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Flatlands : Vermuyden

At one point when listening to this album, came the first time that it occurred to me to use the term 'double standards' and mean something positive by that. You see, even if there's a lot of bands that mix different genres, this mixture ends up being a single style. But Flatlands hasn't restricted themselves to playing a single style of music. They do two at the same time. On one hand they play melodic sections of Neurosis style post-rock. The other hand contains a heavy and slightly doomcore influenced doom/sludge - filthy and aggressive enough for comparison with Grief. The point being, though, they very rarely mix these two styles. Sure, they both appear in the same songs, but they still keep them separated by jumping from one style and over to the other.

I first believed the title to be German, but I after a quick search I found that it's actually a place in Britain. Interestingly Vermuyden lies in South Yorkshire and Aslackby (see the title of track five) lies in Lincolnshire, the two counties which the bandmembers of Flatlands come from. The county Bedfordshire lies nearby (see track six' title). If this, the bandname and a long soundclip describing Aslackby (on track five), wasn't enough to make me certain that this part of the country is a central theme for the band, then their press release explicitly confirms this as a tribute to that area. Here they describe Lincolnshire as a "bleak and almost inhospitable county", something that I'd claim goes hand in hand with the music's total lack of anything positive. However, to me it sounds like they prefer it that way.

As far as I'm concerned 'Vermuyden' has only one negative aspect: The tracklist is completely impossible to read. It lacks several of the letters in the tracknames, and those who are present blends in with the background. It's no really big deal, but to me it'll remain a constant nuisance.

As for the fanbase I'd expect that local metalheads might - for obvious reasons - identify the closest with them. But I'd still claim that the music can be appreciated by fans of bands such as Neurosis, Year of No Light, Cult of Luna, and Isis. Flatlands are one of those bands that you should probably hear before you buy so if you're curious you should go to the bands MySpace and check out the sound clips: http://www.myspace.com/flatlandstouristboard

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Later, Dawn
2. Prehistoric Animal Brigade
3. Sundown Park
4. This Song Is A Film
5. Slow Down For The Aslackby Bends
6. Up The Wooden Hill To Bedfordshire

Duration : Approx. 36 minutes.

Visit the Flatlands bandpage.

Reviewed on 25-04-2010 by Arnstein Petersen
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