Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Batillus – Concrete Sustain




For a guy who listens to music that would make most people either cower in a corner or question my sanity, or maybe even both at the same time, I'm really a sap.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  Like, I believe in love at first sight and all that.  And Batillus, I'm in love.  It took all of about 30 seconds of this album to knock me head over heels.

Don't even ask me to put this into a genre.  It's one of several releases I've listened to lately that just defies easy categorization.  I don't see the need for that anyway.  If it's good music and you like it, that's all you need.  This is music that is probably pretty polarizing.  People will either get it or they won't, and I wouldn't expect there to be a lot of middle ground.  However, you're reading this and hoping I will give you a little guidance, so I can say there are a lot of different elements at work here.  There are moments when I hear black metal, there are long moments when doom seems to be the order of the day.  I can hear some Helmet-ish alternative 90's stuff kind of going on.  There are some songs that have a nice Sabbathian swing and groove to them.

What it really is, though, is Batillus having a unique vision for what their music should sound like, and just laying it out there for us.  The vision is pretty bleak, too.  These aren't songs about sunshine and unicorns.  These are sludgy, dirty odes to melancholy.  These are songs to help you revel in despair, wallow in depression, and celebrate your descent into blackness.  Not to get too personal, but I've had a lot of darkness in my life over the last few months, and it almost seems like this was my personal soundtrack to that period of time.  Perhaps that is why I can connect with this so well.  And it just feels so fucking good to connect with it.

Musically, there is some very cool stuff going on.  There are some samples and electronic noise that are used with restraint and just take things to the next level.  Those hums and skronks and sounds put a nice touch on several of these songs.  The guitar and bass tones are perfect for these songs.  Every thing sits well in the mix and sounds phenomenal.  And kudos to the drummer for playing just about the perfect rhythm to each song.  Again, songwriting does mean something, songs should go somewhere and say something.  These are wonderfully well written.

If you are a fan of music that's a bit off the beaten path you really need to hear this.  It's not your typical, traditional anything, and that makes it all the better.  I like it when an album can just sweep me off my feet like this one did.  I can't stop listening to it, and I don't want to stop listening to it.  I want to be enveloped in the doom and caressed by the bleakness.  Like I said, I'm just a sap.

 - ODIN





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