Battle of Britain Memorial "The Aftermath of Your Bright Beings" CDPosted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 @ 3:00am » permalink
I believe "The Aftermath of Your Bright Beings" is the (Self-released?) debut from French act Battle of Britain Memorial, delivering a combination of intense "screamo" with "post-rock" flourishes. (Or is it "post-rock" with intense "screamo" flourishes?) Most of the compositions are dominated by slow, spacious clean passages with tactful uses of those "post-" types of shimmery effects/picking patterns and gradual builds from soft to loud; and in addition to the screaming vocals there's also some faint singing, spoken passages, samples, etc. The harsh, frantic screaming is absolutely excellent, though. To be completely honest with you, I think the songwriting needs just a little more oomph and aggression here, so were it not for those vocals I think the softer passages and slow builds would be a little too drawn out to leave a mark. The bass tone is fuckin' great, and I really like the way they allow the basslines to hold down a pretty good chunk of the low-end in the mix, but the "loud" portions of the songs aren't quite heavy enough to provide a real payoff. Typically with this really gradual, patient songwriting style the "loud" half of the equation really explodes forth and hits you pretty hard, but that's not really the case with this material. And that's fine, I'm not suggesting that every band needs to follow some pre-existing formula, but some added punch or density could work wonders here. So, yeah, I do feel there's room for improvement, but at the same time, there's something about this band that piqued my interest and drew me in. I'm generally not a big fan of the whole "post-rock" thing at all, so whether it's the intensity of the vocals or perhaps the more somber edge to the atmospheric nature of their work, there's some real potential here. The nine-minute epic, "Midnight Blue", is especially promising. Its samples are brilliantly integrated, and its darker tone carries with it a more gripping sense of emotion that separates it from any "post-" associations and places it in some other uncategorizable realm that I'd love to hear the band explore further. I'll certainly be curious to see where Battle of Britain Memorial heads from here, as there are a number of different possibilities. It's clear that they have a genuine vision at the heart of their work, and I definitely do admire that…
If you no longer care about physical product, the album is also available as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp, so you can't lose there!