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Review: 'Leonov'

-  Genre: 'Post-Rock' -  Release Date: '26th October 2018'

Our Rating:
‘Wake’ is the second album from Norwegian doom five-piece group Leonov, four years on from their eponymous debut. It’s appropriately titled, with ultra-low bass and splintering blasts of guitar delivered at a funeral pace across five mammoth dirges.

There’s a murkiness to the instruments, the drums deadened, leaden, muffled, creating an effect of there being too much volume for the recording equipment to handle. It could be that that’s actually the case, but it’s effective, and the fogging together of the instruments means the ethereal vocals stand out even more, despite being wrapped in layer upon layer of reverb, which adds to their distanced, other-worldliness. And yet for all of that, there’s a certain emotional pull

The 11-minute ‘Shem’ soars to the heavens while way below, the bass rumbles like thunder in a storm at sea, and the title track, a full fifteen minutes in duration, begins quietly, a strummed guitar echoing into the emptiness, the bass and percussion way back in the distance as Tåran Reindal delivers a wistful shoegaze wash of vocal introspection. Tapering down to the barest minimum at around the five-minute mark, it’s always a question of when, rather than if it will erupt, but the suspense and building of expectation as faint trails of feedback whisper through distant amp hum, conjuring a haunting atmosphere. Delicate post-rock guitars ripple in and out, hushed, reverent. It’s a long, slow build, but you feel the tidal wave crescendo coming, and when it hits… It’s the most blissfully cathartic release.

‘Wake’ is dark, with shades of even deeper darkness lurking in the ponderous recesses, but Tåran Reindal’s singing brings a certain celestial levity and an aching beauty that’s uplifting and awe-inspiring. Her delivery conveys a palpable sense of desperation and lostness. It’s all in the contrast; it’s all in the detail; and on ‘Wake’ Leonov execute everything perfectly.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Leonov - Wake