I would have loved some vocals in there, but other than that, I think my only critique would be that its not really very atmospheric. I mean its kind of just a straight up super heavy doom song. I mean I guess there are some post-rock sounding guitar parts in the last few minutes, but I'd still call it borderline.
12. Sam Vang - "The Spaces Between Us": This song is pretty cool, at least the riffs are. The bass sounds good, but I'm not real crazy about the guitar tone, and the production isn't very good at all. My biggest problem here though is that it sounds like a it was originally just a doomy riff-fest that then had a bit of an atmospheric part thrown in the middle. Its a good song and all, I'm just not sure it really belongs on this album.
13. Waldosia - "If It's You, I'm Not; If It's Me, It's You Who Isn't": The vocals are pretty awesome, the riffs are sick, once again though, I'm just not sure it belongs on a post-rock/atmospheric album. It's slow and doomy, and maybe atmospheric, if you're being generous, but there's certainly no "post"
14. Vendetta V - "The Swings": For some reason, I really like this. This is the kind of song I usually complain about on these albums, but this works really well. It doesn't go anywhere, and its not big or loud or heavy or anything that I usually love, but its perfect and eerie and generally unsettling, and I love that. Fantastic job here.
15. Martian Sawdust - "L'Etude Des Symboles": Right so I've tried very hard on multiple occasions to get into this kind of thing, but I just can't do it. I don't get it. It doesn't go anywhere, and it doesn't do anything. It's just noises for 12 minutes. If it were 3 or 4 minutes, that'd be fine, but 12 minutes just seems unnecessary, especially in an album this long. I mean it's certainly atmospheric, and it would work great as like a soundtrack for a zombie movie or something, but as far as a sitting down and listening to music sort of thing, I don't think I'll ever get this stuff, and I feel like it really kills the momentum of the album.
16. J.C. Meraz - "Black Zale, Orange Swift": This song is decent, it sets a cool mood and all of that, it just doesn't really go anywhere, and the mood/atmosphere just isn't quite enough to make up for it.
17. Haze - "Running At Night": I'm not a big fan of this one. It just kind of sounds like a guitar pro file or something. And then the production is strange, I feel like the guitar should be much higher in the mix once it gets heavier, and the drums sound odd throughout. Its not a horribly written song, but it just doesn't sound very good.
18. ne - "Oban Interlude": This is a cool sort of happy track to end the album on. There's not much else to it though I guess. // 7
Overall Impression: Awards:
Most Stereotypically Pretentious Post-Rock Song Title: Holocene - "A Towering Inferno In The Middle Of The Ocean"
Most Stereotypically Pretentious Post-Rock Band Name: ne (and its not even that bad)
Best Song: Best Kept Secret - "I Wish That My Fingers Were Nails, Because Yours Are Already Crosses"
Songs that made the super prestigious imcrazy814's iPod list:
Best Kept Secret - "I Wish That My Fingers Were Nails, Because Yours Are Already Crosses"
Best Kept Secret - "Blessed Be The Fishes" // 7
Post-Rock Album 3: After Peril
Kommodore, on march 26, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: 01. "Occurrence" - Lovely way to start the album out I think, really sets the mood. As a total synth geek, I really appreciated the way it sounded, dunno if you used a plugin or a real synth but either way it sounded very natural. I also appreciated the fact that it was just a single note the whole time, the simplicity of it really works here.
02. "Tower" - Beautiful little guitar riff here. I also really dig the background noise and that high pitched noise, to me its like this weird sort of chaos going on behind this very clean and calm guitar part. I dunno, I'm weird like that I suppose. Drums are very nicely mixed as well, they sound very natural to me. Excellent build up too, very powerful! Its easy to drag that sort of thing out for a long time, but I like how it ended pretty quickly afterwards, really left me wanting more in a good way.
03. "Silence Of Apples" - I'll admit, I was a bit apprehensive about his at first, I wasn't too sure about the synth and drums, but as soon as the guitars came in, I think it all went together very well. I really liked the guitar parts in this, very ominous and foreboding sounding, sounds like it could be in a movie or something. Overall, I think the structure of the song is great, the first half seemed to drag on just a tiny bit too long which would've been fine if there was a bit more evolution in what was going on. Honestly though it doesn't matter (to me) because I liked it. The heavy bit was excellent, again, very cinematic and intense sounding, very nicely done. It might have been nice to see a bit more complexity in the drums, but it was pretty darn good with what you had. Very excellent track!
