Monday, November 7, 2011

The Canyon Observer - Chapter I: The Current Of Her Ocean Brings Me To My Knees (2011)


I took a few days to rest from writing, since all those gig reports really took it out of me. It is always strange how even the slightest breaking of the writing schedule can make me extremely lazy, so a couple of days turns into a week. Time to roll up the sleeves and dive into the keyboard.

"The Canyon Observer" is a quintet coming from Slovenia, bearing sounds ranging from post metal to sludge and a slight touch of post rock. There isn't much information about this five piece online aside of the rich gig list they have behind them, playing with bands like "Russian Circles", "Rosetta" and "City of Ships". The thing that enraged me was the fact that they actually had a show in Belgrade some time ago, but of course I didn't know about that, retarded "promoters" from this city striking again. Anyway, the first blog post the band made hails from February this year, so I presume that the formation of the project occurred some time prior to that. This release, however, came out in October and it is the first recorded material of the band.
"The Current Of Her Ocean Brings Me To My Knees" brings us four songs with roughly half an hour of music, so get ready for some long and epic tracks. At times when bands have those six plus minute songs, tracks often bear repetitive tones to fill the void and max the length, but the first thing that I noticed while listening to "The Canyon Observer" was the amount of various sounds implemented per title. Something new is constantly happening in a given song, be it a sudden melody shift, a vibrating gentle guitar section or just outright aggressive mayhem, most of the times without any riff or part being repeated.  Only the final track, "My Will", drags along an incredibly massive and reckless repeating sound, but it serves its purpose so well, creating a really heavy sludge atmosphere which the listener dares not to question.
The thing that I really enjoyed with this band is the clash of those violent and soothing parts. There is even a third element floating around, a sort of atmospheric trait which acts as a bridge between the above mentioned sections. It is extremely enjoyable how you are being bounced between the three moody areas, especially since you witness that audio evolution and buildup. The first track, "The Lingering Scent Of Her Divinity", is a perfect example of the harmony and shifting nature of the band's music and just a perfect intro into the album. The slow and mellow buildup at the start of the song takes its time to grow, with tribal-like drumming, a superb background bass line and some elegant guitar playing. But past the second minute, the music suddenly changes and crashes down onto you, with the addition of the vocal leading the collapse in the form of something between a scream and a growl. Once the short explosion of aggression ends, the atmospherics reach their peak, with even the vocal being transformed into a singing one. Until the end of the song you are being thrown between those various mood changes and that trait is omnipresent and persistent even with the rest of the tracks. If I were to quote some of their possible music inspiration, I'd say that there is some quite heavy "Isis" influence being heard in their tunes, which I consider to be an enormous plus, being able to recognize that. Of course, the cool thing is that they managed to carve their way and create something that is solemnly contributed to them alone.
All in all, I really enjoyed this first chapter of the story which "The Canyon Observer" wants to tell. There is quite a lot of potential being heard in their music and I definitely look forward to hearing something more from them. Hopefully they will come to Serbia again for a show and maybe even do a big tour over the rest of Europe, so keep your eyes open. You can get in touch with the band through their tumblr page found here. Be sure to check their page out since it has both the gig dates and some pretty sweet live footage. Enjoy!

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