Released: 2009, Cavity Records
Ever since Neurosis broke big (relatively) back in the ‘90s, post-rock / sludge /whatever has been growing in popularity. Based like Isis, Rosetta, and Neurosis have never been favourites of mine, but I’m always open to hearing new things. As FIFTH SEASON is Nanda Devi’s debut album, I was curious to see what they had in store.
As you may expect, the five main songs are all lengthy exercise in noise exploration, with the three “Untitled” tracks being little more than interludes. The band affords themselves plenty of time to roam around the musical landscape, cresting heaving riffs here and delving into cavernous silence there. Throughout, the occasional howled vocals rear their ugly heads to jar the listener out of reverie. Additionally, some well-chosen, well-placed spoken word pieces fill the gaps and provide some welcome atmosphere to the songs. Indeed, the beginning speech of “Abandoned By The Sun” is particularly effective at setting the stage.
Unfortunately, the whole album really amounts to so much shoe-gazing. As I said, I’ve never been into this style of music, failing to be swept up in the maelstrom these types of bands create. There are specific parts of these songs that I really like, but then others just leave me cold and bored.
If post-rock is your thing, Nanda Devi are certainly worth a listen, but if Neurosis sounds like pure noise to you, stay far, far away.