Saturday, October 21, 2017 0 Engineers

Recommendation: Collapse Under The Empire - The Fallen Ones

Band: Collapse Under The Empire
Album: The Fallen Ones
Label: Self Released
Year: 2017

01. Prelude
02. The Fallen Ones
03. Dark Water
04. A Place Beyond
05. Blissful
06. The Forbidden Spark
07. The Holy Mountain
08. Flowers From Exile
09. The End Falls
Streaming (Spotify)

Collapse Under The Empire released their new album "The Fallen Ones" and they seem more mature (maybe influnced by synthwave as well) and I dare to say that it's their best album so far!

The Post Rock History of Collapse Under The Empire

The Collaborative Efforts of Martin Grimm And Chris Burda

In the summer of 2008, we met while looking for bands to collaborate with to keep our creative juices flowing. We had both relocated to Hamburg, Germany for work and because of the move we had to give up our former bands from home. We both found working with several band members at a time in a traditional band setup restricted our vision and creativity, we both needed the space to explore creatively, we seemed to have a unified creativity and vision and a year later Collapse Under the Empire was born.

Our Soundscapes

At first, we didn’t know exactly where we were going musically, but we started with a sort of deconstruction of Post Rock fundamentals and reconstructed them into our unique sound and conceptualisation. In the beginning, we used traditional vocal accompaniment but soon realised that the focus of a song centred on the vocals. We wanted the focus to be on the music itself. Creating a story through sound and connecting with epic and expansive concepts that describe the human condition were important to us. We wanted the music to tell the story and to leave our music open to the interpretation of our listeners. Some of our tracks have some choir vocals, but they are added to enhance the experience of the music rather than as a focal point of the song. There are times when vocals aid in the feelings of hope and progressiveness within our songs.

Our unique soundscapes come from evoking the tension and release of human emotional experience through resonating bass lines, electronic music, dark, despairing guitar chords and dystopian industrial drum beats. We often experiment with and express feelings of isolation, abandonment, and death but offset those expressions with uplifting joy and hope. These concepts encapsulate the enduring human experience and are relatable to so many different listeners by enabling a personal connection to the work we do. Our work is often described as soundtrack music, and that makes a lot of sense because soundtracks within films encourage the viewer’s emotions to help them experience what the characters in a movie are going through and that is exactly what our music aspires to, telling a story that all of us can relate to. We create music that gives an outlet and a musical description of these emotions we all feel.

Our Style and Influences as Post Rock band

With our melancholic melody constructions, we resemble Post Rock, but our style goes way beyond the usual Post Rock instrumental band. Drawing influences from Trip Hop, Shoe Gazing, Synthpop and Progressive Hard Rock we are really about pushing the boundaries of Post Rock by creating interpretive soundscapes that inspire listeners and fans to construct a personal narrative. We use aspects of film music, instrumental rock, dark and electronic rock to produce tracks that tell a story and tie into an overall larger concept. These concepts are relatable to fans because they speak of the trials of human existence.

The origin of our band name

We get a lot of questions about our name Collapse Under the Empire, and we love how fans interpret the name in ways we never thought of as it gives listeners another narrative to personalise along with our sounds. The name Collapse Under the Empire was born from the acronym C.U.T.E. Post rock bands aren’t exactly synonymous with the word cute, Post Rock is hard, and the word cute is soft. We loved the irony. We set about giving the group a title that used the irony of C.U.T.E. In 2008, the world was in a financial crisis affecting millions of ordinary people and Collapse Under the Empire just fell into place and felt right. The name Collapse Under the Empire conjured up dystopian imagery and felt prophetic about the fate of the world and our place in it.

Every Album Has a Story

We find inspiration from many sources and all of the albums tell a story of the human condition. Orwellian in nature, the sounds of Find a Place to Be Safe connect to feelings of the weight of oppression and paint a future under authoritarianism. The intense keyboard and string instrumentals inspire you to look deep within and explore perceptions of isolation and fear. All of our albums delve deeply into the extremes of human emotion. Shoulders and Giants envelopes you in feelings of isolation, fear, and death but with an underlying enduring hopefulness. These concepts are given life through our combination of dissonant sounds and uplifting crescendos.

The 9 Tracks on The Fallen Ones conjures a dystopian journey through societal negativity and will inspire fans to travel through and explore the landscapes of a dark, pessimistic future. Highly interpretive, The Fallen Ones will take listeners into the depths of their inner struggles. Dark and emotional charged The Fallen Ones evoke images of desolation and fear and give fans an opportunity to explore these emotions and relate them to their own lives.

Our Fans

We get so many emails from people from around the world from so many cultures telling us about how our music has acted as a soundtrack to their struggles and about how our Post Rock sound touches and profoundly affects their lives. We frequently hear fans stories and how our music helps them explore what is happening in their lives. Some of our fans describe climbing mountains and feeling a great sense of freedom through our music and how in times of illness our music helped them feel better emotionally and mentally. In the midst of self- exploration or crisis fans tell us that Collapse Under the Empire has inspired them and helped them through the most difficult times and some of the best of times. These stories and our fans connection and interpretation of our music speak to what we try to accomplish with every album release. We also see many fans using our music for their artistic expression. It is hugely gratifying to know that we inspire so many people in such diverse ways.

