Thursday 16 April 2015

Review: Område – 'Edari'


Sometimes an album can just take you by surprise, and the début album from avant garde metal duo Område does just that. The bands first outing in the form of 'Edari' sees the duo blend a huge array of elements such as trip hop, ambient, metal, industrial, post-rock, and classical, often within the same song to create rich tapestries of sound and mood that are simply cinematic in their scope. They obviously owe a debt to bands such as Dødheimsgard, and Ulver but are very much their own beast whose main inspiration taken has been to push boundaries and not be afraid to experiment.

The album has a pretty mournful and delicate atmosphere that caries through the eight tracks. It's emotional and often surreal as the songs evolve through ambient moments before bringing in trip hop drums and heavier guitar work, there's even room for some moody jazz saxophone.

The likes of 'Mótsögn', 'Åben Dør', and 'Sakm Parfyme' provide the album with its most atmospheric and ambient orientated moments. While the likes of 'Mann Forelder', 'Friendly Herpes' and 'Ottaa Sen' bring in the more metal and industrial flavours, with 'Luxurious Agony' and 'Satalite And Narrow' adding some surprisingly dance-friendly trip hop beats and enticing electronics to the mix.

This is an album with many faces that requires multiple listens in order to truly get to grips with and fully appreciate what is going one. In that respect it may be a bite much for a casual listener to idly enjoy. But if you go in ready to seriously get your ears round it, then it is a ver rewarding experience.

With so many factors all vying for attention it would be all to easy for the mix to sound to swamped or just falter in places. But it doesn't. Every sound, instrument and vocal is as clear as can be, and the final production work brings out the best in the pairs song writing without a doubt.

'Edari' is a very strong début that opens up a lot of doors for the duo to progress through. The many elements and textures in their pallet just begins scratch the surface of their potential. If they continue to push themselves like the have here on future recordings then they will no doubt be talked about in the same breath as Dødheimsgard, and Ulver. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see where they go from here. 

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