• Closed Room – Closed Room (2012)


    After their impressive EP “White Bed Sheet”, we were thrilled to know that Closed Room signed with Sun & Moon Records to release their self-titled debut album. As many of the band’s in this label, Closed Room is a very unique ensemble that mixes Trip-Hop with Post-Metal and some Shoegaze elements brilliantly and in their previous work has delivered very interesting and engaging tracks drawing comparisons to Amesoeurs and such bands.

    Setting the mood with the Post-Metal influenced “Behind the Locked Door”, the band nicely established very high expectations for a very unique sounding release. This track reminds us a bit of the experimental side of bands like Sigh and Ephel Duath. Things turn dark with the Blackgaze riffing of “Tempted to Illuminated”, then the ethereal vocals of Morena kick in and the whole atmosphere suddenly feels a bit different. This track is very well crafted and the contrast between the music and the vocals is just outstanding and works very well.

  • Bauda – Euphoria…Of Flesh, Men and the Great Escape (2012)


    Hailing from Chile, today we have the folk version of Alcest: Bauda. This three-piece ensemble creates a very majestic unique sound when combining brilliant Post-Rock/Metal structures with lush acoustic guitars. “Euphoria…Of Flesh, Men and the Great Escape” is one of those releases that catches your attention thanks to how well-crafted the music is and how the atmosphere draws you into the band’s sound.

    Opening with a very straight forward Post-Rock/Metal track titled “Ghosts of Phantalassa”, the band wastes no time and after the momentum is built, tracks like “Humanimals” and “Silhouettes” beautifully combine the aggressive Post-Metal sections with the lush Folk elements, something we haven’t quite heard before and Bauda deserves props for taking a daring risk and pull through successfully. With these two tracks clocking at around 20 minutes, the album really pulls all the stops since the opening songs featuring a little bit of everything neatly packed in cohesive songs.

  • Reserve de Marche – The Last Twenty Years (2012)


    Making its way from Russia (literarily), today we have Reserve de Marche and their excellent combination of Progressive Rock with Post-Rock/Metal elements. With their releases titled “The Last Twenty Years”, the band delivers a very cinematic musical experience that covers many genres and will spawn many different images and landscaped in the listeners head.

    With the opener “Calorie” the mood is set very mellow and ethereal. The band chooses to deliver a calmer Post-Rock/Metal track that features excellent percussions and very well defined guitar lines. The atmosphere is very playful and with some superb progressive elements. “Le Garage” rips through with some crunchy Sludgy guitars, giving the music a completely different look than on the first track. This ‘aggression’ is nicely alternated by some progressive percussions and interesting tempo changes. So far, the band has shown great ability for combining genres, and has kept the momentum going with two very different, but equally exciting tracks.

  • O Graceful Musing’s Burden – Two (2012)


    Delivering and excellent cinematic experience, today we have O Graceful Musing’s Burden and their latest release “Two”. Hailing from Germany, this band combines elements from bands like Cult of Luna, Godspeed Your Black Emperor, Ulver, and many other, allowing them to create a very rich and colorful palette of sounds that come together very nicely.

    Opening with the monumental “Piece of Lament Mirth Thought Desperation Soul Fear Hope” (probably one of the longest song titles ever), the band outputs 23 minutes of sheer brilliance. With a very atmospheric opening filled with ambient elements and post-rock guitars, the band nicely creates momentum as the song progresses. The subtle progressive hints are quite effective and when the distorted guitars kick in, the song nicely climaxes before a long way down.

  • Vertigo Steps – Surface / Light (2012)


    Thanks to the Internet and the current advances in technology, releases like “Surface / Light” from Vertigo Steps are now possible with collaborating parts from two different countries. This two man project from Portugal and Finland deliver what is probably one the best Atmospheric Rock / Post-Rock releases of 2012. Combining elements of bands like Katatonia, Anathema (newer stuff), Porcupine Tree with some more ‘mainstream’ Post-Rock/Atmospheric Rock influences, Vertigo Steps manages to create a lush and ethereal sounding tracks unlike any other band we’ve heard recently.

    Opening with the atmospheric “Vertigo Dawn”, you can really feel the overall peacefulness and calmness that the album’s atmosphere is going to bring to your hectic day. With very firm guitar work and a nice Rock-ish vibe, “The Hollow” delivers the first introduction into the band’s combination of mainstream rock elements with brilliant atmospheres. The clean vocals of Niko Mankinen are outstanding and very soothing. There are some very nice female backing vocals in this track that nicely add to the atmosphere of this song. The guitar work is quite catchy and keeps things running smooth and heavy without overpowering the atmospheric content of the track.

