Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Australasia - Sin4tr4

I've been listening to a lot of instrumental music as of late. Jammy stoner doom, some math rock here and there, the occasional 'extreme' instrumental release; it all makes for fantastic background and compelling foreground music.

So it should come as no surprise that I was happy when I saw that Italian duo Australasia sent me their instrumental post metal and ambient synth debut Sin4tr4. It fits perfectly with the theme of music I'd currently been listening to.

Australasia's music on Sin4tr4 is a little different than I was expecting. Rather than the "build-release" formula of many post rock outfits, Australasia jump right in with relatively little build up. I guess being just over twenty-two minutes long doesn't leave much room to work with. Sin4tr4 still has dynamic though, and many tracks feature the "beautiful" chords and progressions that people associate with post rock and post metal.

There are ambient synth elements added for atmosphere, and you can hear light vocal samples throughout all of Sin4tr4. My least favorite track "Apnea" has a female humming sample and a very weak, lo-fi electronic sound to it. The track doesn't mesh well with the rest on Sin4tr4, which is at best left as an instrumental experience. The duo do a great job of writing catchy 'release' moments in the form of tremolo riffing melodies a la black metal. There's an abundance of very memorable - some subtle, some blatant - 'release' moments on just about every track.The riffs flow like streams that cross at intermittent points to create a richly textured sound.

I really don't mind the electronic and synth element in Australasia's music. I think it puts a new spin on an aged sound, but its use needs some refining. It is used fine on Sin4tr4 but in the future it would be interesting to hear it become more prominent, yet preferably not over the top. The riffs are clearly where Australasia shines and it should stay that way.

I'm also not big on the clean production, but that's a personal preference and something I tend to avoid when listening to post rock in general.

7.0 out of 10

1. Antenna
2. Spine
3. Apnea
4. Scenario
5. Satellite
6. Retina
7. Fragile

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