I wanted to like this, I really did. On paper it sounds interesting, highly experimental with an equal blend of post rock and black metal without leaning too much on either one. After all, I'm always looking for experimental, atmospheric and exciting bands to listen to and I hoped I stumbled upon something gold with this one. Unfortunately, my hopes were annihilated at the conclusion of Temporary Antennae
. I wasn't left with the feeling of finding a truly wondrous band, rather, the sour taste of disappointment that filled my mouth long after this album has drawn to a close.
It's hard to find something inherently wrong with Temporary Antennae
, as the music itself isn't exactly anything to be despised. In fact it's pretty decent in it's own right, I like how the band doesn't focus on the surging crescendo as many other bands do and instead focuses on the exploration of a single musical idea. I find when this aspect of song writing is done correctly, it can bring about some exceptionally enticing and beautiful music. Caïna
on the other hand, do not make good music. As the album seems based around a single musical idea, then pressure is set upon the shoulders of the artist to make that idea interesting. Unfortunately for Caïna
, they don't know how to make interesting music, not by a long shot.
Perhaps the main fundamental flaw with Temporary Antennae
is just how damn unmemorable the thing is. I'm struggling to remember anything from the whole damn music after the album finishes. Nothing
jumps out at me and makes me think the band is onto something. Caïna
are living under the illusion that a small handful of ideas is enough to get them through the running time. If the ideas were interesting I'd be engaged, but Caïna
seemed to have thrown a handful of post rock melodies together, recorded it with a black metal production and called it a day. Now the fundamental flaw of this record is not that is ostensibly a post rock album, in fact I'd say the problem is that there isn't enough post rock here. It seems that the band has been bogged down by preconceived perceptions as to what black metal should typically embody that the post rock elements aren't allowed to flourish on their own as they're being held back by ideas that are just so low bro.
Really, the black metal aspects only come through on the sound of the guitars, but even then, that's enough for the man behind Caïna
to forgo all other musical influences in favor of a highly repetitious and atmospherically bland piece of music. I find when a bands sole catalyst for emulating atmosphere rests solely upon the quality of the production then the band should be written off as inept song writers. Caïna
is definitely one of these bands, seemingly the atmosphere was intended to be created by the juxtaposition between the post rock melodies and the black metal harshness. Heck, this contrast has worked wonders for bands before, but Caïna
really hasn't found the perfect equilibrium between the two genres.
The post rock influence of this album is obnoxiously overdone, the melodies are relatively safe and harmless, with a large amount of focus placed upon sounding pretty. I guess the goal of them was to illicit a serene atmosphere similar to Sigur Rós, but when mixed with raw production and horrific harsh vocals then it just becomes farcically overblown, lacking any real emotional depth or weight.
I guess I've just become jaded by the entire post black metal scene as of late, but it doesn't take a veteran of the scene to realize that it's just not coming together on here. Take the track Larval Door, it lacks any hint of metal influence and just focuses on cheery instrumentals and a groovy, even bouncy vibe to it. Thankfully, the track is actually pretty entertaining. The sheer silliness of it really sells it for me, it doesn't take itself too seriously and the pretty melodies really are quite provocative. The climax is actually pretty rad as well, I like how the quirky, upbeat nature of the start soon builds into Deafheaven
like melodies. It's a welcome change to an album that lacks any highlights and cohesion.
So overall what this is, is one good song with 9 filler tracks. I admit at some points it gets pretty rad, especially when more focus is put upon the post rock segments rather than trying to be raw and abrasive all the time. I'm pretty torn on this one to be honest, I like some of the post rock sections, and Larval Door is a great song that revels in its upbeat nature, but for much of the album the music is just trying to mix elements that simply do not go together. Imagine if Sigur Rós decided to write a black metal record, it would sound pretty weird right? Well, that's exactly how I'm feeling about Temporary Antennae
. Essentially a post rock album trying to be black metal yet never fully embracing its non metal influences, give this one a listen if you're curious, just don't expect anything ground breaking or even interesting for that matter.