23 Mar 2022 - Simon
post rock/post metal | Kapitaen Platte | Release date: 25 Mar 2022
Soonago release their sophomore effort and in the process of writing the album have elevated themselves from the previous effort in almost every regard!
I’m going to be completely honest with you here, I struggle quite significantly sometimes with trying to write these reviews. I get savage insecurities around imposter syndrome and question myself and my ability to elevate these missives above the most rudimentary level, heck you could read my reviews and still think this! But, and here is the rub, I still persevere with them because music has such an amazing capacity to change an emotional state, that even in the darkest depths, music can have a transformative effect on us and change an emotional state for the better.
I write this down, not just as an act of catharsis (although this is also the case) but because the sophomore album Fathom by German instrumental group Soonago managed to drag me out of a particularly dark rabbit hole. Obviously, this album did not achieve that on its own and it may well not be for everyone, but at the time it made the skies lighten just a tad and my mood elevated such that things didn’t seem so bad and from that launchpad I was on an upward trajectory to a better mental state, cheers Soonago!
The album begins with just drums, and personally, I’m a sucker for that tactic so they were off to a great start, but the singular instrument doesn’t last very long before the rest of the band join in with a rather wonderful display of aural delight. The punchy, almost thrashy guitars elevate proceedings in a way which I struggle to put into words. They class themselves as post-rock but to my ears they’re closer to the metallic side of things which is catnip to my aural receptors.
Second song “Besa” has everything which is wonderful about instrumental music condensed into 13 minutes of bliss. One guitar with a lovely, crunchy low-end dances around the more melodic sounding guitar with the rhythm section creating a glorious platform for this waltz, then in an act of bravado, just as you think things are going to reach a peak, the most glorious violin lead ambient section instead greets you with a bloody great big hug which elevates the song into another level of brilliance.
The whole album takes your hand and guides you on an exhilarating journey through a musical jungle complete with stunning glades of quieter sections through dense, dark foliage you can hardly see through which puts you on edge in the most thrilling of ways.
Suffice to say, I loved this album and if there is any justice in the world (which we all know is in painfully thin supply right about now) then these guys would be more well known as they have made music which hits me in the feels with laser-guided accuracy and I think you should listen to it too.
Try to stay positive everyone!