Written by: LF on 30/05/2015 19:01:34

Eschar is a progressive post-rock/metal band from the UK who recently released its first full-length by the name of "Nova". Consisting of four members, they are an all-instrumental band with a focus on creating vast, ethereal soundscapes while at the same time contrasting this with some sturdier guitar riffs that serve as an anchor in their majestic music.

"Nova" is an album that flows really well with the songs blending into each other across it, making you lose all sense of time. While the immense guitar riffs keep it all in check and keep the music from floating too far away, there's a certain hypnotic element to many of the songs stemming from their looping compositions and similar, melancholic mood. "Monolith" is no doubt one of the best examples of this and also my favorite track from the record. It makes the inspiration from progressive or post-metal very obvious without becoming exceedingly technical for it. The threatening sound of it and its main riff, in particular, are memorable and it's one of the better in terms of development as it has a very dynamic sense of progression while it builds through different riffs and levels of intensity and remains groovy, melodic and massive all the way through.

While most of the songs are seven minutes or more and share the same immense feeling, the album lets the listener breathe in between as well through a few shorter and lighter tracks that are softer and more twinkly. This serves to keep the listener interested across an otherwise almost too similar record. Unfortunately, not all the songs have the same appeal as "Monolith" for me simply because they quickly feel too similar in structure with a lack of memorable elements to make them stand apart. "Nova" is an exception with its off-beat rhythm and relatively fast-paced and light guitars that assure at least some variation. The harmonized guitars in "Falling Faintly Through The Universe" are charming and the changes of pace and emotional ending of "Contact Light" are gripping elements, but they don't make the songs linger in my mind.

This similarity in the songs is however also one of the elements that give the album its hypnotic quality and this coupled with its gravity makes it capable of pulling the listener in nonetheless, almost like a black hole you cannot turn your attention away from once it has begun pulling at you. It is certainly an album that can fuel a mental journey into the far reaches of space or even other mystical dimensions, but there's still some way to go for Eschar in terms of standing out in the genre.


Download: Monolith, Nova
For The Fans Of: Maybeshewill, Tides From Nebula, Russian Circles, Cloudkicker

Release date 03.04.2015

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