Böira - Cendres ~ Mineral

11 May 2021 - Knut

| Aloud Music | Release date: 23 Apr 2021

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What do we think about when we think about classic Post-Rock? For me what immediately comes to mind is GY!BE and Explosions in the Sky. There are, of course, many other bands we could think of and we could discuss this endlessly. But what if we fuse those two bands and throw in We Stood Like Kings, what do we get? We get the Barcelonan post-rockers Böira´s latest release. A release made in cooperation with the Spanish label Aloud Music, which has a roster of many interesting Spanish bands.

This new album from the quintet is released six years after their debut Si de la runanaixés, and is magnificently well produced with a clear sound which gives each instrument place to breathe. From this album you will get your fill of crescendos, tremolo guitars, heavy riffs, reverbs, echo effects, playful bass, powerful drumming and a piano that blends in with the other instruments and sometimes drives the music forward with virtuous playing. Being a Post-Rock band, they incorporate music styles from a broad spectrum of influences in a fearless and seamless way. The skillfully played guitars are as prominent in the mix as they are matched in skill by the rest of the instruments.

Let us look a bit at the different tracks and what effects the band use to make this engaging album. The first track “Torellò” begins with sound effects like many Post-Rock bands do in their live gigs, noises and glitches for a minute. The flow of sound effects is broken when the fast guitars come out in full reverb mode making an engaging start, the piano fades in; all are joined by the bass and dynamic drums and establish the soundscapes of the album before the drums signals a tempo change. After this the piano flows free together with the guitars and the dynamic rhythm section for a while, until it quiets down for some contemplation. The keys then lead the track in a stronger direction again and into the long crescendo with all the instruments in full force and the guitars in heavy metal mode.

“Postcards” is the second track and builds slowly with an engaging melody led by the piano, accompanied by some very dynamic drumming. Add a playful bass with the two guitars both in dense heavy mode and light string picking, and you get an engaging Post-Rock track. The whole track quiets down during the piano solo, played like classic piano, before all instruments are gathered again and finishes the track while the piano swirls over the heavy music.

Just like the first track, the third, “Obaga” also has a glitching and sparkling start, followed by soft slow guitars with echo effects which takes over and sets the mode for the track. When the piano and the soft drums fills in it becomes very bright, and the track shifts between echo guitars alone with the other instruments slowly moving forward, almost in a restrained and soft mode. There is a shift in tempo with all the instruments joining in and swirling around each other.

The fourth track has only one letter, the Nordic “Ø”, which can stand for an island or it can just be a letter. It is a short and quiet track, with synths and sound effect with echoes. Almost like it want to describe the slow life on a desolate island.

As you almost has been lulled to sleep by the fourth track, the next track “Brot” will wake you up when the heavy, hard guitars hits you, almost in djent-style. This track is the fastest on the album and all the instruments join in, the guitars playing heavy riffs with the dynamic bass and drums that drives them forward until the tempo shifts and allows the music to breathe and the piano to take the lead for some time. As post rock tracks do, it builds up again with guitars playing the heavy riffs and the piano virtuously plays over the melody and the never resting drums and bass.

It indicates Fall season when the last track “Octubre” starts, dominated by long heavy riffs over drums and bass where the piano finds its rightful place and follows the rest of the instruments throughout the track. We are again reminded of the capabilities of the rhythm section here, both with the drums setting for a very dynamic track and the bass almost playfully following. It all crescendoes into a finish that leaves this listener quite breathless. And impressed.

An album like this will give quite a boost to your everyday life in the pandemic. The very skillful musicians give everything they have, the raw emotions so clear to the listener, but also the very joy of playing together. It is early in the year but this album might end up on top of many listeners’ AOTY Post-Rock lists.