Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Via Fondo - Tar (2011)


Oh wow, it has been a while. Recently, I haven't been checking the blog at all, like I explained in the previous post, but things are going really slow with my thesis. It is an extremely bittersweet thing, since it is interesting to research and write about the subject, but it manages to drain all my will and inspiration to write something other than that. For days now I have been waking up with an enormous wish to post here, so I think that today I finally gave in. Hopefully people managed to be patient and stick around to even notice this.

Either way, I am very happy to begin the year with a passionately loved band by yours truly. Some of you might remember my, rather short and lame, review of the self titled release by "Via Fondo", written way back in the Summer of 2010. You can check it out here, in case you missed it, and see how much my amazement with the band was almost instant and this record just goes to prove that the love was permanent. "Tar" is by no means a recent album, since it came out in 2011, but my paws got it in vinyl format recently and the inspiration to write about it and share it with all of you just exploded. Furthermore, I noticed that the release didn't grab much attention from the audience and that the band in general remained quite underrated, which is a big no no.
The descendants of "Anemone", "Via Fondo", bring us this 7'' release which carries two new songs. In the very same moment when I played the first song, "Hals Over Huvud", the tunes coming from the speakers managed to throw me back to the day when I discovered this band. They still radiate with the thing that succeeded to take my breath away back then, the sheer amount of raw emotions imbued in their music and the tunes themselves sounding passionately. That first track begins with a cold, melancholic soundscape, having a very depressive, yet lively rhythm. It takes time to build up with intensity, keeping you on the edge with rising and falling constantly, until it gets to the middle, where you are met with a peak of their sound. The rushing melody, composed of rending riffs and superb drumming, takes you so fast toward the ending and leaving you stunned. After you are left shivering, the track "Bortvandhet" comes to pick you up with a happier tone, at the beginning at least. This is where I noticed a really interesting feature of this record, a sort of duality which both songs carry. Where the first song was a depressive one turned aggressive, the second track is jolly at first, but morphs into something that one could expect coming from a band like "Raein". Like the first track, "Bortvandhet" just snaps at the middle and takes a whole different course. The joyous intro of the song really lifts you up with its fast tones and singing, but you are remorselessly dropped to the ground on the first corner. The drumming and bass playing are suddenly lowered down, making way for an amazing guitar riff which manages to sculpt a completely new type of sound lasting until the end, dying out in chaos.
I would also like to take a few moments and lines to talk about the artwork and packaging. The lyrics, and thus the majority of the text inside, are written in Swedish and this made me sad. Just kidding, but aside of that, there are song meanings in English, to which I really managed to correlate, so this made me happy. The artwork found inside is really wonderful and it is done by Karl from the band by the way, like on the self titled release I believe. Speaking of his artwork, he also animated a video for one of their songs and you should check it out on their blog, found here, since it is beyond cool.
Thus far, aside of the two records reviewed here, "Via Fondo" is featured on a four way split with "Halal/Hadhari", "Sensor!Sensor!" and "Echo Echo Landscape!" and on a compilation done by "Tokyo Jupiter". It makes my heart fill with joy seeing this band being active and alive after almost two years of work. I honestly hope that nothing will stand in their way when it comes to future recordings and that this review manages to attract more listeners, since they really deserve the attention. Definitely check them out, you will surely enjoy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 blog retrospective

I have been feeling quite guilty for not providing regular posts and reviews, especially since a lot of bands have sent their material my way and I am honestly really eager to do some writing here. Despite my wish to share all of that with the readers, I have been sabotaged by several real life commitments and I just can't find the time to post things regularly. Currently most of my brain power is focused on writing my final paper for a diploma, something like a thesis, so the amounts of research I need to do and numerous complications with my own perfectionism are devouring my strength to write for something else. It is all not so tough, however, since my focus is also centered on some rather unexpected and beautiful life changing things, so all in all this resulted in the blog being more secondary. As I always say during the drought, I won't let the blog die, this is just a minor setback.
Until I post some up-to-date reviews and whatnot, here is a brief retrospective of the previous year. For 2010 I wrote a really extensive recapitulation of the year, but right now I think it would be hard to grasp everything, so here are some top fives of 2011, not in any particular order.

Top releases of 2011:
- Downfall of Gaia & In The Heart Of Emperors
- Vestiges & Ghaust
- Momentum - Wheeting Occam's Razor
- Light Bearer - Lapsus
- Thou - The Archer and The Owle

Runner-ups are:
- WITTR - Celestial Lineage
- Deafheaven - Roads To Judah

You will notice that there is no "Circle Takes The Square" here...and that is just because it isn't really a release, but rather a preview or something similar. If it was a complete release, it would definitely find its place among my top five.

Top 2011 featured on the blog:
- Todos Caeran & Bears
- Battle of Britain Memorial - The Aftermath of Your Bright Beings
- Raein - Sulla Linea D’orizzonte Rizzonte Tra Questa Mia Vita E Quella Di Tutti
- Flags Raised - Now or Never
- Coloumbian Necktie - Self titled

Top gigs of 2011:
- Nux Vomica, Helltard (Belgrade)
- Year Of No Light (at Fluff Fest)
- Battle of Wolf 359 (at Fluff Fest)
- Nadja, Aidan Baker, Ghone (Novi Sad)
- Downfall of Gaia, Reflections of Internal Rain (Novi Sad)

Top 2011 interviews on the blog:
- Panopticon
- Masakari
- Downfall of Gaia
- Resurrectionists
- Baton Rouge

Most visited posts of 2011:
1. Interview: Panopticon
2. Circle Takes The Square - Decompositions - Vol I. Chapter 1. Rites of Initiation
3. City Cop - The Hope In Forgiving & Giving Up Hope (2011)
4. Battle of Britain Memorial - The Aftermath Of Your Bright Beings (2011)
5. Interview:Downfall of Gaia

If some of you boys and girls are eager to share your top five releases of 2011, definitely leave a comment below, I'd like to read your thoughts.