Australasia: Sin4tr4

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Australasia: Sin4tr4
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Australasia: Sin4tr4
Ambient, Post-Black Metal, Post-Rock, Shoegaze
Golden Morning Sounds
September 30th, 2013
Release length: 22:19
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Italy’s Australasia has essentially come out of nowhere, making waves almost as fast as they appeared on the Post-Rock and Post-Black Metal scenes. According to the band, their music is like a “place where unusual soundscapes come to life: ethereal guitars mix with blast beat drums and black metal riffing, giving birth to strange and fast-flowing tunes.” For 2012, they attempt to prove this statement by issuing a seven song EP titled Sin4tr4 through Golden Morning Sounds. But, is it a solid example of what the “post” style of Rock and Metal can do in the instrumental world, or is this more a pretentious offering that tries too hard to be artistic?

Sin4tr4 casts shadows of influences from bands like Pelican to the colder Katatonia, both influences the band has personally mentioned. While the release benefits from a crisp production and mastering, the cleaner guitar riffs offer a subtle intimacy that the Post-Rock material greatly benefits from. This is usually held to the slower passages, and on display right away during “Antenna.” The distinct leads offer an icy Shoegaze performance through much of the track, but becomes hostile when the distortion becomes much dirtier, ushering in an aggressive Black Metal performance that shows its fangs as the restricted mid-tempo increase finds the music lunging for your throat violently, only subduing to the soothing chilly atmosphere once more.

“Spine,” on the other hand, is an interesting bit of edgy Black Metal riffs with nautic clean leads from time to time. While not as aggressive as “Antenna,” the traditional sharper riffs are abundant, giving the once crystal-like clarity and soothing nature of the Shoegaze riffs a darker touch that is far more emotional and burdening, a sensation that continues throughout the release. “Scenario” takes full advantage of the darker tones by throwing blast beats your way while expanding on the audio samples a little later to give it a subtle depressing touch as the simple riffs play slowly to its close. Then there’s “Retina,” which starts with an eighties b-grade Horror Movie Electronica score. The shift into Black Metal is sudden, but atmospherically seamless, perfectly suiting the darker spiral of the recording. Even when the song ends, the brief gap of silence sounds natural to the flow before the rushing waves and simple Electronica of “Fragile” kick in.

Sin4tr4 does a nice job of bridging the Post-Rock and Post-Black Metal worlds, while adding a little something extra in the form of Ambient pieces that sometimes have a nautic approach, as well as a little Electronica. The shift from a cleaner, happier world at first to a dismal, sometimes ominous environment works surprisingly well, leaving you to feel as if you are falling down the rabbit hole, eventually finding your way out at the end by the sound of roaring waves. One spin through and it’s obvious why Australasia is gaining a great deal of support, and becoming a band in the genre worth watching very closely. While not the most awe-inspiring of the “post-” music genres, it does very little wrong, and is well worth picking up, especially since it’s now a free digital download through the band’s Bandcamp account.

01. Antenna – 2:57
02. Spine – 4:23
03. Apnea – 2:38
04. Scenario – 2:26
05. Satellite – 2:54
06. Retina – 3:07
07. Fragile – 3:56
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Australasia

Digital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.