One of the key pieces of information you will read in any written piece about French instrumental post-metallers The Lumberjack Feedback is that they are a band with two drummers. With this in mind, one may expect the emphasis of the band’s music to be on rhythm; however, this is only half the story. While the drums do play a prominent feature in the band’s sound, the strongest attribute of the entire band is their ability to create swirling and intoxicating atmospheres.
Thundering opener ‘Therapy?’ is a fine introduction to the band’s sound; with a bold and moody riff stamping it’s authority and taking centre stage the track triumphantly erupts, bolstered by rattling bass and those aforementioned duel drum kits working wonderfully in unison. Indeed, it’s the restraint used by the drummers that makes the band’s sound so special and alluring, there’s no showboating here, as sticksmen Virgil Chaize and Nicolas Tarridec use their kits to jointly and sympathetically emphasise the atmosphere being created by the other three musicians. Similarly on ‘ Kill! Kill! Kill! Die! Die! Die!’ the drum fills swirl around from speaker to speaker as haunting, ascending guitar melodies rise before launching into full on chugging riffage.
‘Wind’s Last Blow’ which begins with pummelling drums and clipped riffing, is a taut track that is able to breathe midway through as the drummers lay a subtly pulsating foundation which allow the guitars to soar high above, creating a wondrous sense of speed and openness. ‘A White Horse (Called Death)’ is a mammoth track that over its near-ten minute length manages to encompass driving post-metal rhythms, doom laden breakdowns and intimate chiming guitars. Closing track ‘Kobe (The Doors Of Spirit)’ is even longer, building gradually into a rich tapestry of fuzz laden guitars that are so dense it feels more than appropriate to have two drum kits supporting their colossal weight. In the ever growing genre of instrumental post-metal, Mere Mortals is proof that The Lumberjack Feedback certainly have what it takes to stand out from the crowd. A highly recommended album to anyone with even a passing interest in well played and thoughtful, heavy music.
Mere Mortals is out now and available to purchase here.
Words: Adam Pegg