MAKE’s new album (out 20th July) is a serious, doom laden affair but it has a gentle heart.
In the three years since I reviewed their debut album, MAKE have been busy evolving their sound – they are stlll making epic metallic post-rock but this new record feels infused with a wider set of influences. Although the record has a greater scope it somehow sounds more refined; a softer side to the band has emerged and with it a dreamier soul, taming those hard edges and bringing everything together to create a more satisfying mix. Where Trephine was more direct and sludgy The Golden Veil feels less grounded, drifting wonderfully, concerned more with atmosphere and beautiful expansive guitars than with power chords. As with their previous releases there is a cinematic aura at the core of the record with a widescreen feel still in evidence (on tracks like The Architect), but this record brews more slowly, giving you time to enjoy the view.
Its great to hear an album that plays out as a whole experience, something I seem to come across less and less – this is old school post-rock, taking me back to the days of early Godspeed, Envy, Pelican – a no nonsense, moody record full of all encompassing tunes; huge, heady and powerful, it’s easy to get lost in and is sure to feature in my records of the year.
Taman Shud – Viper Smoke Album Review
The London based purveyors of dark rock have created an addictive record in Viper Smoke; fittingly, online research on the band tends to just throw up pages on the unsolved Taman Shud case from the 40s, which would no doubt appeal to the band’s dark sensibilities.
The four piece have an interest in the occult and this carries through to the sound on the album with the moody yet tuneful rock mixed with psychedelic drones and unintelligible lyrics punctuating the murky washes of organ and twin bass. The feel is not otherworldly as such but certainly from the darker side of our world, somewhere infinitely more exotic than wherever we happen to be.
The record creates its own space, especially through headphones, an all encompassing spacey zone; the production – epic yet almost claustrophobic at the same time, the distorted vocals, twin bass and gothic atmosphere, create a place you don’t want to step out of, a space away from the banal and mundane, something all the best records manage.
This is a record that should be listened to in one sitting however there are a few tunes you tend to remember: the superb The Hex Inverted with its pounding bass and drums combo wrapped in distortion and intense vocals is a highlight, as is the punkier I Tego Arkana Dei and Crime Cycle (previously heard on the split with Fat White Family) has a spooky, odd rumbling in the background that makes you think someone is talking behind you. Fantastic.
Find the album on Bandcamp.