Isaac Vacuum — Lords
((Not on label) no#, 2017, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-07-29
This German band refers to its style as “post prog rock,” which is only descriptive up to a point. Genre-coining aside, they play a variety of rock that leans towards progressive metal, though the vocals are virtually always melodic and the instrumental parts don’t venture into technical posturing. The guitars occasionally chug with dropped tunings, though that’s hardly a major feature of the sound. Keyboard-like sounds appear sparingly, more for texture than anything else. Lead singer Dan Mueller has an expressive voice with a hint of grit to it, providing a solid front to the songs. Mueller on rhythm and Phillip Maike on lead use lots of different tones on their guitars, not just heavy distortion, and the harmonic content is relatively sophisticated, with lots of complex chords and dissonance. The low end is handled by Stefan Huth, who plays Touch Guitar, though he doesn’t often use the kind of busy patterns typical of tapping instruments, instead reaching to the instrument’s lowest range to add power and heft. Another key to the band’s distinct sound comes courtesy of drummer Michel Schallenberg, who has a knack for giving his parts a loose feel instead of the kind of aggressive pummelling you might expect in this kind of rock. Some tracks feature recordings of voices, often talking on scientific topics, while the band works through instrumental passages. These times, as on the track “Void,” are where the band earns the “post” in their genre, with a similarity to post-rock bands. The overall impression of Lords is something like a cross between Porcupine Tree and Mogwai with occasional hints of Nirvana, an altogether pleasing combination.
Related artist(s): Isaac Vacuum
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more