Towering post-metal is enveloped by monolithic, transcendental sound on Hundred Year Old Man‘s new EP, Rei.
Instead of worshiping solely at the altars of Neurosis and Isis, as many similar bands tend to do, Leeds’ Hundred Year Old Man approach the post-metal scene a bit differently. While crushing, dynamic sludge is integral to the genre’s sound, Hundred Year Old Man tend to focus more on creating potent moods and immersive atmospheres, as made evident by this new EP. The band’s 2017 Black Fire single dipped its toes into the wavering ambient waters, but was very much a brooding, doom-laden affair through and through. On Rei, however, the sextet embrace the ambient and atmospheric aspects of their sound and create an enthralling experience that swallows listeners whole.
This short, 18-minute release begins with the gorgeous and melancholic “Sun & Moon”. This six-minute slow-burner utilizes a very steady, hypnotic rhythm that is engulfed by layers upon layers of airy, ethereal soundscapes, and driven by powerful bass lines. The guitars, which are melodic, sludgy and coated in ambiance, collide with the bass and smoky soundscapes to create a huge wall of shoegaze-esque sound that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Jesu recording. This saddened post-metal march is topped off with heart-wrenching, post-hardcore screams that usually would sound out of place on a song of this magnitude, but somehow manages to fit.
A huge, booming instrumental titled “A Year in the North Sea” follows with thick, icy layers of guitar generated sound that drapes over the listener like a blanket of snow. The record’s nine-minute title track brings everything to a powerful conclusion. The track begins with haunting, subdued and cold instrumentation before the band embarks on a throttling path paved with bludgeoning sludge. But even as the song presents the heaviest guitar work on the record, these huge riffs are still swallowed by the band’s affinity for textural shoegaze bliss, leaving the listener distracted by the pretty colors long enough to be properly pummeled.
Hundred Year Old Man’s Rei is both a beautiful and devastating work that refuses to be bound by genre limitations. Post-metal fans will not want to sleep on this solid little EP.
Release Date: January 26, 2018
Label: Gizeh Records/Wolves & Vibrancy
Favorite Track: “Sun & Moon”
For Fans of: Amenra, Jesu and Mouth of the Architect