Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Samothrace – Reverence To Stone

The Riff is our master.  The Riff will guide and protect us.  All will be well if we but follow the Riff and allow its goodness to wash over us.  We must give ourselves over to the Riff, and life will be full, meaningful, and a blessing to our souls.

If you believe in the Riff, then you must hear this album, NOW.  I am biased, I love this band and I know one of the guys in the band.  I have waited 4 years since their debut release, “Life’s Trade”, came out to hear what new levels of incredible music these folks would put out.  And this doesn’t disappoint.

Samothrace give us 2 tracks that clock in around 35 minutes total on this new release.  They are slow and sludgy, and I’m pretty sure glaciers move faster than some of this.  But the key to me, the impressive part, is that this music is not dense.  It is full of intricacy, and there is always something very interesting going on if you just open your ears a little bit.  And all is not sludge here.  The songs do change tempo, but not in any jarring ways.  Everything done here seems to all belong exactly as it should.

I have often said that the music I love the most is music that moves me, and this album does that.  It might be hard to understand how music that moves so slowly can move me, but it does.  It actually does my favorite thing, it gets me to close my eyes and do the slow head bob.  It is music that you can feel and that makes you feel.  This is a band whose members have gone through some shit in the past few years, and you can feel that in the music.  You can do to the depths and stare into the abyss and know what that feels like.  And thankfully, you know what it feels like to come out the other side of that as well.  All is not doom, all is not despair.  There are passages here that sound downright joyful too.

The songs are well crafted, and if you think about it, you gotta know what you are doing to put a 20 plus minute song together.  It is easy to lose your way and to lose the purpose and the point of a track that long, but these guys nail it.  Again, it might seem strange to say that something slow and plodding can also be done with a certain precision, but here is your proof right here.  Just get to about the 8 minute mark of “A Horse Of Our Own” and you’ll have a great idea of what I am trying to say in this review.  It moves, if feels, it is precise and intricate and it fucking slays.  All of this at probably no more than 60 bpm.  This is the real deal, and another one of those albums that I am better for listening to.


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