Our Ceasing Voice/Satory- Split EP (2011)

Posted: December 13, 2011 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, Reviews
Tags: , ,

Post-rock with vocals, what a touchy, touchy subject. I, in my lifetime, have never heard truly bad instrumental post-rock, only mediocre. Where the mediocre turns to bad is the addition of vocals, a choice forgone by most post-rock bands; it’s extremely hard to make work without ruining the beauty and atmosphere created by the instruments, and one bad voice or clash could send a good song spiraling (like adding a a spice to a dish that could throw the whole flavor balance off). Two bands that walk that tightrope are Our Ceasing Voice, those who read us regularly may know them as “that Austrian band Ben gave a really high mark for”, and Satory, a band I knew nothing about walking into this recording. Had they not shared this EP with Our Ceasing Voice, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed them in the vast sea of post-rock bands, but Obermeir & Co., I knew that they were at least worth the effort.

Opening with acoustic guitar and a slight wall of sound, OCV comes out of the gates with “For Darkness Fears The Light”. Featuring the same eerie style I loved from When the Headline Hit Home, they break out full-force with powerful drums and a sound not unlike Caspian’s “Asa”, which is my favorite song of all time. And then, they came: the vocals. Quiet and raspy, after the fallout of the crescendo, they worked their way in like they were there all along. What I appreciated, which I don’t think I would have caught had I not heard their first album, is that they complement the voice with whispers, making vocals ever-present in their song, even before they introduce the main vocals. Furthermore, their pairing of gravely and clean vocals at the end foiled each other extremely well.

Then, I got my first glimpse of Satory in the form of “The Translator”, a 2 minute sample of a conversation or a speech, which I could barely understand (different language), over really simple and repetitive instrumentals. Crescendos out into a wall of sound which leans a bit on the heavy said, and then HELLOwhat is this? Dissonance and harsh vocals, in MY post-rock? Then I looked, seeing as I failed to do a background check, and noticed, this isn’t a post-rock band. Now under the description of a ” Post-Metal/ Sludge orientated band”, I was able to understand their musical direction more. Coming out of that little, yet enjoyable,  bit, they drop to some simple guitar and drum and clean, late 90’s Alternative rock (think Staind). Not a fan, honestly; it bored me to bits, made me want to hit “next”…etc., with the end only getting slightly better. Unfortunately, “The Hills Shone Resplendent (In The Evening Sun)” didn’t show any more promise, despite the fact that it was a live recording. More boring guitar and clean vocals, bringing nothing new to the table. What I CAN say is that, when not playing heavy and growling, which I liked from them, the regular vocals didn’t make the band unlistenable, just a tad dull. Which is a plus, in my opinion. It’s not that they aren’t good musicians, and the vocalist obviously has a great singing voice, I just felt that the band mainly focused around the vocals, as opposed to utilizing them as another instrument. Hitting 4:05, they show some promise, playing a little more creatively and slightly toned down, which I liked. Going into 5:00, they play an incredibly beautiful sequence, I’m talking, I never saw it coming, and then drop it back down to heavy, bringing back the growls. 5:51, the clean vocals stop the process in its tracks, and I’m a little disheartened. BUT, what I heard, for that minute or so, was fantastic, and a sign that they can play something extraordinary.

Now, the song featuring both bands on this split, “The Translator (Acoustic)” was a different animal all together from it’s regular counterpart. The beginning gets the Our Ceasing Voice touch to that leading conversation, making it sound supernatural and pairing it with piano. The acoustic guitar worked out very well for this song, especially when Satory’s growls come in, adding to the atmosphere of dread. I was floored when the clean vocals came in, accompanied by OCV‘s trademark whispers and backing layers of vocals. With the re-introduction of the beginning speech, I was re-affirmed that this was, by far, the best track on the album.

Rating: I wish “The Translator (Acoustic)” was the entire EP, because then I would have given it a 5/5 kegs. Unfortunately, this split has the two Satory songs to answer to, plus the last Our Ceasing Voice song, which was basically nothing, yet it did allow the whole CD to wrap up nicely. I sadly can only give this release a 2.5/5, but I strongly suggest taking a listen for both the first Our Ceasing Voice track and the joint one, which was great.

 

|||Download|||Our Ceasing Voice Facebook|||Satory Facebook|||

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