Metal Storm logo
Still - { } review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
8.2

4 users:
6.25
Band: Still
Album: { }
Release date: September 2021


01. Droves
02. Continued Suffering Of An Endless Night
03. We Were Ghosts (All Along)
04. All But Lost
05. Half Hands Won't Hold
06. A Pendulous Spirit (Part One) - The Great Expanse
07. Drift
08. Blear, Amidst
09. Ever { I.I.MMXVI }


Oathbreaker are great, so clearly mixing post-metal, black metal and hardcore works, which raises the question of why more bands don’t seem to try it. Still serves as another example of how potent this combination can be.

{ } is the debut full-length from Hull-based band Still. First things first, this is, like 〇, another case of a band making their music unnecessarily difficult to find; have a go at sticking ‘Still { }’ into a search engine and see where it gets you. Quibbles concerning unnecessarily obtuse band/album names aside, { } is an emphatic first LP from Still; the base to the record is rooted in post-metal, but there are regular bursts of hardcore aggression and liberal use of black metal elements throughout, resulting in an album that is bleak, at times vicious, but also potently atmospheric.

The album opens with “Droves”, which exhibits the blackened edge that some of Still’s more menacing riffing has. The weighty brooding of the opening minutes of this song channels some of Regarde Les Hommes Tomber’s earlier material; when the song slows down afterwards, the grim chords, Amenra-esque vocals and general morose atmosphere draw the listener right in, who is briefly surprised by some really nice guitar arpeggios. { } do throw in occasional bursts of blackened brutality or hardcore savagery, but the onus is always on sustaining the heavy, suffocating atmosphere of a track. The atmosphere can become particularly suffocating when Still throw in some pounding tom-heavy drumming and malevolent semi-dissonant black metal riffing, such as on “Continued Suffering Of An Endless Night” as they again channel Regarde Les Hommes Tomber.

The first couple of songs are quite suffocating, but “We Were Ghosts (All Along)” and “All But Lost” see the band start to explore more spacious segments of songs, letting the post-metal really come through, and also dabble with slightly lighter tones; “All But Lost” is less blackened hardcore (for some of that, try “A Pendulous Spirit, Pt. 1 - The Great Expanse”) and more blackened post-hardcore, particularly with some of the bright gaze-y moments it features. Although { } is a mostly harsh-tinged listen, the range of dynamics and moments of levity that can be found across the record, such as the further hints of blackgaze in songs like “Half Hands Won’t Hold”, avoid the experience becoming gruelling.

Clocking in at just shy of an hour, { } is a fairly long debut effort, albeit arguably not that long for the post-black subgenre as a whole. There are moments in the latter stretch of the record where one’s attention does begin to wane, but it’s hard to pin this to any particular song, more so the general sound as a whole. The fatigue arguably sets in during the contorted “Drift”, but by giving listeners a chance to recharge on the predominantly soft (clean vocals included) “Blear, Amidst”, Still ensure that the final song, “Ever { I.I.MMXVI }”, is tackled with renewed vigour. Comfortably the longest song on the album at 11 minutes, “Ever...” is a barrage of melancholic tremolo and anguished cries contrasted with morose muted segments, revealing more than any other song here the proximity of post-black metal and blackgaze as microgenres. After the bleak menace of most of the rest of the album, the sorrowful tones liberally used throughout the song serve as a powerful denouement to the record.

Successfully exploring the space between black metal, post-metal and more hardcore-oriented styles, Still conjure up something that navigates and combines the range of emotions that each individual style can induce. It’s not quite the next Rheia, but { } is a really strong first outing.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8





Written on 07.10.2021 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 94 users
07.10.2021 - 20:47
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
This album is such a dictionary
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
Loading...
07.10.2021 - 21:14
TheBigRossowski
Dudeist Priest
Reminds me somewhat of Hexis. Effectively, both bands are what happens when you find a stranger in the alps (the TV friendly version of the original quote, I should say..).

Great review! Just my kinda jam at the moment, man. At least until Waste of Space Orchestra delivers something again, in which case I'll go back to a strict ugh, regimen.
----
That rug really tied the room together, did it not?
Loading...
07.10.2021 - 21:23
Uxküll

Love Oathbreaker, will have to check this one out!
----
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z: http://metalstorm.net/users/lists.php?user_id=158339
Loading...
11.10.2021 - 16:08
MarlKarx

This is super good, specially for a debut. Going to keep a close eye on what they do next, if I can find it...
Loading...
12.10.2021 - 08:03
Mehrad

Written by RaduP on 07.10.2021 at 20:47

This album is such a dictionary

Oh then that's why it's boring.
----
Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
Loading...
12.10.2021 - 08:33
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Mehrad on 12.10.2021 at 08:03

Oh then that's why it's boring.

It's... not?
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
Loading...
12.10.2021 - 11:09
Zap

Quote:
have a go at sticking ‘Still { }’ into a search engine and see where it gets you


I did...
It got me onto the page of a university in Galway and the second result was something to do with Deutsche Bank
----
And the tears that we will weep today
Will all be washed away
By the tears that we will weep again tomorrow
Loading...
12.10.2021 - 16:22
Mehrad

Written by RaduP on 12.10.2021 at 08:33

It's... not?

I have to listen to it again then, because I would get distracted easily the first time.
----
Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
Loading...

Hits total: 739 | This month: 739