Pris à la Gorge

Written by: AP on 26/01/2014 21:33:31

The popularity of post-rock has been in steady ascension of late, probably because its aesthetic fits so well to the beards, thick-rimmed glasses and slightly elitist attitudes that constitute the fashion of the day. As with every genre which enjoys such prominence, however, the number of bands practicing it has grown too large, and consequently saturation has began taking its toll. On the surface of it, post-rock is not a particularly difficult genre to play - an ear for the cinematic and a hefty array of pedals should suffice. But, as is symptomatic with every other genre, there are few who manage to pull it off in a way that could be considered extraordinary - and those sadly tend to be the progenitors of the genre (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai; and later Explosions in the Sky & This Will Destroy You being the obvious examples in this case).

Milanku, from one of the alleged sources of the genre: Montreal, QC; surfaced in 2008 as part of the third wave, and as such, the odds are stacked against their sophomore album "Pris à la Gorge", which was released in 2012 and re-issued in physical format in the Spring last year. Admittedly the LP balances on a tightrope when it comes to classifying it as either post-rock or post-metal, as amidst the contemplative grandeur (reminiscent of the aforementioned Explosions in the Sky) there are bursts of screamo that have deservedly earned Milanku comparisons to Envy. "Pris à la Gorge" is markedly darker in tone than either of those bands, however, which I suppose is their defining characteristic when it comes to justifying why one should pay attention to Milanku, and not one of the hundreds, if not thousands of other bands of their ilk.

The real question is though, should you pay attention to them? On paper songs like "La Chute" and "Inhibition" tick all the necessary boxes: the soundscape is as enormous and desolate as the Canadian heartland, with a freezing grandeur not unlike that which you will discover in most Scandinavian post-metal bands; there's a patient evolution to the instrumental sections; and the production, though resonant, enforces through the prominence of drums and bass a kind of suffocating atmosphere. All is in place then to produce an evocative piece of music, and indeed, were it not for the fact that hundreds of bands exactly like Milanku have already written this album (mind you, the French-speaking Milanku are still probably a minority when it comes to the language in which these songs are sung), "Pris à la Gorge" could well impress.

Sadly, there isn't enough innovation on the band's palette to offer serious competition to the genre's heavyweights. The record is by no means dismal, or even below average, however. One session with a track like "La Nausée", with its booming percussion, soaring crescendos and dreamy spoken word is enough to convince me otherwise. But its stalwart submission to the conventions of the genre makes it an anonymous and, clocking in at 50 minutes, long drawn listening experience with no definitive highlights and next to no lasting impressions formed. So to answer to the question in the previous paragraph is twofold: if you live and breathe post-rock, and cannot have enough of it, then yes, you should give a decent piece of music like "Pris à la Gorge" a chance; if, like me, you yearn for the uncharacteristic and the groundbreaking, then this is not the album for you.


Download: La Chute, Inhibition, La Nausée
For the fans of: Downfall Of Gaia, Envy, Explosions in the Sky
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.05.2013 (originally 08.09.2012)
Moment of Collapse Records

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