Let me oversimplify things for this time only.
Let’s just say we could split music in 4 major categories. 1-Bad music with bad production. 2-Good music with bad production. 3-Bad music but with good production and finally, 4-Good music with good production. Okay, now I call myself pretty lucky when I find something that lies in category number 2. But when a number “4” comes in, wow, then I’m super-lucky! I’m Mr. Lucky!!
And this time I’ve been so. Antier’s De La Quimera, El Dolor is totally exciting. And it does own the appropriate style of production to make the best out of it. An appropriate, mysterious-enough artwork adorns this album.
The band is formed by two young guys from Barcelona, Spain. Santiago Arderiu: drums and vocals. And Victor Gil: guitars. Plus a handful of other musicians guesting for cellos, keys and vocals too.
De La Quimera, El Dolor is their debut album -and yes, I’ve been reviewing a lot of debuts lately- that introduces itself as “proggy” infused post rock work. At this point one would -stupidly, I admit it- expect an instrumental piece of work. Post rock you know!? But no, it is actually not. In fact, the whole thing is stuffed with plenty of spoken vocals -almost recited. It feels a bit like some ol’ Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s tunes. Do you remember the intro on The Dead Flag Blues? Yes, that one. Looks like Antier are hitting this road by placing it over an Alcest-like song structure. I know, it sounds pretty intricate and crazy. And it is, actually. But they made it so well that the results are perfectly natural and pleasant and exciting too.
This album rolls between ethereal compositions, dense riffs and edgy yet dreamy passages “a la” Caspian. Heavy and at the same time pretty sweet and gentle. And while the first half of the record -till the title track- is the most post rock influenced, the second one definitely bents in more progressive and “technical” territories. Although, I should mention that this latter is the part that got me the less. While, on the other hand, Antier are great in conveying astonishing melodies while “reciting” charming -as they’re also spoken in Spanish- verses. Upon them all we should all behold the greatness of Nada Està Escrito, Al Arder Bajo El Cielo (this is touching) and the title track, De La Quimera, El Dolor.
The path offered today is definitely warmer than what we usually discuss on this very blog. While staying melancholic, the due from Barcelona managed to give their national heritage its proper space. De La Quimera, El Dolor moves in waves, from crescendo to crescendo -as every respectful post rock records do- crossing calmer moments of peace. As the lighthouse leads the way across an endless sea, so this band leads us the way across an infinite “expanse of sonic landscapes”.
And let me spend few more lines on another topic that’s quite important to me. In fact, when it comes to listening to a record, I really do love when it all comes as a whole. I mean, when the band tries and compiles it with a given theme that runs from top to bottom, that is a must! Antier didn’t only did so. But they also gave their record a sense of continuity. In fact the disc ends with the same exact guitar arpeggio it began. This way this album is endless. And your emotions go along with it … as someone else said (En. Dream Theater):
“This story ends where it began”