Pelagic Records continues to have one of the best rosters when it comes post rock from around the world. 2016 saw releases from bands like pg.lost, Mono, and Wang Wen (to name a few), and the label is starting off 2017 in strong fashion with the sophomore full length from Brazil’s Labirinto, ‘Gehenna’. While it has been over six years since the release of their debut full length ‘Anatema’, Labirinto has kept themselves busy with several EP’s and a split with thisquietarmy, making ‘Gehenna’ their ninth release to date. On this album they take a noticeably darker slant, exploring sounds based around an apocalyptic vision, and this is also displayed through the stunning cover art created by Manuel Dischinger. With the album’s February 10th release date approaching, today we’re excited to premiere the title track, which closes out the ten-song album and spans close to twelve minutes in length.
Post rock succeeds or fails based on its ability to create imagery for the listener through its instrumentation, along with how its build-ups ultimately peak. What you’ll notice about Labirinto’s new song is that from the very start the tonality is much grittier and dark than what can sometimes be typical for the genre. The guitars and bass hang over the recording with a bleak, somber feel early on in the title track, and after the first few minutes the tempo slowly starts to move forward and let the layers of instrumentation begin to build naturally. It seems appropriate that for an album that’s a take on visions of apocalypse, doom, and despair, that the instrumentals start off at an already dense level and pick up in even greater intensity as the song progresses, channeling visions of a world slowly crumbling further and further. With Billy Anderson working the boards for Labirinto on this recording, it makes a significant difference as it not only allows their instrumentals to hit with more density and weight than the average post rock material, but it lets the bleak atmospherics weave around your eardrums and create some of the more vivid imagery I’ve imagined listening to music of this type. The additional strings that appear near the end add to the cinematic feel, and even at close to twelve minutes in length Gehenna never hits a lull that causes you to lose focus or want to move on to something else.
The title track of Labirinto’s latest full length is stunning from start to finish, and it plunges you into a crumbling, apocalyptic world that expands outwards around you. As it closes out the record, it’s also clear that the group has been able to finish on a very strong note, and that has me eager to hear the nine songs that precede this piece. ‘Gehenna’ is out on February 10th via Pelagic Records, and looks to be a highlight for anyone that likes post rock or any cinematically oriented music.