  • Portfolio – Reason Outside Nature (2012)


    With all the lines between Art Rock, Alternative Rock, Post-Rock and so on getting blurred, it is quite refreshing when we get releases that actually offer more than your average album. Portfolio’s release “Reason Outside Nature” is one of those albums that nicely blends many influences into a very well-crafted palette of sounds. Featuring six tracks, this EP will ease you into tranquility with its very relaxing music.

    Opening with the playful “Gringo, Portfolio are dead”, the band nicely establishes a Jazzy Post-Rock foundation that is very catchy and engaging. The trumpet nicely gives depth to this band’s sound and the way it’s carved into the music separates them from the rest. There are some heavy guitars in this track, but they are mostly used to speed things up. With even more class and determination, “Frassica” fills up the room with a sexy and intoxicating atmosphere.

  • Hypomanie – Calm Down, You Weren’t Set On Fire (2012)


    The one man musical factory of Hypomanie returns this 2012 with its most ethereal and dreamy sounding release to date: “Calm Down, You Weren’t Set On Fire”. With such a puzzling title, this release delivers six tracks of pure aural depression that delivers very well crafted Blackgaze elements merged into more traditional Post-Rock structures of bands like God is an Astronaut and such.

    With the dreamy opening provided by “19 Starts and the Sweet Smell of Cinnamon”, this release starts very well with lush guitars and an excellent atmosphere. The production behind this release sounds a bit off since the guitars sound funky and too high pitched sometimes, other than this little detail everything else sound great. The band’s change into a more Post-Rock oriented outfit is clearly evident in tracks like “Alissa Loves Perfume” and “If Only the Seas Were Merciful”. On “If Only..” the band still features some Black Metal influences in their Shoegazing guitars, keeping them a bit on par with their previous release.

  • Frames – In Via (2012)


    Delivering their highly anticipated second full-length release “In Via”, today we have Frames and their cinematic brand of instrumental Post/Art Rock. If you like nice and relaxing musical trips, this album will surely be of your interest. With a striking similarity to bands like Poland’s Lebowski and God is an Astronaut, Frames is set to captivate audiences with their excellent musical abilities and melancholic songwriting style.

    Opening with the mysterious intro “Entrance”, the band fully explodes into full ‘out of this world’ mode with “Departure”. The trippy guitars and powerful bass guitar line help make this song very ethereal and transport the listener to a different place. With “Encounter” the atmosphere sets a very nice mellow mood, and the occasional beats make things more interesting. The power of the guitars is nicely used to fully develop atmospheric passages in a very brilliant manner.

  • Arctic Plateau – The Enemy Inside (2012)


    Delivering a hefty dose of excellent guitar work, today we have Arctic Plateau and their dreamy masterpiece “The Enemy Inside”. Gianluca Divirgilio, the man behind Arctic Plateau has a great sense of melody and through his Post-rock/shoegaze compositions delivers waves of emotions in a way that only a handful of bands can do.

    Opening with the ethereal “Music’s Like…”, this song, as most of the ones in this release, is very guitar centric and with every passing minute there is something exciting to pay attention to. The dreamy atmosphere is top notch and the melancholic vocals nicely roundup this song. The mood in the album constantly changes between dreamy and ethereal to dark and depressive, like on “Idiot Adult”. In this somber song, Gianluca does a great job in using Shoegaze elements to create a magical atmosphere.

  • John 3:16 – Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (2011)


    Hailing from Switzerland, today we have the experimental one-man music making machine John 3:16. Fusing ambient sounds with some electronic/drone sections and a dosage of Post-Rock, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is one of those EP’s that will captivate you from start to finish with its hypnotic sound and perfectly crafted songs.

    The intro track “Earthly Father” wills enshroud you with mystery due to the drone elements an hints of ethereal atmospheric influences, but this track does not really give away anything that is to come. In “In the Name of the Lord”, the music continues to be dark with its droning elements and it suddenly moves into the Post-Rock area with some excellent guitar work. The drums get a bit annoying in the background, but I guess they are used to contrast for the first 2 minutes of so. Then this piece turns completely ethereal with some nice atmospheric elements and very dreamy guitars. This song reminded us a bit to God Is An Astronaut and similar bands due to the dark atmosphere around it.


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