Music Videos

Our music videos are a collaboration of some incredible talent from around the world. These artists, producers, and directors help us give a powerful visual element to our Post Rock soundscapes. Each music video brings to life the concepts we deal with in our music such as isolation, desolation, fear and death. Some of the videos are film vignettes, and others are entirely animated, and while they all tell a unique story, they all have an underlying connection to the larger concepts that we explore in all of our albums

official site
0 Engineers

Recommendation: Thot - Fleuve

Band: Thot
Album: Fleuve
Label: Weyrd Son Records
Year: 2017

01. Icauna
02. Odra
03. Vltava
04. Rhone
05. Rhein
06. Duna
07. Volga
08. Samara
09. Bosphore
10. Now's The Only Time I Know (Fever Ray Cover - Bonus track)
Streaming / Buy

“The river that everything drags is known as violent, but nobody calls violent the margins that arrest her.”

This quote from Bertolt Brecht is the best way to portray "Fleuve", the devastating new album of belgian outfit Thot. After a decade of challenging its music across several albums, EPs, videos, alternative versions, remixes and european tours, the gang lead by Grégoire Fray is going to bring a breath of fresh air in the industrial-rock and post-rock genres. Produced by Magnus Lindberg (Cult of Luna) and engineered in live circumstances, "Fleuve" features 9 songs built around a powerful drums/bass/guitar trio, on which passionate vocals, heavy synths, clarinet laments and bulgarian choirs melt together perfectly. Thereby, "Fleuve" is a luminous ode to the european continent and its cultural history, to nature’s immuable inspiration, to women and transcendance.

official site
0 Engineers

Video: Echotide - Her Back To The Sun

Friday, October 20, 2017 0 Engineers

Recommendation: Amenra - Mass VI

Band: Amenra
Album: Mass VI
Label: Neurot Recordings, Consouling Sounds
Year: 2017

01. Children Of The Eye
02. Edelkroone
03. Plus Près De Toi
04. Spijt
05. A Solitary Reign
06. Diaken
Streaming / Buy

Amenra was formed in 1999 in the West Flanders city of Kortrijk. The band was founded by vocalist Colin H. van Eeckhout and lead guitarist Mathieu Vandekerckhove. The two had been in the hardcore punk band Spineless and wanted to create music with more "heart and soul".The group released their debut studio album Mass I in 2003. Van Eeckhout suggested in 2017 that each Mass is created out of necessity to reflect on a certain experience or phase in the band members' lives and thus they never know which album will be their last. He also described 2005's Mass III as a "keystone moment of [Amenra's] existence" at which they "found direction". The band's next "turning point" came when they joined Neurot Records along side Consouling Sounds to release Mass VI. The label was founded by Neurosis; a band that has been influential in Amenra's style and career.

official site
buy EU | USA
0 Engineers

Recommendation: To Destroy A City - Go Mirage

Band: To Destroy A City
Album: Go Mirage
Label: n5md
Year: 2017

01. Final Kiss
02. Never To Return
03. Beholder
04. Glance
05. Wavelength
06. She Knows
07. Go Mirage
08. Don't Be Afraid
09. Vanishing Point
Streaming / Buy

"Go Mirage" is the 3rd full-length album from Chicago cinematic-rock trio To Destroy A City. This follow-up to 2014's post-rock paragon "Sunless" has an added immediacy due to the soaring nature of guitarist Michael Marshall's step toward the mic. Yes... There are vocals! Post-rock for the most part, has mainly utilized vocals as a texture or afterthought. Yet, To Destroy A City have adeptly included vocals into their cinematic tapestries with ease, and in the process added another layer of melody, modesty, and a surprising sense of hope to their already affecting guitar-driven compositions. There is an air of instant gratification with "Go Mirage". It seems to push you forward to the next horizon, much as its title might suggest. Idealists might bark that To Destroy A City can't continue to fly the post-rock flag with such a vocalic album. The enlightened will find that the addition of vocals places the band as contemporaries to artists such as Caspian, Mogwai, and Album Leaf which have effectively used vocals as key components in their music.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 0 Engineers

Album: Barren Plains - Adrift

Band: Barren Plains
Album: Adrift
Label: Self Released
Year: 2017

01. I
02. II
03. III
04. IV

Barren Plains is an instrumental post-metal band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 0 Engineers

The Inquisition: 091.GlerAkur

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

In 2008 I unexpectedly had the whole month of December off from work. The darkness and cold really leaves you no options but to find something fun to do at home. I decided to record a piece of music which was my Christmas present to everyone. I just sat down and started multitracking. The result was some sort of a Mike Oldfield/Philip Glass mashup. My girlfriend called the track GlerAkur because “Gler” means glass and “akur” means field. Simple as that. 7 years later when Prophecy offered me a contract this felt like the right name for the project.

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it?

