Self-Titled Debut - Review
This project is formed by the French duo of Guillaume Pintout and Cyrille Holodiuk with Haluka Chimoto providing cello and Damien Ossart on bass.
This debut album is a great introduction for this band, providing us with their mostly instrumental take on slow, post-rock and guitar-laced shoegazer sound. The album ebbs and flows across a spellbinding selection of ten tracks that will make the listener swoon with delight.
For the most part this album is a somber, slow, melancholy wave of sound from ambient soundscapes to soaring guitars and a subtle mix of percussion. The tone is set right from the start with the long, slow and quietly building introduction of "Against All Odds" which features the sounds of waves crashing as the music slowly builds and we hear the soft poetic female spoken word caressing the building soundscapes. This quietly fades into "A Stolen Life" which again builds slowly with the sweet sounds of a music box as a foundation. This moves along slowly building to a typical shoegazer climax with soaring guitars and crashing percussion leaving the listener breathless and then dropping off into the soft sweet music box sounds again. This theme carries on again later in the album with "The Air Is On Fire". This hypnotic track features a bit more percussion to move along a bit more with the dark and somber moods. In my mind the cello really becomes a stellar key element on this piece as it slowly moves along and builds, then fades and builds again to a soaring, grinding climax that sends chills up and down my spine as I listen as it carries on for nearly nine minutes.
Nearly every piece lifts the listener up like this on waves of carressing sounds that are so mesmerizing and captivating. I'm not usually a huge fan of instrumental pieces or albums, however with this one the music creates it's own vocals, seeming to beckon the listener into a dreamy, yet at times harsh landscape of music. The album moves along through piece after piece, slowly building to a deafening crescendo only to drop off once more to an ambient hush, biding time until it slowly builds again. A few pieces remain softer and slower without the required crescendo, just settling for more of a pieceful setting, remaining haunting and beautiful such as the introductory track, or later "The Sun Is Already Gone" and finally toward the end of the album we have more poetic, soft-spoken female words on "Where Earth Meets Sea". This serves as sort of the antithesis of the previous track "The Leaden Sky" which is a driving, harsh soundscape of grinding guitars that kick off from the start and then fade only to build up to a dynamic onslaught of harshness. After "Where Earth Meets Sea" we come to the long semi-finale in "Leaves across the roads" which starts with crashing waves and slowly building guitar to the grand, torturous finale. When it all finally drops off after over eleven minutes, we're just left with the final piece, another very long selection "Backward". This piece just builds over layers of guitars that after only four minutes drops off to a ticking sound that goes on and on for another nine minutes for a truly dynamic, experimental finale to this stellar album.
That brings the album to a close along with this review. It's another great album to add to any fan's collection, be sure to check it out.
Label: Projekt Records