When musicians use the term ‘experimental’ to describe their music, we’re presented with a wealth of potential as to how ‘experimental’ they’re actually being. It can mean a slight change to a sound we are familiar with, it can be throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks, or it can be trying to blend a range of musical influences into something that makes sense. Every so often, there is a band that really embraces ‘experimental’ as a term, and uses it in every facet of their music.
This is exactly the case for Norway’s Heave Blood & Die. The band brings in elements of post-metal and post-punk in a really unique way, which at times rides the line between success and confusion for the listener, but in the overall impression we come away satisfied. On their latest offering Post People, not one of the tracks is truly like the other, yet there is something inimitable and defined that runs through each, something truly Heave Blood & Die. They have managed to develop something approaching a trademark, without locking themselves into a signature sound.
Throughout the album there are building sounds which could be likened to bands such as Jesu and Årabrot, but then they’ll throw in a really jarring guitar riff or a tone that feels somewhat out of place, but seems to sit perfectly in ear. Songs like ‘Kawanishi Aeroplane’ offer tones to soothe the savage beast, while the repetitive nature of tunes like ‘Metropolitan Jam’ and ‘True Believer’ leave you scratching your head while compelling a return, demanding you take the plunge once again in an attempt to locate that ineffable something.
In an odd turn of events Heave Blood & Die close out the album with their most formulaic post-rock song, with the title track ‘Post People’ giving the listener soaring guitars and crescendo builds that we have become so familiar with thanks to bands like This Will Destroy You and Caspian. However, it’s fair to say that Heave Blood & Die have come out with a truly unique record, one that at times doesn’t make complete sense, but will get you thinking about the possibilities within music and how it is exciting to be given the truly unexpected.
Post People is out via FysiskFormat on 5th February and can be ordered here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck