Hey there. Here we are, midway through yet another week. And time once again to catch up on a couple releases from late last year. The first comes from a Portuguese instrumental post-rock/ambient/doom quartet, the other from a Californian post-doom/ambient/stoner-doom quartet — and both are absolutely worth checking out (otherwise why would I waste the effort talking about them or expect you to do the same reading about them)!
Fere – Visceral (Raging Planet Records, 15 November 2021)
Daxma – Unmarked Boxes (Blues Funeral Recordings / Majestic Mountain Records, 19 November 2021)
Fere describe Visceral, the second full-length release of their career, as “a contemplative story about the memory, a map of our subconscious and of painful memories hidden in the deepest corners of the mind.”
This analysis seems spot-on, as listening to the album feels like taking a introspective journey, and the stops along the way feel melancholy indeed.
Mainly these five tracks are built around shuffling mid-paced (or slower) drum grooves, with chill basslines and echoey, reverby, spacey guitars (sometimes of a bluesy, slide-oriented nature). These compositions tend to build and build only to break back down again; closing track “Raiz” gradually works its way up to a quasi-metallic chugging riff near the end, but generally speaking the listener’s ears will be entreated to a terrific representation of mid-to-late-60s dark and trippy psychedelia.
Unmarked Boxes is also its creators’ second full-length album, although this one directly follows Daxma‘s two-track EP Ruins Upon Ruins which I wrote about shortly after its release in 2019.
This one too — like its predecessor and like the other album we’re listening to today — oozes both thoughtfulness and melancholy. Lots of ambiance and atmosphere here, reverby bass and guitar with occasional flourishes such as plunked piano notes; lengthy instrumental stretches characterize these tracks, although when there are vocals they tend to be mellow and melancholy, dark and ethereal.
At times, like when the drums enter in opener “The Clouds Parted” and near the end of “Anything You Lose” the sound gets a bit heavier and doomier — definitely an atmospheric and dark heavy doom. And the album reaches an epic crescendo somewhere around the middle of “Hiraeth” which is also around the middle of the record, almost resembling “Court of the Crimson King.” But for the most part, ambiance and atmosphere, and introspectiveness and darkness and melancholy.
* * * * * * *