"Every instrument and every emotion on Time To Sleep is unloaded through the ebb and flow of acoustic breakdowns and rip-roaring rhythm guitars. Dual lead guitars soar and clash mid-air as the double kick drums ignite the afterburners, thrusting the music into the dark, moonless sky, before exploding and falling back to earth like fireworks, embellished in magnificent color and euphonic grandeur"
Ropes Inside a Hole, or RIAH as some of you may have remembered this band, are back with an album that musically conjures up as many unorthodox connotations as the band name itself. The mind is a powerful tool, and each and every one of us will conceptualize our own unique take on what ropes in a hole represents. It’s a name that allows the mind to wander, opening a window that allows us to create and fabricate our own personal image, which in turn, is used to connect to the music. Post Rock and Post Metal bands have been using unconventional and alternative names as long as I have been a fan of these genres and it’s just another unique piece of the puzzle, highlighting the originality and creative spirit that makes us love this music scene all the more.
A Man And His Nature is being dropped nearly three years after the release of their debut album Autumnalia and nearly two years following their split RIAHPSTVRT with Postvorta, and to add to the suspense, they now return with a new line-up! Inviting guest musicians to bring their emotive and heart wrenching sounds to the album through brass and string, and blending them seamlessly with the ethereal and subtle lamentations of Daniel Loefgren from Sweden's Suffocate For Fuck Sake, this has all the makings of a masterpiece in waiting.
A Man And His Nature wastes no time in dragging you into a deep, dark embrace with the opening track, Distance. Sparse acoustic guitars and the rich warm violin of Hernan Paulitti blows gently and patiently above the undercurrent of Francesco "Fresco" Cellini’s Cello and Daniels silky vocals. Shimmers of bands like Immanu El and EF glisten through the ever so patient build up, before the decisive and predestined crescendo erupts into a maelstrom of power and blinding intensity that leaves you in a numbed state of musical euphoria. My only gripe here is that this finale didn’t go on longer, such is the beauty and majesty it expels.
However, Others Are Gone, I Don’t Care manages to right the wrong as it cascades over you right from the outset. Rocco Catturani’s crashing drums, soaked in the soft sorrowful sax playing of William Suvanne slowly opens the track before the guitars erupt and blaze a trail of post rock splendour adorned with crushing precision and venomous intent. Respite comes in the form of an acoustic wandering before more potent riffs and clammering percussions see out the track with an explosion of emotion and gusto.
Loss And Grief show Ropes Within A Hole plod through a mid-tempo saunter with more of those delicious vocals and some melancholic tremolo shredding that bleeds pure emotion and heartache, reminding me so much of The brilliant A Swarm Of The Sun, and finishing with a musical climax that absolutely annihilates. Then to follow that you have the bluesy, jazzy tones of Feet In The Swamp, Gaze To The Sky, which brings with it, another layer of innovation and creativity as it oscillates and pulsates through heaving post metal tirades and groovy jazz strewn rhapsodies. It finishes with the witchcraft and wizardry of Mohammed Ashfarf on synths that closes a track that is very different, that’s for sure, but has a this addictive quality to it that makes you want to hear more.
Having three guitarists in Flavio Di Bella, Andrea Binetti and MIchele Verni along with its backbone, bassist Diego Ruggeri, there was never a fear that this album was going to fall flat, or lack conviction. Every aspect to it is beautifully saturated and chock-full of fire power, and with the help of producer Riccardo Pasini and the mastering genius of Magnus Lindberg, A Man And His Nature was always going to leave its mark on the scene. From my first listen, I have been spellbound by its artistry and its originality. Even on the closing tracks Overwhelmed and Time To Sleep, nothing remains stagnant, everything changes. Overwhelmed for example, is dirty and sludgy with tool-esque riffs and basslines thrown in for good measure while Time To Sleep is a gorgeous lullaby, caressed with soft acoustic strings and warm reassuring vocals. As it’s the closing track you do expect more, and damn, does it deliver. Every instrument and every emotion on Time To Sleep is unloaded through the ebb and flow of acoustic breakdowns and rip-roaring rhythm guitars. Dual lead guitars soar and clash mid-air as the double kick drums ignite the afterburners, thrusting the music into the dark, moonless sky, before exploding and falling back to earth like fireworks, embellished in magnificent color and euphonic grandeur.
Ropes Within A Hole have created a fascinating and truly memorable musical journey that we should all experience and bask in. Its resounding, silver-toned qualities will stay with you all the way to the end of the year, where it will no doubt be on all those AOTY lists......I know it’s only January, can it withstand another 52 weeks of competition? Absolutely! And to further enhance the experience, you have to check out the incredible vinyl options available for A Man And His Nature, courtesy of Voice Of The Unheard , stunning work as always.