Friday, March 29, 2013

The Canyon Observer - Chapter II: These Binds Will Set You Free (2012)

The reason for my longish absence is the fact that I've been preparing a number of interviews for the blog and I was pretty much expecting them to be finished rather fast. Alas, the questions ended up being sent in times when the interviewees were rather busy, so I am still waiting for their replies. This ended up being a bad decision on my part, waiting for so long without doing anything else on here, but it makes me content knowing that the said interviews will be an interesting read for all of you. Hopefully in the mean time you didn't forget about this blog in the first place!

"The Canyon Observer" takes the stage here today. This is a band you previously had the chance to read about way back in November 2011 when I reviewed the first chapter of their record series. The Slovenian quintet is still pulsing with energy, slamming us yet again with a very powerful release. Ever since their previous outlet, the band has been quite active as far as concerts go, playing an impressive number of gigs throughout various countries in Europe. One might say that this project is definitely a force that can't be stopped.
In case you missed my previous write-up regarding this band, you can check it out here. It is surely worth a peek, due to the fact that "The Canyon Observer" went through a whole lot of growing when compared to their last outlet. Their sound remained within the boundaries of the post metal/post rock/sludge genre, but they somehow matured and solidified their own style.
Their previous "chapter" was adorned with excellent execution and was very characteristic with having quite a bit of resemblance to "Isis". That trait was surely not considered as a flaw, especially given that the mentioned band ceased to exist and the Slovenians were a top ranking project worthy of the abandoned throne. I liked that release very much and have considered it a form with which the band displayed its talents and capabilities. 
Fast forward one year later and witness this beast being unleashed. What is transferred onto this new chapter is definitely the band's technical aspect, but all else shines under a different light. In one year time, the band managed to shape an excellent stylistic form which absolutely nullifies your chances to  blatantly compare them with another band. 
Their new style of composition, and above all mood, is dirtier, yet at the same time that much elegant. The atmosphere became darker with slow and tormenting buildups followed by epic, world-shattering, crescendos. Instrumental sections lay low and eerie, just massing up tension until they explode into your ears with incredible detonating power. Vocals ceased to have their previous calming and soothing tone, now being replaced with trance-like wailing and maddening shrieks. 
As you can see with just a brief summary, the overall shape of the music is different than what they previously made, but staying close to their parent genre. It is enough for the listener to just hear the first song, "Part I: As We Surrender To Lust", and you can immediately sense what I'm talking about. Add to that the fact that the opening song consumes your attention entirely and the rest of the record simply doesn't let you walk away until it is done spinning. Or well, a couple of spins. 
"Chapter II" comes in CD format. Same as its predecessor, this release has a minimalist design although quite dark and corresponding well with the overall mood of the music. "Kapa Records" was once again the label with which the band collaborated. Thus far, there have been three other reviews discussing releases from this record label, so it seems that we are building up a really nice relationship. Either way, you can grab this release on the "Kapa Records" bandcamp page, found here. Don't be scared to check out other bands hosted there, you won't regret it.
I definitely have to say that "The Canyon Observer" displayed an impressive fit of audio growth and evolution, making this release a huge step forward for the project. An outlet of this caliber makes me wonder what kind of monster they are brewing for the future. I truly hope the band stays active as much as it has been thus far, since at this pace they will surely never disappoint. Check them out and I hope you enjoyed the read!

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