I guess it’s all of the above and more. Pretty much anything can inspire a song. When working in sound design you start listening to the world around you with much more depth. You’d be surprised how many harmonies there are around us all the time. A distant traffic jam mixing with crashing waves and seagulls, echoing against a harbor wall. That's music.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?

Oh, I can’t start naming musicians or bands, the list would be too long. Music is my passion and I can honestly say that I listen to all types of music. There is not a genre out there I don’t like. There are of course artists I don’t enjoy, don’t get me wrong. As an artist I think it’s important to explore your influences and role models. When it comes to writing and arranging music I’m not afraid to try and replicate a sound or to replicate a creative method developed by an artist I love. This is a way of exploring and honoring your influences. To me that adds depth to your art and subsequently to the whole realm of my existence. I have been doing that for a long time and have hopefully found a method of my own.

4. Which is the one album you can't live without?

There are two albums I listen to from start to finish at least once a year. Ommadawn by Mike Oldfield and Gothic by Paradise Lost.

5. What's the first record you've ever bought?

“Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” by Iron Maiden. It’s an epic masterpiece.

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with?

I think the act of touring is a fragile thing. It involves artists who are trying to promote their art, but at the same time it is tiresome and hard work. It is more important what kind of people you travel with, than what kind of music they play. Genuinely nice people that play decent rock would be the best combination for me.

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to?

The internet, definitely. Honestly I’m surprised every time I see a review from blogs, magazines and zines from all over the world. This is our reality right now. If you have an online presence, you have a global presence. It’s exciting and chilling at the same time.  If I had to name one country in particular I would say Italy. The response from there has been extremely positive and I have no idea why.

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?

I support the idea of people paying for music and it seems the only way to get even the smallest amount is to cater to the spoiled public. Bands are still generating some revenue through touring but the costs of tours leaves little behind these days. Just enough to get by, to stay fed and clothed until you go on the road again. In my case I’m not planing to make money from touring. My financial goal is to break even when I travel with my music. I make a living by producing and making music like a plumber or an electrician. It’s a trade, and I get payed by the hour. The music I write that does not end up in plays or scores anywhere else I use for my own and release under my own name, in my other band projects or as GlerAkur. It’s pretty bleak actually when I put it like that, but at least I’m making a living as an artist and I celebrate that fact every day.

9. Where do you see yourselves in 10 years?

I will probably be scavenging for food in a post-nuclear wasteland somewhere in Africa. That is if I make it out of Europe during the firestorm. Until that happens I’ll be writing and/or producing music for stage, plays and movies.

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

Sure. There is always going to be logos and some sort of designed imagery for artists. Perhaps the classic “album-cover artwork” will become a thing of the past, or at least less important since physical copies are slowly disappearing.

11. What is you favorite album cover?

“Into the Pandemonium” by Celtic Frost. It’s horrifying. The whole gatefold sends chills through my spine.

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

I think it’s a nostalgia thing with a certain generation. At this time this generation has money and is willing to spend it on music, but I guess we'll find out soon enough if it will survive. Rock music is slowly being pushed to edge of the industry and in some ways it’s turning into a novelty act. It’s gonna bounce back though but whether it will save the vinyl from extinction depends on the next generation of novelty rockers. I definitely enjoy the vinyl format because it kind of forces you to listen to whole albums, and that holds on to the ritualistic aspect of the musical experience. For digital formats I stream, mostly on YouTube, occasionally Spotify, but there is something about Spotify that bugs me. I don’t like to be fed options and recommendations through an algorithm. That sort of thing undermines the illusion of free will and it’s not a good feeling.

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band?

15 years ago I was a member of a cover band. We did weddings and other events and we usually treated our customers with accepting requests beforehand. If you sent us a list of songs within a certain timeframe we would learn the songs requested and usually everyone was happy with the result. This was easy money, most of the time. One night we’d been asked to do a lot of old time schlagers and pretty mainstream pop songs but there was this one girl at the company that booked us constantly complaining about the lack of rock music in our program. We decided to throw in one special request from her and we started playing Rock And Roll by Led Zeppelin. Immediately the people on the dancefloor disappeared, they all ran for cover, most of them holding their ears. Except for the girl whom we were playing the song for, and this old guy, and he was furious. We just focused on the girl though and she was having a blast. The guy came up on stage a few times screaming some unpleasantries but we always managed to push him off with our instruments as weapons. This made him even angrier. Then, during the solo, and I was nailing it, I saw him coming towards the stage again, the girl was headbanging and we were tight as hell. I was doing a one hand solo with my right hand throwing the devil's horns at the girl. Next thing I knew I was covered in beer. The old guy had gone to the bar, bought a large beer and he just ran back to the stage and threw it at me. Our drummer stopped playing and screamed into the snare mic: “THANK YOU GOOD NIGHT!” We left, the guy wanted to kick our asses and his friends had to hold him back. He was obviously wasted. The next day I took my guitar to a luthier to have it cleaned. I billed the old guy for the cleaning. The luthier charged the guy to much for the cleaning and we split the difference between our selves. I probably spent it on beer. It so happened that the gig took place at the basement bar of The National Theatre in Iceland, the very same place we recorded “The Mountains Are Beautiful Now”.

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