Release DetailsLABEL Eibon
RELEASED ON 2/1/2006
The Unsaid Words
posted on 5/2006 By:
“Canaan” classically refers to the Israel region as it was known in ancient times. Conversely, the band Canaan is from Italy, but perhaps choosing that name suggests a weight and reverence that they carry over into their music. Their sound is some of the bleakest, most sparse music I’ve heard since their last album, A Calling to Weakness. It’s basically ambient goth rock, maybe you could stick a doom tab on them too. The vocals are that clean, stable droning style used throughout the goth rock genre, but Canaan take it further, employing echoing effects that make him sound like he’s off in the distance, with the words gradually floating to your ears.
They treat their other instruments similarly. The guitars, typically a clean and reverbed tone, drift in and out, employing short and simple note progressions. Drumming is minimalist, giving an impression of music played at quarter-speed. Their keyboards are used to good effect, particularly in the songs that show a little more life. In whole, they’ve always been far more into atmosphere than showcasing their technical skills. From a production standpoint, this also seems to be the goal, with a definite focus on the low end.
“This World of Mine” was a fine choice for the album opener, displaying their faster material. By fast, I mean that there is always an instrument or two playing, and steady drumming at speeds that may exceed 30 bps. Hell, at times I hear all the members of the band playing, in contrast to many of their songs where a guitar or keyboard may fill in a void, but not much else. “The Possible Nowheres” is another true song, with typical structure and even a solo. Although like all things Canaan, you have to be listening closely to hear it. They make it easy to lose track of time, and I’ll be honest – I’ve used their last album to fall asleep too, but that’s not a crack on the band, I find them dark and relaxing. On The Unsaid Words, they’ve taken the path of putting ambient noise or instrumental tracks between many of the real songs, so a 14-song album quickly turns into nine, a few of which are sung exclusively in Italian (my guess).
Canaan is a band with a limited audience potential. Simply put, a lot of people would find them dull, but I like what they do. They make music suited for dreary times, or late nights, and I haven’t heard any other band that I can directly compare them to. Older fans may find their sound a little less dynamic than in their early days, but Canaan can always be counted on for an austere musical experience.
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