|Rejoice! For the smug, ill-natured, vain, childish, empty, infantile metal of old – is crumbling down... the stupidity is overshadowed by wisdom, the shallowness by depth of mind, the colourful charade by monochrome sombreness...|
"Metal for grown-ups." I like this definition, which I once read in regards to the music of Neurosis, and it has stuck in my head since. Metal for grown-ups is what's delivered from those two excellent bands – Neurosis indeed, but more angry, more hateful... I’ll correct, adjust it a bit though: "Post-Metal for grown-ups" would be a more adequate slogan, because I feel, really feel, that metal music as we know it – as I have known it for the last twenty years or so – has really gone bankrupt. I feel sorry for it, for it has been a piece of living history and an undying source of interest and enjoyment on my part (as well as an endless source of repeated disappointment, disgust and money loss...)... Will I miss it? I’m not sure, as I have always conducted a paradoxical struggle with it, a love-and-hate relationship so-to-speak, a classic case of "love the music, hate the musicians", and above that I think that the metal scene is infested with more crap than all other musical styles out there – put together. Wait, there’s more: this great scene is affiliated with the most malignant, malicious, hollow humans out there (i.e, the fans as well as the musicians), and sadly, humans that proudly represent the total antithesis to what metal music would have meant and would have represented in my mind's-eye, had my will and vision materialized...
Sorry folks, I cannot see myself linked to the above-mentioned metal movement of today anymore. I'll keep listening to metal music (what other real musical alternatives exist out there?) but my real hopes lie within bands such as Overmars and Fugüe, which represent to me, both, a new approach in heavy, non-commercial music, in which all hopes and expectations lie, bands who are pose-free (at least on the surface), and that luckily are still clean of that "heavy metal disease" i.e., being a superstar (or thinking you are one), being ultra-evil, being an imbecile, being a rip-off copycat, being a lowlife in general, writing and performing talentless, shitty, unoriginal music (and then uploading all positive joke-for-reviews on your website, completely ignoring the negative, in-depth reviews oddly...)
Metal has lost its grip and its relevance is questionable now. It can hardly move anyone, it can hardly excite now, it can hardly tell me something I don't already know. Metal has its boundaries, and like everything else it stops at a certain point when its values and stylistic tools no longer mean a thing. What else, you ask? What awaits for us weary, dispassionate, disillusioned fiends of heavy musical expression? What can possibly fill the emptying power hole within us, the everyday draining of vital energy, what will stop us from completely succumbing to mundane, herd-mentality, herd-like thinking, herd-like doing?
I think some of the answers lie within bands such as Overmars and Fugüe. There is this saying that people will often tend to forget what you said or what you did, but they will always remember whatever it is you made them feel, and this is really the whole story – feelings, emotions, the mysterious human characteristics that no one can ever prove their existence but that are so real that they can move and shudder the earth...
As long as music will be intended for humans, consumed by humans, and produced by humans – the emotional factor will be the most critical, crucial and important issue, on which an album could fall or rise sky-high. An album can be unoriginal, produced inadequately, poorly played, or meet pretty low standard on all accounts, but all can be forgiven should this album succeed in moving us, really do something within us, stir this body and soul a bit, wake the sleeping entity within us. If an album can do that, than all other flaws are forgiven, forgotten... so many a time I felt completely indifferent to albums I had been listening to. So many listening hours did I feel complete apathy and dismay (and soon after – anger...) towards a recording that had left me empty, not able to sympathize with, not able to remember it even... This is the worst that an artist can do: leave the listener indifferent to his/hers music... This is what's been happening in metal music in recent years, unfortunately...
If this is, music such as contained in this split album, the future of metal music, then by all means I agree to embrace metal altogether and allow myself to hope for a brighter tomorrow for the whole genre. If not, the hell with it...
Overmars play an extremely emotional type of heavy music that really defies any simple classification. The music here is intriguing and uniquely structured, with a lot of brakes in the general flow, into which some nicely composed post-rock elements are introduced, repetitive, almost mesmerizing guitar/bass/drums long pieces of eccentricity and atmosphere-inducing sounds... The heavier parts are angry, loud and punishing, in which heavy distorted guitars are used in such a manner that they create a wall of noisy ambience, a curtain of corroded and hostile frequencies through which the vocals break, scream, bark, shout and howl... The whole approach is favourable for me, for it is something refreshing and bears a new code of aesthetics. Not new in the revolutionary sense - the music is definitely not a brand new invention, as it heavily relies on other kinds of existing metal/hardcore styles – but new in the approach of focusing on quite different issues than your usual dose of heavy metal. The pillars of Overmars' music are staying extremely heavy without falling into the heavy metal clichés, and delivering the package with the most emotional load (overload) of earth shuddering, heart-tearing screams, raw feelings that cannot be ignored but sympathized, empathized, followed by those decade-old goose-bumps, excitement and catharsis... Highs and lows, the tranquil post-rock parts allow the listener to relax somewhat from the overwhelming raging emotional overflow, the life-saving wooden piece that keeps you from drowning in the anger, hatred and frustration embodied and released by the music.
Long epic tracks, allow the listener to familiarize with the complex music displayed by the French Overmars, who takes one part dark metal, one part sludge-doom, one part post-rock elements and two parts emotional hardcore, and polish these gems, ignite and incinerate them until they all fuse into one, beautifully soberly-shining and totally-bewitching diamond of pain and human suffering…
The other band portraying its aural assault type of art on this wonderful split is the Japanese Fugüe. The Fugue – whoever is not familiar with the writings of Clive Barker – are the magical folk whose wonder-world had been woven into a special carpet in the oh so wonderful novel Weaveworld (highly, highly recommended), and having chosen a name like this, just feels right in the sense that this is a band that thinks differently, that this band has taken its own route, yet unmapped one, maybe... Fugüe plays a dark, insane, stripped-down form of sludge and doom-ish EMO hardcore mixed with dark-rock/post-rock elements... Sounds confusing? Not really. Sounds pretty the same as what Overmars are doing? You bet... Even though one can get easily confused on initial listen between Overmars and Fugüe, the difference is there, no doubt. While Overmars incline more towards dark metal, Fugüe tend more towards hardcore, but both display a whole wide, vast playground of post-rock variable manoeuvres and other interesting experimentation as a refuge – if only temporary – from the enormous rage and power surge both bands generate and convey.
I cannot praise this release enough, for it has shown me what the music of true emotion sounds like, and emotion is all I seek in music – music, a living entity – otherwise it’s dead, dead as anything else that’s dead... While not your classic, immediate doom album/bands, this recording must be heard and revered by all doom fans for it contains many qualities shared by doom metal (qualities doom metal should acquire, but hardly ever introduce...): Apart from being slow, dragging music, highly repetitive and atmospheric in its own special way, heavy-as-fuck and dissonant in ways, it is almost-excessive rage, frustration and hatred transformed into their sonic equivalent. The music is wise, ever capturing and holding one’s attention, twisted and torturous to some extent and while not doom par excellence, it is everything doom albums should be, but few manage to deliver... Highly, highly, full-heartedly recommended. This is the future for heavy music, if there would ever be any...
1. I Take Degenerating Materials For My Knowledge
3. La Nuit Des Masques Et La Systématique De Ses Lendemains
4. Into The Soul
6. Real Love
Duration : Approx. 57 minutes
Visit the Overmars bandpage.