Atheist's Cornea

Written by: PP on 10/12/2015 21:46:56

Japanese pioneers envy have spent the past two decades plus crafting particularly immersive soundscapes that seamlessly merge together post-rock cinematics and beauty-laden landscapes with the urgency and coarse energy of the original screamo movement. Whilst bands like Orchid and Funeral Diner have always been integral in any sentence mentioning envy, so have artists like Explosions In The Sky and other post-rock behemoths. Led by their mastermind of a vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa, the envy soundscape has always been primarily characterized by his exceptionally varied style, where somber spoken-word passages meet corrosive screams and voluminous shrieks in perfect symbiosis, fitting perfectly above the beauty vs heavy dynamic their riffage is built around.

That same formula, if you can call their lengthy and progressive opuses that, continues unabated on their sixth album "Atheist's Cornea", their first album in five years following the universally acclaimed "Recitation" from 2010. Then again, envy doesn't exactly need to change much. The tranquil guitars in "Footsteps In The Distance" quietly crescendo into tearing screamo style riffs, creating moments that are nothing short of awe-inspiring; "Shining Finger" is exemplary in its post-rock meets screamo instrumentalism; and "An Insignificant Poem" is almost bouncy in its rhythmic pulsation that's supported by the increasing intensity of Fukagawa's coarsely screamed vocal work. Still, "Atheist's Cornea" is the shortest envy album since their 1998 debut album "From Here To Eternity", so the band have added concision into their arsenal, a welcome addition to those of us who aren't necessarily all too fond about 7+ minute songs all the time. Here, the band explore shorter and more to-the-point melodies that ultimately benefit the band by giving their songs much-needed energy, but perhaps more importantly, variety from each other.

Expect tons of tremolo, quiet/loud dynamics en masse, and soaring vocal delivery creating a distinguished soundscape that is every bit as intense as Pianos Become The Teeth's "Keep You" only with screamed vocals instead. Locally, we've seen Suis La Lune try something very similar in our neighboring Sweden, but few, if any, have been able to recreate envy's masterful utilization of quiet post-rock elements and controlled chaos in an otherwise progressive and carefully designed soundscape. Not much new here, and not exactly their best work, but you can always count on envy delivering a unique piece of beautiful music, as they do here on "Atheist's Cornea".

Download: Shining Finger, Footsteps In The Distance, "An Insignificant Poem"
For the fans of: Orchid, Funeral Diner, Suis La Lune, Pianos Become The Teeth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.05.2015

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