04. "I Wish That My Fingers Were Nails, Because Yours Are Already Crosses" - Another lovely intro to this one, made me feel very calm and at peace. I think you really pulled off the build-up fantastically, it was pretty subtle and I liked the unique percussion pattern you used. The vocals are perfect. Very eerie and off-kilter which I think worked perfectly, gave me chills (in a good way) when they came in after that first buildup. My sense of being at peace was thoroughly stripped away as well haha. Again, you really nailed the second buildup into the heavy part I think, drums sounded amazing, very natural and complex sounding. Normally I would dismiss most songs with these types of vocals (I'm not well versed enough to label them and I don't want to call it the wrong thing), and maybe its because I have a bit more context coming into this album than others I've heard, but this is quite the exception. I really felt the raw energy you were putting out, and I'm no vocal expert, but you sounded pretty darn good to me! The complexity in structure in this song from the heavy bit onwards is really quite impressive, it flows very well and is very well written. Yeah, so overall, very well written, performed and mixed, very impressive!
05. "The Stare" - Sounds like something I could really zone out to, and the vocals sound like they're trying to penetrate my brain and put me into some sort of trance, reminds me very much of the vocals on Sunn's "Orakulum". I liked the fact that you chose not to take the easy path and build up to some sort of epic heavy part, I liked that you kept it pretty soft and easy going the whole time. Overall, I thought it was an awesome, very dark tune, sorta unsettling (again in a good way).
06. "i Won't Be Home For Awhile" - I like the title of this one, it invokes a lot of imagery for me for some reason, although I'm not sure that the song itself fits that imagery, but whatever, that's completely irrelevant. Guitar parts are very nice and well written, and the drums are very good, very complex with good fills. To me, it seems like something is missing from the mix, it just seems a bit shallow and thin, like there should be some extra atmospherical elements going on as well to fill up more of that sonic space (maybe reverb?). But it sounds really good with what you've got as it is! Nice ending to this one as well.
07. "A Towering Inferno In The Middle Of The Ocean" - I'm a total sucker for anything ambient, so naturally I loved the first half of this (and the rest of it of course). I can never help but wonder how the artist goes about creating the soundscapes and ambient noises they do, I'm really quite fascinated by it. The title of this track really let my mind play around with all sorts of imagery as I listened to this track which was certainly quite fun. As repetitive as this is, I never really lost focus because I really just sorta got lost in the beat and glitched-out bit-crushed craziness that was going on around me and then all of a sudden it was over and I was jerked out of this surreal place I just spent the last 10 minutes getting lost in. I love tracks that do that me, so gold star for you!
08. "Phalanx" - Really digging the clean (and dirty) guitar bits in this, very, very well played; quite dreamy yet foreboding sounding, almost tragic. Mix is great, drums sound good, and the guitars are layered nicely, bass could be slightly louder I feel though. Again, lots of imagery invoked here for me, always a plus when a song does that. Love the haunting voice at the very end too. Great track right here.
09. "Not An Eye Was Left Open To Weep For The Dead" - I'm liking the guitar tone on this one, and the drums are pretty killer (are they real?)! The vocals in this aren't my style so its not really fair for me to review them, but I can definitely tell they're done very well and they do fit the song nicely (I think it actually kind sounds like our vocalist when he does a similar style :haha:). I loved the guitar part that starts right around the 5 minute mark, very heavy indeed. Very heavy overall really, but what I think really kills this tune is the lack of bass. I think this could've been huge if there was some more low-end to the mix. Other than that, very well performed and written!
10. "Blessed Be The Fishes" - Right, so once again my tastes in vocals are once again being questioned as BKS pulls off another excellent performance here! The clean/softer vocals are amazing, I think my speakers are leaking raw emotion or something, really feeling it for sure. Excellent guitar melodies in this one, I really enjoy the baseline in particular. I'm really fond of the chorus on this one, lots of raw energy there. The mix is lovely, nothing sounds "fake", vocals are incredibly well mixed and the drums are top-notch. Quite professional indeed. Also another track that let my mind wander a bit, toying with some more title-influenced imagery.
