GGU:LL - Ex Est

26 Oct 2022 - Thorsten

Post-Metal | Consouling Sound | Release date: 21 Oct 2022 | Favorite song: Voertuig der Verlorenen

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Seldom has there been an artwork for a cover whose hidden connections with the music behind it are more intricate than Manuel Tinnemanns’ only seemingly simplistic cover for the new record by the Dutch post-metal masters with maybe the most confusing name this side of LLNN: GGU:LL

The artwork is perfectly fitting because of many aspects:

  • The bleakness of the black and white image can also be heard in the crisp sounds of Ex Est - the songs are very on point and even though they all take their time, they never seem to be too long or overly complicated.
  • The way, that Tinnemanns incorporated the somewhat sci-fi logo of the band with its sharp edges and strict lines – which give the whole thing a certain repetitiveness, no matter where you go, you will always “ride on the edge” and will come out where you started. In the case of Ex Est at the brilliant opener ”Raupe” one of only two songs shorter than five minutes.
  • The fire raging inside the rough shape could also be seen as the urge with which the band from Tilburg delivers the songs, as if they have something to prove and want to make sure, their message is heard.
  • The sharp rocks in front of the colon (the “:”) might indicate the influences of ambient, doom metal and tiny bits of synth sounds.
  • Something not on the pictures is a human element (unlike the pictures of the late Mariusz Lewandowski), but that shall not imply that the record is voice-less or in-human. Quite the contrary, the vocals are full of despair and anger, but they never give in to rage or malice. Maybe Manuel thinks that they are so all-encompassing on this record that they need not be shown on the cover.

But not enough of the parallels between artwork and music, otherwise I might forget to tell you about the perfection with which the band has incorporated some tiny details like the fine, pearly synths which are woven into the fabric of some songs, like the opener, where they are hidden behind the slowly ascending riffing. You might notice the somewhat tribal-like, full-bodied drum parts that are highly reminiscent of bands like Neurosis or Ufomammut, you can hear that best at the beginning of the final track ”Voertuig der Verlorenen”. One should pay attention to the ominous ways they use to shift paces and tempi, sometimes with the help of guitar riffs and melodies, just listen to the beginning of ”Stuip” when the drums are mid-tempo but the guitars are dwindling deeper and faster until they adjust to the drums, just before they start blowing the sails on the deep dark ocean.

If you in any way like bands like Ufomammut’s version of doom, or Postvorta’s idea of ambient, or Void of Sleep’s notion of post-metal – then this record should be adopted into the loving arms of the fold. And once again – what a great artwork for a great work of art! Thanks GGU:LL, thanks Manuel!