02 May 2021 - Pat O'
Post Rock/ Instrumental Rock | Antigony Records | Release date: 23 Apr 2021
A giant swell of melody and drama makes When Waves Collide’s debut album Chasm an absolute must have for every “post rock” fan out there.
I seem to be a sucker for French Post music in recent times. I find myself constantly drawn to their sound. I mean, c’mon, the quality is there for all to see with such bands as Bruit≤, Silent Whale Becomes A Dream, Flyingdeadman, Oak, Lost In Kiev, Alpha Du Centaure and many many more. The list is endless. Well now we can add When Waves Collide to that ever-growing list. They have released Chasm through Francesco and the team at Antigony Records and it’s a lofty and well-polished dose of synth driven “post rock”.
Chasm is in essence, a story of civilisation at the edge of collapsing. It tells of the odyssey the people face in trying to keep mankind alive against all that’s dark and menacing. It tells of the turmoil and upheaval they find themselves in, as they try to save themselves from utter extinction.
The opening track “The Fallen”, tells the story of a group of people, who are outcasts of a collapsing world, struggling to fit back into society. The track begins with soft plush guitars and a sprinkling of synths, that spiral and twist and build towards a real chunky and groovy riff, led by the drumming of Andrea Gallo. It’s almost medicinal like, getting caught up in those stoner hooks and that chilled out, nonchalant pace. If you recall the brilliance of Glasgow Coma Scale’s album Enter Oblivion, you have a good idea of where this track is going. Crisp guitars enter the fray and release a soaring solo over the guts of the track, accompanied by stellar keys and synths, creating a lavish and fulsome piece of atmospheric sublimity.
“Cataclysm” continues in the same vein as “The Fallen” with those beautiful synths and incredible melodies and hooks. The music gives the feeling of weightlessness and the imagery of free falling into an abyss. Midway through the track your ears are graced once more with one of the most beautifully emotive passages I’ve heard in “post rock” for a while. It’s a moment of sheer elation and wonder as every instrument comes together to create a passage of music that conjures up a momentary out of body experience. The joy and the sheer drama of it all, infused with the emotion and talent, makes for a truly incredible track.
Without any time to sit back and revisit the experience that “Cataclysm” gave you, you’re immediately thrown into the realm of “Dark Matter”. It’s a powerful, heaving track with some fantastic bass lines and synths, all delivered by the hands of Timothee Valentini. In fact, both the bass guitar and synths are colossal throughout the album and bring so much energy and verve to the record. “Dark Matter” is a heavier, metal inspired piece of music, creating imagery that’s browbeat and dark, rich in atmospherics, but with a punch that delivers ferocity and potency
“Chimera” for me is all about showcasing the brilliance of Romain Fortané and Adrien Deurveilher on guitars. The thumping rhythm sections, right through to the vast, cosmic, comet-like solos are a treat to the senses. Melody and suspense are in abundance here from beginning to end. Flashes of Long Distance Calling’s Boundless album echo through the track, and even into “Omen”, which is again, a rich soaring piece of “post rock”, pelting you with synths and another groovy, slap-up bass line. Gorgeous stuff!
The closing track “Stranding” is a keyboard-inspired finale, following the trend of Tides from Nebula’s From Voodoo To Zen, space-like and futuristic. It perfectly fits the theme of the album, portraying a deep and infinite chasm that’s empty and cold, a place that civilization once occupied. A fitting closure to a very impressive debut release.
When Waves Collide have shown on Chasm that they’re all extremely talented musicians that not afraid to experiment and use keys and synths to heighten the suspense and drama. They have also found a good home in Antigony records, and we wish them all well in the future… hopefully a future less distressing than the journey Chasm has just let taken you on!