With Echoes In The Movement Of Stone

Written by: EW on 04/07/2009 01:34:40

Thank god for Relapse. In my eyes these days only Relapse and Southern Lord can be counted on for consistently producing a very high quality of metallic output, free of any fashionable deathcore bollocks and in it's places are challenging, enjoyable and varied albums that will be important for the now and for the future. While Relapse generally specialise in all things fast and grinding, they also know their doom when they see it (Confessor, anyone?) and American's Minsk very much come under this latter category. "With Echoes In The Movement Of Stone" represents their third LP outing, but the first to find it's way to me and come the end of a few listens it's a pity I hadn't known of them earlier as "With Echoes..." is full of pure doom imbued with a tribal, atmospheric heady feel that is hard to express in mere words.

Such is the variety of feelings and moods across the different landscapes of "With Echoes..." eight songs that my notes identify a number of different bands inherent in Minsk's sound: Om, High On Fire, Mastodon, Neurosis, Cult of Luna, Nachtmystium and even Sólstafir. Om are very much apparent in the tribal, chanting, transcendental aspects found in the likes of "Means To An End" and "Crescent Mirror" that have created songs which touch on both 'relaxing' yet 'intense'. Vocalist Tim Mead sings clean and clear yet in a withdrawn manner not unlike Al Cisneros of Om and drummer Tony Wyioming comes from the Brann Dailor (Mastodon) school of ADHD drumming, all while riffs merge and spew into one another, sometimes at a relative pace however at others these occurrences almost seem to be accidental and unimportant such is the feeling found at those moments.

Album closer "Requiem: From Substance To Silence" reflects on the tribal, ambient bent of Om, especially in the latter of it's 11 minutes where psychedelic sounds mix with the ongoing drumming beat and droning guitars to create the song most like Cult of Luna, and one of the albums best for that matter too. It is all these aforementioned mixes of styles, sounds and similar bands that will clearly define "With Echoes..." for anyone who wisely chooses to listen to it. Certain songs may not sound brilliant individually, but as a piece this album flows, being one of those fabled works of art greater than the sum of its constituent parts. Better than all however I see they're playing London in October which is great news as I bet this would be really entrancing and invigorating live.

Download: Crescent Mirror, Requiem: From Substance To Silence
For The Fans Of: High On Fire, Mastodon, Om
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 01.06.09
Relapse Records

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