Containing members of the divine French funeral doom entity known as Monarch, you should have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. Not content to rest on accolades given for their recent split with Uur back in May of 2016, II serves itself up to be rather a very cinematic presentation, next to a lot of the other low-and-slow offerings out there today. A trio such as this do pieces for the sake of the music and hardly are aiming for any commercial successes; no matter the coincidental or critical reception.
Endless Floods takes total opportunity to captivate here, even more than they did on the aforementioned split from last year. With just three tracks (one song barely crossing the two minute mark), II sincerely takes you on a journey. “Impasse” invokes shades of Bell Witch and Old Witch; interspersed occasionally with howling-in-the-wilderness type vocals. The acoustic “Passage” acts as a fragile yet beautiful intermission for the closing majesty of “Procession”; a wintery jaunt through breath-taking expanses – in the mind that is. Here the moody dynamics of this track resemble current Neurosis and Cult of Luna, ebbing and flowing to an over-distorted crescendo until it’s single note buzzing finale.
Affecionados of post-metal and doom will do well to experience this release at least once out of respect; and they would do well for it. As is difficult to describe the barren wonder of Iceland’s wastes, or hidden waterfalls in the deep jungles of Africa, I have regarded the like in reviewing this release. Oddly enough, I simply believe the word ‘sublime’ should suffice here. The sonic furies that lay woven within here can’t easily be shirked, as they give way to subtle touches that make you remember that feeling long after listening. A satisfying and lasting audio trip, and a damn fine way to open a fresh year of hope, after sheltering and weathering a long hard 2016. Watching this band mature should be very welcome for many people, as we can only hope time allows.
II Track Listing:
Run Time: 45:46
Release Date: January 6, 2017
Check out the album II