Thursday, August 19, 2010

Benea Reach: Alleviat (4.5/5)

Year: 2008
Genre: Progressive Polymetric Metal
Label: TABU
TRT: 50:22

This band slipped under my radar a long time, mostly due to me confusing them with the lackluster metalcore band Sinai Beach. However, if I’d only dug a little deeper, I would have instantly sought out their music.

For one thing containing an ex-member of Extol would spark interest regardless, but the descriptions of their unique style of music and list of purported influences would have been cause for immediate investigation. As it is, I acquired them for the loose reason of “they’re kinda like Periphery or Textures”.

This is their sophomore release, and is even better than their impressive debut. Melding elements from such diverse genres as post-hardcore, progressive metal and ambient post-rock, they’ve just about perfected their sound on this release. The vocals are also a highlight among a reel of highlights. I loved Ikkae’s delivery style and tone in his previous band Selfmindead, and always wished he was in a band that did justice to his talent. Wish: Fulfilled.

So having said all that, maybe this will pique your interest: “they’re kinda like Periphery or Textures”.

01 Awakening
02 New Waters
03 Lionize
04 Sentiment
05 Reason
06 Legacy
07 Rejuvenate
08 Illume
09 Zenith
10 Unconditional
11 Dominion

Search Amazon for Benea Reach

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Klever: In the Name of Peace and Progress (4.5/5)

Year: 2005
Genre: Progressive Post-Rock
Label: Self Released
TRT: 43:54

Post-rock has been in its death-throes for a while now, with countless bands popping up everywhere, but contributing nothing to further the sound. But every time I think “that’s it, that’s the last post-rock album I’m going to waste my time on”, I stumble on one like this.

Hailing from the frozen tundra of St. Petersburg, they pull from their roots by using many traditional Russian folk instruments (such as the zhalejka horn), as well as an assortment of flutes, strings and other more esoteric instruments, giving their compositions a decidedly prominent folk twist that helps keep your ears on their proverbial toes.

I’m definitely buying their album (if I can ever get them to reply to me), because I want more material from this innovative group of musicians. I hope you do too.

01 Trip #1
02 Trip #2
03 Trip #3
04 Trip #4
05 Trip #5