Post Metal is a pretty loaded genre tag. Most people (myself included) find it misleading. The idea relies on the idea that more effects on your guitars and a sense of dynamics and ambience equal being less than metal. Gholas are a band that seem to fit in this general idea of a genre. They play with a sense of ambience while still being heavy. The sense of dynamics is in full play as the songs can push you or meander simply by.
This band follows the setup Isis started. But that is certainly not to say they are mere followers. They play a heavy, near-ambient style of metal. The songs flow together and seem to tell a story (hence the Isis notation). Each song float into the other as though the first wouldn’t be complete without the next to complement it.
Generally speaking, the band's use of baritone guitars makes for a much heavier and somewhat gauzy sound to give the songs an extra bit of movement. The instrumental breaks give the listener some respite and keep the songs moving forward into each other. Each instrument works with the other to lock into a strong tempo. This does wonders in making for a strong sense of unity amongst the songs and the album.
The vocals are be less than complementary. The growling vocals seem to work well as they appear to push a level of rage and passion into the songs. On the other hand, the other vocalist seems to be playing backup, and does more to distract from the heft of the instrumentals.
There are missteps, unfortunately, with songs such as “behind every man…” show. The song seems to act as an unnecessary jam band-like antecedent to the songs that bookend it. Regardless, the band is clearly onto big things. The songs are heavy and interesting. The band paid close attention to the production, which culminates into distinct and interesting artwork. Overall, Gholas is a band that could be top of their given genre by the time their next album drops.
The album is rounded out by beautiful artwork. This helps to keep the sci-fi theme going and works well with the music. The mixing and production is impeccable. Everything feels smooth but not compressed.
If Gholas can clear up some loose ends and come up with a more complete and cohesive work next time, they may be next big “post-metal” whatever band. They are well on their way with this release as the concepts seem to be in place.
8.4 / 10
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