No End / Open End EP

Written by: PP on 07/07/2010 17:51:48

Aalborg, Denmark's Aedra classify themselves as atmospheric sludge/post-metal with a touch of avant-garde in the mix. That's an accurate description of their latest EP "No End / Open End" from September last year, which earned them a support slot alongside City Of Ships and Rising a couple of months back. Three tracks in 23 minutes is bound to put most ADD people off, but the more I listen to Aedra, the more I'm drawn by the dark beauty within their carefully engineered song structures.

A gloomy, two and a half minute instrumental only intro "In Forests" smoothly builds up to the 12 minute centerpiece of this recording, "Through The Rain", a droning piece of avant-garde post-metal experimentation that borrows equally much from crawling doom metal soundscapes as it does from sludgy roars of bands like Rising, Baroness and Kylesa. There are tempo changes, quiet/loud dynamics, cleverly designed guitar progressions, and pretty much everything you can wish from an excellent post-metal song. My only criticism is the final two minute feedback-only part which serves really no purpose to the song except making my ears bleed (anyone been to a The Chariot show before?), but it's such a short section that it doesn't really make a huge impact. Final track "We've Come Out" relies a little more on crushingly heavy groove than atmosphere building, but here too the soundscape shifts between silent, echoing moments and the monstrously deep growls, which really deserve some credit for being as solid and thick as they are. They're like an additional instrument - much like Åkerfeldt in Opeth - adding another layer to the sound precisely when necessary, but seldom enough to make a real impact. The cleans here are monumental, too.

Parts of the disc remind me of how fellow Danes Sjäel slowly construct their songs into sonic perfection, where the goal is a clearly defined atmosphere and structure rather than anything pop or memorable. Another band with close parallels to Aedra's music is Isis, who are probably one of their biggest influences based on how many sections on the EP work with similar dynamics. Overall though, "No End / Open End EP" contains extensive experimentation with immersive sonic atmospheres that require the listener to having paid attention in aural appreciation skills 101 201. It's a very good record that'll no doubt appeal to anyone into creeping doom metal (hey EW, check these guys out), but also to those into sludge/stoner/drone genres, and one that'll be a highlight to experience live when executed to perfection.


Download: Through The Rain
For the fans of: Baroness, Torche, Isis, Cult Of Luna, Rising
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.08.2009

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