The Fallen Host

Written by: DR on 12/02/2010 13:45:31

Where the fuck have Blueneck been hiding? They've been around for ten years, after forming in North Somerset, and I'm only discovering them now? I lost a little bit of myself when I discovered that. Not to worry though, because "The Fallen Host" fills that void with some of the most sweeping post-rock to ever grace my speakers. They mention the likes of Sigur Ros, Godspeed! and Mogwai as their main influences, as many have done before and will continue to do so for a long time, but Blueneck are of the rare breed that actually deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as those icons. That's not to say Blueneck are as momentous as any of those bands - that would be disrespectful to some of the pioneers of post-rock - this quartet aren't really breaking too much ground of their own, but it's irrelevant when they make music as good as this.

The label of 'post rock' is one that's sure to follow Blueneck: they are mostly instrumental with vocalist Duncan Attwood softly singing on top of the instrumentation on occasion, which adds another layer to their music. They are more than that though, they are ambient and atmospheric; it would be borderline insulting to accuse their tracks of being 'songs' - they are compositions, scores, art. They have an ability to create nine minute compositions and make them run into one another that makes for an orchestral adventure. They can do the swirling crescendo, they can do the enveloping, spacious epic-ness that sounds like a scary Sigur Ros, yet through every minute of this there's a progressive dark undertow that sets them apart from many of their contemporaries.

"(Depart From Me, You Who Are Cursed)" has the feel of an indie-cinema-dubbing and sets the mood for the rest the album. "Seven" has the pounding drums, which fade out quietly but then come crashing back intensely in crescendo-territory. It make a strong impression, but it's nothing we've not heard before, and it's not why I am raving about this band. "Low" follows, this is why I'm raving about this band. Maybe I'm still reeling from the ecstatic high it gives you, but I swear it is one of the greatest post-rock songs in my library. At first it's simply Attwood's vocals and the strumming of a guitar, but then the guitars start to pick up followed by the appearance of the strings; this slowly burns and burns, getting louder and louder, reaching towards a symphonic end that will render you numb with awe. "Children of Ammon" is a chilling Balmorhea-esque venture, and closer "Revelations" is distorted and violent - the perfect end.

"The Fallen Host" is captivating from start to finish, it's confident, it's bold, but most of all, it's beautiful. Lay down at night, and give this a listen before you fall to sleep - it's that type of record. One that will lead your mind through a journey, if you let it. I await the next release like a salivating fool (though I'll be listening to this record regularly until then, so maybe that's why I'll be frothing at the mouth?). This is post-rock as it should be done.

Download: Low; Revelations; Lilitu
For The Fans of: Godspeed You! Black Emperor; Mono; Mogwai; Sigur Ros
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 2.2.2010
Denovali Records

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