Be ready for this Italian masterpiece by the band Amp Rive. This is how emotional and great Postrock can sound! I wrote about Amp Rive in the july / august music submission where they shared a cool video for their track Best Kept Secret and I was impressed with the quality of this video and the track. I listened to their album and reccommended this band to all Postrock fans. I want to add up some spice by reviewing their album. They deserve more attention.
This week, I started to listen to their album again and it hit me: this band is one of those hidden gems in the scene. Amp Rive made
an album that's a tour-de-force of feelings and thoughts of sadness and
joy. I can't decide what emotion has the upper hand. It's great music
but there's a hint of despair and melancholy in their tracks. It's this
refreshing combination that makes this album stand out.
Opener Procession starts out odd with
a rough sounding synthesizer and fast paced tunes. The synthesizer is
quickly placed more in the background and the guitars take over the
song. At the 2:35 mark, the song takes itself to a first climax of half a
minute and then eases in a much slower affair, only to build up to
another climax at the 4:50 mark. The synth-sound is still there but much
softer, different guitar melodies blend to a perfect mix of tunes that
gives a first taste of the contrast between the feelings I have.
Best Kept Secret
kicks in and is a
fantastic track on its own. Especially the second part of the track is a
combination of a dream-esque lead guitar, finger-picking tunes in the
background, the build up drums.... combined, the track evolves in a
fantastic climax that makes it one of the best tracks of the album.
A sort of apology, is a
powerful souding track that keeps itself within the postrock-atmosphere.
There's a temptation to step into the post-metal sound, but Amp Rive
keep the sound within the postrock boundaries, that makes for a track
that's interesting. I really digg the slightly distorted guitars ala
Mogwai, but Amp Rive is very subtle with this. At 4:10, the track seems
to end, but it's only a calming intermezzo to open up a soundscape with 3
different guitars to a great section that fits well within the total
composition of this album. The well known Postrock guitar waves are
there, but very subtle and they only add to the feeling of despair.
The 8+ minutes track
Clouded Down is a
song that initially gives me a joyous feeling. Uplifting drums and
guitars make up for a sunny atmosphere. At the 4 minutes mark, the track
turns in a more melancholic atmosphere and ends rather sad and quiet...
in a good way. I would be very interested about the stories behind
starts rather up-tempo with big
bass-drums and, compared to the rest of the album, pretty heavy guitar
sounds. The track constantly transforms to faster and slower rythms, but
it still sounds as one complete composition. The track's highlight is
around 5:45 and it eases off with a floating-like synth wave. It sounds
great as a whole.
The final track is called The Apocalypse in F and
takes its time before showing its full potential. Stick with it because
when the drums start taking off at the 2:40 mark, this track transforms
in an almost epic track with everything that makes this band great. The
collaboration of different guitars, the drums and the synthesizer
sounds great. After this highlight, the track transforms again for its
epic conclusion which has a lot of resemblance to the finishing section
of the seonc track, best kept secret, but with higher pitched guitarwaves.
And the interesting part... tracks
Procession, Best Kept Secret, and The Apocalypse In f all
feature almost the same sounding endings with the same rythm and slight
differences in guitar and synth sound. It's a nice touch that gives the
album a very cohesive feel. Maybe there's a connection with the
annagram of their band name and album name?
Joy or sadness... I still can't decide which feeling has the upper hand.
What I do know is that this album is a fantastic creation that you have
to listen to a couple of times to really discover the best qualities
this album has to offer. Open up to Amp Rive and drift along on this
emotional trip. I think they signed with a label, because the album was
available in August, but now it has the pre-order status on
Amp Rive - Bandcamp and there, you can read that the album will be released on 14 december. Well, never mind, this album is worth every euro / dollar you can spend!