Written by: PP on 23/05/2009 15:03:37

You'd imagine most all-instrumental bands to sound relatively similar to each other, but in reality the differences between them are vast. Pelican carefully build up beautiful sound textures that actually reflect their song titles, Don Caballero trust in the overwhelming power of polyrhythms, Zombi focuses on crafting the sound of Africa into their music, and Dysrhythmia utilize heavy groove and ubiquitous bass-lines. Aussie-based Heirs, on the other hand, are a new acquaintance for me both namewise and soundwise. They're exploring yet another corner of the strangely shaped room of the all-instrumental scene.

Being a considerably heavier affair than other bands in the scene, Heirs' songs immediately have much more attitude and power to them. The obvious benefit of this approach is the ease of nodding your head along to the music, but across the whole album this comes at the cost of the astonishing beauty that's the central common element between all the aforementioned bands in this review. It's likely though that crafting such atmospheres is pretty far down on Heirs' musical vision, considering how sludgy, droning and noise-obsessed their brand of instrumental post-metal is during "Alchera". Comparisons could be drawn to bands like Swans and Godflesh as well, with some people going as far as calling Heirs a metalgaze band. That's basically derived from combining shoegaze and doom elements together.

But I can't say that this approach impresses me at all. The songs merely drone along at a slow pace with far too many places of minimalistic instrumentation where I feel like I'm about to doze off - that's surely not a good sign? Given that there are no vocals on the album the instruments should do all the working, and on "Alchera", that department is lacking heavily. Where are all the intricacies, delicacies and the passages where you'll just go 'wow' as a listener? Admittedly, there are a some such moments, but they are too few and far between for my liking.

Download: Cabal
For the fans of: Swans, Godflesh, Dysrhythmia, Neurosis
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.05.2009
Denovali / Cargo Records

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