11. "Eastwatch-By-The-Sea" - Really liking the dark, jazzy and hopeless feel I'm getting from the beginning of this one, quite beautiful. Once the guitar faded away, I really felt like "Oh man, sh-t's about to go down I bet", which it sorta did once it got heavy again. I say sorta only because you kept the same slow tempo which I actually prefer than if you had sped up or something with the drums. Guitar parts are very well composed and work great with each other to create an over sense of desperation and sadness, at least that's the impression I get.
12. "The Spaces Between Us" - The energy with which this one started actually caught me a little off guard, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the tempo of it. On one hand, it's kind of a refreshing change of pace (quite literally) on an otherwise pretty slow-tempo album, but on the other, I guess it's just not all that post-rockish. I do think it gets much better though tempo-wise as the song progresses, and the clean guitar bit in the middle is quite lovely. Melodies overall are very nice, I like the clean riff at the beginning a lot, and the heavy tone at about 5 minutes is pretty sick. Very nice mix, but the only bothering me is the snare; it's got an absurd amount of ring to it, nothing a noise gate or compressor couldn't fix. Other than that, very nice tune!
13. "If It's You, I'm Not; If It's Me, It's You Who Isn't" - Very interesting vocals here, I dig the effects on them, I think they work very well in this song. Guitars also sound very nice, sorta psychedelic in a way, I'm really liking the riffs as well. This was another one that I could totally get lost in, the slow drums and the spacey guitars just seemed to take me to another place mentally which is always awesome. Speaking of drums though, I wasn't too crazy about them, not much you can do about software drums though. Wicked tune overall!
14. "The Swings" - The very first thing I thought of a few seconds into this was of "Myst" (anyone else remember the part where you had to turn the valves to get into the clock tower?). Definitely a plus when a song makes me think of "Myst". The ambience in this is gorgeous, and I particularly like that bizarre ascending high-pitched sound, very interesting indeed. I personally would've put the sound of the rusty swing further back into the mix to make it little more subtle, I feel like it was a little too upfront. Very nice track, I like this one a lot.
15. "L'Etude Des Symboles" - Once again, absolutely beautiful ambience going on in this track, I feel like a lot of you guys would've been great on the Drone Album! But anyway, the evolution of the sound from the beginning is really quite heavenly and amazing, another one I can get very easily lost in. The higher pulsating sound is really quite hypnotic. Such a surreal and ethereal sounding track, I'd really like to know a little more about how this was made. Brilliant track, very well done sir.
16. "Black Zale, Orange Swift" - Ahh, a track from the guy who also did my favorite track on the drone album! Which of course means that this one ought to be pretty good too, which it most certainly is. The melody in this is very interesting, I'm not quite certain how to describe the feeling I get from this one, a combination of sad, aimlessness, unknowing, I dunno. Very beautiful however, I love your the way your tracks come out sounding in that they seem to be made on very old vintage gear, doesn't sound at all like your standard plugin based ambient stuff. So yeah, definitely liking this one a lot. Great job!
17. "Running At Night" - A very fitting title indeed I think. Very cool melodies and whatnot going on here, I just think that your choice of synths was a little weak, I really hate to say it, but it sounds kinda cheesy, and it only gets worse when the drums come in. I feel that if you played the exact same things with either real instruments, or more likely just better or different plugins, it could've come out much better because you've really got an interesting piece here I think!
18. "Oban Interlude" - Absolutely gorgeous track here, the guitar is beautiful, the birds in the background are beautiful, you're beautiful. I think the way the drums are mixed in this really make it as well, it's the sort of sound I always envision but usually screw up when recording. Throughout this whole first album, I felt like I had entered some dark and mysterious world, and now with this track, I have finally emerged into some beautiful landscape where who knows what will await me in the next album. Perfect. // 8
Lyrics: The songs that did include lyrics were very well done. I couldn't understand a large portion of them, but I'm sure they were plenty relevant to the album. // 8
Overall Impression: It's awesome to see the amount of talent in this community! I think that there's a lot of creative energy that just pours from this album, whether or not it was executed well. For me, the tracks that really came through were the ones that relied heavily on atmospherics. This was really an incredible album and I'm really looking forward to the next release. // 7