Friday, March 19, 2010

Longing for Scarlet Days 1994

Many things impress me about this ep but what struck me at first listen back when I first got this was how out of left field it was, and how thoroughly well arranged and played it all was. Its like nothing else I've ever heard, but it almost sounds like its an album better belonging to some genre I'm not familiar with.

Sonically the music offers a lot of what metal does and it creates a somewhat familiar atmosphere of downtrodden despair as you might find with Paradise Lost or Disembowelment. However the way they go about I would liken more to something like Swans on the Great Annihilator (which came out in 1995). There is a certain washy, breathy and compressed direct analog sound (like on Ride's "Nowhere" album) that lifts this and Pity Love to another level. The drumming is quite varied and mid paced and borrows heavily from whatever standard styles some hard rock or grunge drummers might reference frequently. This is one thing I think that keeps this band from being downright metal. Better than any other band in this plane Beyond Dawn use horns to great effect here, even more on Pity Love, and throughout their discography. Another reason this ep is so impressive to me.

Though there are only four songs and the last track is sort of more of an outro, the vibe established here is undeniably fluent and had this been a bigger release overall, I'd say this was hugely influential on a lot of bands who are doing "post-_____" these days.

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