Monday, April 29, 2013

Laurasia Awaits Us: Apathy Remains Victorious (2013)

Drone That's Not Dull

Laurasia Awaits Us is a two-piece, studio-only band out of Finland whose debut Apathy Remains Victorious was just released on Domestic Genocide. The PR spiel accompanying the release calls them a post-black metal band, but I think it’s more accurate to call them a doom metal band with drone and blackened elements. I’m not normally one to entertain much of the drone variety of music, but there is definitely something compelling about this one.

The record can be understood generally through a close examination of the first song. It starts out as pure doom, with a slow and heavy riff. The black-ness is represented with a somewhat hypnotic lead that enters the fray. It isn’t long before synths come in and the guitars go clean, a strange foreground to the distant, tortured vocals in the back. This morphs into a much more interesting riff that they play with for a while. Then everything goes quiet, cue the storm sounds and screams with eerie synth before finally a very strangely distorted lead closes the music and the storm sounds bring it to a close. So, even though the way they use their riffs and play with sound is indicative of a drone approach, Apathy remains interesting because it is dynamic, not sitting on one idea for too long, balancing tension and reward.

The first two songs are the best at the tension and reward, making them the highlights of the album, but I can’t say it ever gets dull. “Seclusion” adds an eerie brass sound, and “Nothing Left to Accomplish” incorporates ocean noise and a lamenting melody before “Passage” ends the album with a screeching version of the same melody. These distinct sounds draw your attention back in before it has a chance to wander too far afield.

It’s still a little too drone for me to make any kind of strong recommendation. But it’s interesting enough that I predict I will be spending more time unraveling this album later in the year.

The Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars

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