The Smashing Skull Sessions

The Smashing Skull Sessions is a podcast, interview and review website, set up to showcase and support the underground rock and metal scenes. Our goal is to promote artists and bands from right across the globe, giving them another voice and another forum in which to get their music out to a greater audience. We also have a new review series, The Review Room, which is another unique way of getting bands and artists some extra coverage and promotion

AV Sunset – Disconnections

As a band, how do you introduce yourself to the post-rock world? Step one, release a track that has within it, a melody and an ambiance that grasps you right from the outset and holds tight through every twist and turn, through every cord change and every soul stirring crescendo. Step two, follow that track up with a debut album that fits seamlessly amongst all the other great releases of the year, an album that is bubbling beneath the surface, waiting for its moment to unleash all its finery, and explode in a cacophony of colour and creativity.

Well, can I introduce you to AV Sunset, and their debut album Connections! Some of you may have already heard the track I was referring to at the beginning, Hasselhoff, a piece of music that sounds like a long-lost friend that has returned with no drama or fanfare, and just nestles in beside you with a warmth and a glow that warms the soul.

Hailing from Northampton, UK, the four piece have a sound and an energy to their music that does not scream debut! It’s a refined and well-constructed collection of compositions that transport you through a kaleidoscope of emotions and reflection. Opening with Empty Vessels, the heartbeat of the album, the mood is immediately calm and controlled with a bass and synth leaden groove leading the way. Guitars scrawl and echo before opening up into a fine chunky riff driven foray that repeats and grows, reminiscent to something that you would hear on PG.Lost’s Oscillate album.

As mentioned earlier, Hasselhoff is a thing of beauty. Shrouded in reverb and more deep underlying bass lines, it creeps and crawls, before slowly building from its foundations, layer by layer, only to fall back to earth under some gorgeous, plucked strings. But this is post-rock in its purest form, so that build, that crescendo, that release of emotion and adrenaline as it reaches fever pitch, is bloody brilliant. It truly is a special moment in time and worthy of its place on any post rock album compilation.

Tracks like Monomyths bring another dimension to AV Sunset’s repertoire, almost mathy to begin with, but just a little more patient. Atmospheric, spacious, and always heading north, their sound gets a little gritty and coarse before hurtling forward under some glorious lead swells and a very memorable melody. Delay, reverb and all that synthesised magic and sorcery adorn what I would call the interlude track, Radar Invisible, and it provides the perfect entrée to the following track Soundtrack. One of the many things I admire about this band is their ability to hold back long enough to trap you and cocoon you within their soft sullen builds, before releasing this glorious crescendo, that unearths great force and energy.

The closing track, Ancient Radiations brings that wave of electronica to the forefront, again reminding me of Oscillate, which is a good thing by the way! The music ebbs and flows through chasms of dark and light, with pounding drums and blissfully grand guitars rocketing their sound skyward towards one final moment of majesty. AV Sunset have arrived, and they have effortlessly nudged their way through the masses towards the main stage with Disconnections. This album will resonate with every instrumental music lover who appreciates patience, atmosphere and breath-taking finales. Be sure to check this out!