It was oddly appropriate hearing this set from Audiocæneat for the first time high above lake Constance and the Austro/Swiss alps, given that the band are German (and hence a mere stone’s throw away) and the fact that the music is defiantly cinematic in tone and approach. Red Sessions is set of music that lends itself to panoramic vistas, the wind in your face and a chill in your heart, all of which add to the swooping and soaring sound-scape from this Euro post-rock band.
If it is true that some of this sounds a little like other shoe gaze bands (no slight intended) it is equally true that there is never the less, enough creativity and personality here to stop it being merely formulaic.
The first track, from the Massives to the Masses, does indeed sound like a soundtrack to a moody film, complete with characters grunting, crunching of gravel, coughs and sundry atmospherics. Kalypso, the second track, sees the band marking out its own territory a little more clearly, largely with the introduction of the vocal track. The occasional use of electro bits and pieces (such as on The Truth Unfolded) also helps to lighten the mix in a rather welcome way.
The man riff from Painting the Earth with Night Flares takes me right back to early Black Sabbath or perhaps the odd Deep Purple track and underscore the variety of source references that run through these numbers.
Idylla the closing track weighs in at a mighty 16 plus minutes and clearly is felt by some reviewers to be the stand out track. Whilst the musical content is fine, if still a tad over-long in my view, I am not a big fan of the gothic, Michael Moorcock-esque storyline that is overlain at the start and towards the end, they don’t need this sort of histrionics, its a little wearing and overdone.
But don’t let me put you off, Red Sessions is well worth the listen; cinematic and soaring at its best, pleasingly inventive and easy to see why Belgian label Frontal Noize, have added them to their roster. They will be out on tour in Germany in October with dates in the UK promised for February next year.