07 Feb 2021 - Pat O'
Post-Rock / Ambient
France is said to be the birthplace of cinema with it’s innovative style and flair and it’s fearless approach with experimentation. So it’s not surprising that bands like Flyingdeadman, Lost In Kiev and Oak for example, are artisans at seamlessly integrating film into their own craft. It’s a signature sound and style for a lot of bands in the “post rock” genre, but some bands are simply better than others when it comes to effortlessly blending the two art forms.
If I ever had the talent and ability to create music, Flyingdeadman’s latest EP “The Night” could easily be the blueprint for it. For me, “post rock” needs to be emotive and melodic. It needs a lot of intensity to it, and have the ability to change your state of mind and play with your emotions. Now, even though this release is based on the 1968 sci-fi/ horror movie “The Night Of The Living Dead”, I find a lot of what I mentioned in it. There’s something incredibly warming and nostalgic about its sound. It’s a captivating piece of haunting “cinematic post rock” .
Flyingdeadman’s 2017 album, “56 Seasons” was also an immersive and enchanting release, charged with an array of emotions. It was an album I had on repeat for quite a long time, so I was surprised that this EP was released without me realising it. I need to start paying more attention!. However, better late than never, and as I envisaged, it wasn’t long before I was under its spell.
The opening scene of “Reaching Out” starts off with some mellow, soothing guitars and nonchalant drums. Calm and soft spoken passages begin to tell the story, with the music reacting to the feelings and sentiment within it. A sublime bass line kicks in, with eloquent guitars creating drama and suspense. Everything slowly builds with slightly distorted guitars, all similar in feel to Lost In Kiev’s “Nuit Noire”. Nothing is rushed, as the tension starts to build and trepidation creeps in. Heavy and burly guitars gradually take the lead and you’re led to a crescendo that doesn’t quite explode, but instead leads you into the next track.
Track two, “Barbara” gently unfolds with soft reverbed guitars and muted drums playing over a pensive and haunting melody. Voices fill the air and you just can’t help but be moved by the mood and the emotion of it all. The arrival of some gorgeous guitar picking builds on the intensity, before Barbara’s distress and dismay is taken over by hysteria and impassioned pleas. It paints a heart-rending and inconsolable picture that is both tragic and overwhelming.
“A haven and a jail” will have you remembering We Lost The Sea’s “Challenger part 2”, with the gorgeous guitar tones and airy vibes. Rolling drums pave the way for an influx of sound, energy and positivity on this track, with similarities being made to Way Stations album “The Ships”. Flyingdeadman make this seem easy, but its a real talent to be able to incorporate all these sounds, samples and passages into one story, and do it seamlessly.
The heavier and more forward thinking track “Dawn at the gates” kicks off with its big bold bass line dominating the intro. It gathers pace and reaches a thumping climax with everyone playing solid and heavy. This is all in contrast to the final track on this EP, “Hopes and an open heart”. Its breezy and translucent ambiance resonates and fills the air before a mini crescendo develops, and quickly departs, before cradling you back down to earth.
It’s a short story, but it captures the imagination and keeps you enthralled throughout. A full album may have lost some of the intensity and drama that this EP delivered on. However, I would love to see a full album follow this in 2021 and maybe sometime down the road, experience them performing live. But until then, the EP is a “name your price” on Bandcamp so be sure to pick it up, it’s a no-brainer.