14 Feb 2022 - Sebastian
Post-Rock | Stellar Frequencies | Release date: 25 Feb 2022
Bank Myna’s debut album is unlike anything I have reviewed so far. The Parisian trio created something beautiful, haunting and captivating, which is perfect for this misty time of the year. Join me on an adventure into the soundscapes of VOLAVERUNT.
The opener ”Los ojos de un cielo sin luz” (“The eyes of a sky without light”) is a collage of different sounds and “instruments”. There is a lot of rattling, distant cymbals and an ethereal voice floating above it all. The barren wastelands underneath the sky without light can really be felt. It has this sense of nothingness to it, which is quite remarkable. In my mind there is a medieval battlefield post-war, with just banners, weapons and corpses and a mist above it all.
After we have left this place, we are offered to walk through ”The Open Door”. A haunting violin greets us and Maud Harribey’s vocals once again lures you in. One has to admit they just sound beautiful and work so well with the multi-layered sound. About three and a half minutes in we first get something that is somewhat reminiscent of a traditional song structure, with deep drums and an electric bass setting in. The song’s instrumentation is much more threatening than Maud makes it feel like with her vocals. The song slowly starts to deteriorate and gets much noisier and darker. There’s this sense of desperation in her voice, before the threat starts to ebb away and leaves you waiting for what ”Aurora (Vi ska sova)” (we are going to sleep) has in store for you.
To be honest with you, I don’t really want to go to sleep. The surroundings that VOLAVERUNT created don’t seem fit to fall asleep and wake up alive again. The repetitive nature of ”Aurora” makes you a bit dizzy and sleepy, so maybe we can try closing our eyes just for a minute, ok? I won’t leave you, I promise. Surrounded by the ever-pounding drums and soaring guitars we now come to rest and sleep ”The Sleep of Reason”.
A reverse delay on single guitar notes always has a mesmerizing effect. This sleep and its accompanying dreams could feature lots of things. Bank Myna leave room for your own imagination, to fill the space with your own ideas, but they also give us somewhat of a direction, where they think this all should go. At the halfway point, the song gets darker and the vocals seem to battle with the hammering drums. It is still not time for you to wake up though, as there is still much too dream left. The drums get more and more intense, as does the guitar. From its calming onset, this sleep has turned into more of a nightmare, than an easy rest for us. It is time for us to wake up.
”Des mains, des yeux” (“The eyes, the hands”) is the end of our journey with VOLAVERUNT. It serves as a look back at the previous songs, as Maud urges us to open the door. This whole track is accompanied by a constant heartbeat sound. It somehow takes your breath away and makes you tense and flex your muscles in the fear of what might come, but there is nothing that comes. The album is over and you are left alone with your thoughts and maybe relaxed, maybe tensed up depending on whether you’ve opened the door or are still standing in front of it.
This is a bit of a different review, than I normally would write, but I had a lot of fun doing it. Bank Myna’s music, for me at least, can be the soundtrack to many H.P. Lovecraft stories. The sense of threat that is constantly lingering in the background, without being spelled out is so prominent in these songs. As I said multiple times, the vocals are just so hypnotizing and inviting the listener in, until there is no escape. Sit down, put the album on and read stories like “The Music of Erich Zann” or “The Nameless City” and it will suck you in even more.