Despair, Erosion, Loss

Written by: PP on 25/02/2014 23:39:11

Alaskan are an atmospheric post-metal band from Ottawa, Canada, whose crushing soundscape is backed by the typical roars you tend to hear in the genre, immediately bringing to mind such acclaimed bands in the genre as The Ocean, Cult Of Luna, and Isis in their delivery. "Despair, Erosion, Loss" is their latest album, and just as with its predecessors, they stick with the six songs maximum on the record thanks to the relative length of the songs, bringing the grand total to just over 36 minutes of brooding, misanthropic music.

The instrumentals follow a fairly standard structure in the genre: bring forth waves upon waves of expanding barrages of heavy guitars, yet keep the tempo at a slowly creeping forward-like pace to make them sound even more brooding, and allow the drums to rhythmically pace the music and give it additional texture. The vocals are roared, though fairly monotonously so by the time you reach track six, you certainly wish some diversity that would help set the songs apart from one another. As it stands right now, the unchanged, barrel after barrel of thick, muscular roars leaves the expression too anonymous to stand out, and quite frankly as a far cry from the greats in the genre. That doesn't have to mean Alaskan are bad, because on songs like "Fiend" and "Inferno" they show an admirable understanding of ambience and atmospherics to ensure the far-reaching nature of their take on post-metal. It just means they need to do more work to accentuate their expression, especially given the rising popularity (and subsequently the saturation) of the post-metal genre in recent years.

"Despair, Erosion, Loss" is basically a textbook post-metal album in that sense. It does all the right things: the soundscapes are rich in texture and atmospherics, and the songs drone forward slowly but nonetheless with a deliberate pace. It is missing the last element that'd make it a great album instead of merely a decent one, the X ingredient that makes The Ocean and Isis leaders among their contemporaries.


Download: Fiend, Inferno
For the fans of: The Ocean, Cult Of Luna, Isis,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.02.2014
Moment Of Collapse Records

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