Man what the hell happened to these guys? Is this really the same band who released Nord
? To see a band drop so low after releasing two fantastic post metal records is disheartening to say the least, this isn't just a mere dip in quality but an absolute nose dive into the ground.
They seem to be going further down the post rock and drone territories whilst forgoing all metal influences. Bad idea. Year of no Light where fantastic in splicing hard hitting sludge metal with beautiful post rock elements. The problem with Vampyr
is that without the metal there's not a whole lot to enjoy. It seems that they forgot how to write post rock on this one. All the songs have very few ideas stretched out for way too long. They meander about, not achieving anything worthwhile. Guitars just kinda do their thing in the background, there's no drive or passion to it, rather it feels like the band were forced into recording rather than from a passion for what they were doing. As a result the songs lack heart, they're incredibly shallow and incredibly lifeless. Drone
based music works great when care is put into the compositions, but a full album where a guitarist idly plucks at his instrument does not constitute as good.
I guess the band are free to explore new frontiers within their music but that sure as hell doesn't mean I have to like it. Although I appreciate their desire to explore new grounds the overall result leaves a sour taste in my mouth. The songs are incredibly one dimensional, usually containing a single lone guitar with a backing drum beat and maybe a bass. None of the ideas have been fleshed out enough. When the electric guitars do come in they add a much needed sense of drive to the music, but it lacks the sheer power of their earlier releases. Whilst they're pretty heavy and suitably melodic and atmospheric, they don't strike me on the same level as their previous two full lengths did. It seems that most effort was put into making this release as lifeless as possible that it fails to achieve anything interesting.
The main driving force behind any post rock release should be the guitars, they need to ebb and flow, constantly shifting between tender mellow parts and loud climaxes. Year of no Light seem to have forgotten how to write post rock, as the whole album is the mellow bits from Ausserwelt
made boring. Ausserwelt
worked majestically as the post rock was well written, it was beautiful, emotional and simply majestic. Vampyr
lacks the sheer grandiosity of that release, with the post rock feeling diluted. The songs never reach a climax, although at times the band appears to be building up to something big they remain playing the same dull post rock that infests this album like the plague.
Detractors of Year of no Light usually poke at their instrumental nature to draw the most criticisms from. But I doubt that a vocalist would have been able to save this train wreck of an album. Every track is painfully dull and lifeless, it never amounts to anything and lacks any form of drive and passion. So the next time your thinking about writing 70 minutes of music at least make sure the quality is you know, actually interesting.