Review: Clouds Collide – They Don’t Sleep Anymore

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Label: War Crime Recordings

Crossing genre lines as if they don’t exist, They Don’t Sleep Anymore is an intensely personal album. The latest Clouds Collide release pulls from post-black metal, post-rock, post-hardcore, post-punk, and shoegaze, They Don’t Sleep Anymore is – as that collection of reference points may imply – a sprawling, spacious, emotionally-laden album that isn’t too often musically heavy, but certainly is emotionally. As with previous Clouds Collide releases, it draws heavily from sole member Chris Pandolfo’s personal life; in this instance, dealing with a longing for the past, finding your sense of self in the present, and how you cope with that as you move forward in to the future. Whilst this could have easily made for an album that is difficult to listen to, instead They Don’t Sleep Anymore is remarkably cathartic, with its universal themes and gorgeous music granting it a surprising accessibility.

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Review Blasts: May 2019

Happy International Workers’ Day! For those of you who have this day as a holiday, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. For those of us in the UK, we have the bank holiday coming. And here at TSNTW, I’m getting back into the swing of things with a series of short reviews. For this installment, we have world-ending black/death metal; speed-laced black-thrash; a furious feminist statement; a wonderful meeting of progressive technicality and black metal horror; and beautiful modern classical. Enjoy!

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Review: Ten – The Fog Bank

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Label: Ten Recordings

In many ways, post-rock, ambient, and drone music have a lot in common. All three genres seek, through different methods, to wrap the listener up in a cocoon of sounds, enveloping them in sounds either warm or starkly oppressive, taking their consciousness away to somewhere else. It’s a task that Ten succeed at on new album The Fog Bank. Though nominally an ambient group, there’s a lot of arresting melodies here that mean that tag doesn’t quite fit perfectly; but the overall effect of the music makes it accurate enough. Full of warm drones, blissful melodic lines and an aching sense of beauty, The Fog Bank is a record to sink in to late at night.

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Review: A-Sun Amissa – Ceremony in the Stillness

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Label: Gizeh Records / Consouling Sounds

One of the real tests of instrumental music is its ability to convey narrative. Stripped of lyrics, and the natural focal point of a vocalist, the importance of the music actually putting across something concrete and captivating either comes to the fore; or, in the case of ambient music, is all-but disregarded. With Ceremony in the Stillness, the latest album from A-Sun Amissa, that challenge is not only embraced, but met in superb style. The combination of doom-drone influenced auras, post-rock soundscapes, and haunting dark ambience is loaded with emotion, and moves with a sense of story-telling that is too rare in instrumental music. Most records of this style hint at the idea of having a running theme; but on Ceremony in the Stillness, that sense of narrative is impossible to ignore.

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