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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chiaroscuro - Chiaroscuro (2010) (AWESOME !!!)

Genre : Post-rock

Tracklist :

01. Haunted
02. Silent Snow
03. Firing Squad
04. Philosophy of Time Travel
05. Amelia Earhart's Last Transmission
06. The Fall of an Empire

Chiaroscuro are a post-rock band from Indiana, United States on Future Recordings. They are supporting This Will Destroy You on a short tour in June.

Chiaroscuro is a movement in the art world which is based on the contrast between light and dark, and so to name your post-rock band after it is a pretty good idea. All in all, it’s pretty handy – Chiaroscuro’s debut album is as post-rock as it comes.

It all starts inconspicuously enough – the seven minute ostinato-followed-by-crescendo of Haunted never really leaves first gear until it kicks in at the end of the song. It’s always a little risky to start an album in such a note, and in this case it’s a little bit of a false start. But this shouldn’t deter you – the five tracks that follow it are well worth your time.

Silent Snow is a little more uptempo, a little more consise, and the bassline lends it a wonderfully dark edge. The darker theme continues through Firing Squad – starting off as a somewhat reflective-sounding duet of guitars, it almost out of nowhere bursts into life, led again by another beefy-sounding guitar. The production, for a debut album by a relatively unknown band, is hugely impressive – recorded with John Congleton (the man behind This Will Destroy You’s magnificent self-titled LP), the album gains greatly from the extra professional sheen – the drums in particular sounding really great.

The two standout tracks on the album come nearer to the end – Philosophy Of Time Travel starts slowly and simply, and does the tried-and-tested quiet-loud approach to great results. Amelia Earhart’s Last Transmission almost does the same, but to even greater effect. Rounding out the album, Fall Of An Empire is a hushed, almost sombre-sounding finale.

If there was one criticism to be levelled at Chiarascuro is that they too often fall into the trappings of their influences. The songs can meander and linger just a little too long at times, and while they do it with gusto, the quiet-loud dynamic can feel a little bit overplayed. However, when they’re a little more conscise, and a little heavier, they’re onto a real winner, and this is a debut that brims with potential. Well worth checking

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