Holoscene has promise, but as yet their emotional landscape (as expressed in their music) is limited to just two moods. The first is a haunted acoustic atmosphere, heavy with foreboding white noise. The second is the enunciation of that foreboding, a Tool-like industrial aggression. This is post-rock in all its large-gesture glory, and it’s more Led Zeppelin than any band particularly big at the moment. There’s a certain obviousness about the emotions—the final theme on the EP, a high guitar arpeggio, is given the title “a new small hope”—but they are played with obvious sincerity and impressive technical skill. At the same time, too often on Nothing is the End of Everything, their debut EP, songs are constructed with the same hushed opening/fuzzed guitar noise explosion structure. When it comes, four and a half minutes in to “Sleeping in Fields”, the expansion’s unnecessary—the atmospheric instrumental track had plenty going on before. Seems the band realises this, too—when they take a more relaxed approach, on “Floes”, the trance-like groove sings with the beauty and the programmatic quality of Sigur Ros’ music. The vocals are, generally, de-prioritized; but the music is evocative enough on its own. If Holoscene can expand the intermediate zones between the strong poles of texture and emotion they’ve already established, the band should be well placed to win over those looking for a new take to the classic prog-rock sounds.
// Notes from the Road
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