A horrible hack

Belegost - The Sea, Like Lead

Split

Year Released: 2006
Format: LP
Label: Electric Human Project - Hardtravelin'
 
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Sep 19, 2009
This is such a special release that I'm gonna rave about it right now even though it came out a few years ago. Part of the reason is that I still see it for sale in UK distros which I find pretty sad. I also saw it sell on Ebay recently for just over 2. Maybe I am just wrong and it is actually not very good. No I don't think so. I easily found various reviews for it across the internet which all pretty much came to the conclusion that it is great. However, I still want to write my own over the top praise for it, I put it on from time to and it always blows me away.

First of all, let me discuss The Sea, Like Lead. I loved this band's demo and the songs on here are just as good. They somehow manage to combine all the best parts of bands like Mono, From Monuments To Masses and 5ive. There are quiet parts, there are parts that build up and then get pretty frenzied in that post-rock way. There are heavy parts which I like the most where the drums really kick in. It's not as bassy and intense as 5ive but it's that kind of thing in places and is pretty awesome. But the combination of all these elements is the most important thing and the band really nailed it. The opening to the first track 'Anticline / Syncline' reminds me of the music from Resident Evil when you are in the save game room with the typewriter. There was always momentary calm away from the zombies here, where you could get a grip of yourself. The music gets going at the minute mark and is just stunning. It ambles along until around four minutes it becomes quiet again, with some cool audio samples. After this the song proceeds to come to and end in melodic fashion, finishing on the seven minute mark.

The band's second song, entitled 'Twilight Of The Gods', begins quietly again, with more audio samples. It then builds up and down, with some soft and hard parts. This works really well. Around the 7 minute mark things dramatically into what feels like a different song. Things build up again before finally launching into an Explosions In The Sky esque post rock extravaganza. For me it never gets boring and the track finishes after 12 minutes. Overall the two tracks are really great, I think my favourite The Sea, Like Lead song is the first one on their demo but these are close behind.

Second up is Belegost, with a track just over 22 minutes long. And what a song it is. Not much happens for the first five minutes except a slow atmospheric build up with two guitars playing a small selection of drawn out notes. Things pick up ever so slowly, with more notes played that are less drawn out. Eventually the drums get going too with a slow beat and the rest of the instruments wander about. There's lots of variation for the next seven minutes or so. Then the reverbed guitars return in magnificent fashion, I cannot describe how good this part of the songs is but I will try. One guitar plays a nice riff while the other plays high pitched reverbed notes that are utterly mesmerising. It literally gives me goosebumps if I play it loud and listen intently. How fucking good must this have been live. Things get a bit more complicated and then the drums go for it. Even Beethoven would be banging his head to this and stumbling around the room, immersed in the moment. Eventually it all comes to an end, overall it's simply fantastic.

Overall, hell yes. What probably aids this release is that both bands didn't release much else. This has meant that they never became predictable like most other post rocks bands who use the same tricks which soon become boring. My interest in post rock has waned significantly but I guarantee I'll be listening to this in years to come.

19th September 2009

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