Release DetailsLABEL Radar Swarm Records
RELEASED ON 3/15/2008
Mist Through Your Consciousness
posted on 8/2008 By:
I'd like to think that I keep up with most doom, whether it's stoner, traditional, epic or whatever subdivision you want to apply to the root there. When I saw the cover to Mist Through Your Consciousness I had a feeling I knew what Caldera would sound like, but I had honestly never heard of the band before. As I figured out that the band is from a relatively doom-free country (France) and that MTYC is their first release, the relief in knowing that they're probably still fairly obscure and that I hadn't been missing out on them for long was comforting. Truth be told, I am mighty impressed by what I hear here, and if I had been missing out on scads of music from the group I'd have a lot of catching up to do.
Instrumental music is challenging to most of us, including myself, because there's an initial feeling of emptiness. Somehow, there's a void there that we want to fix ourselves. Of course, that void is self-imposed but we feel it anyway. Whether that's right or wrong is for us as individuals to decide, but we often miss out on some sweet tunes because of this discrimination. I know that I am not always as forgiving as some, so as MYTC burrowed its way to my heart I realized that this must be a damn fine record to win me, a lazy listener who doesn't always like a musical challenge, over.
A song like "F.I.R." slowly envelops your ears, unassuming but as potent as most any doom tune you'll hear all year. It's that organic approach to songwriting, that rare ability to entrance with seemingly little effort, that makes Caldera such a class act. In fact, the layering on this album reminds me a bit of Agalloch. Slower, more ambient tracks like "White Pine" highlight the band's strength exceptionally well. I could easily picture myself popping this disc in, sitting down to a cheap glass of wine and losing myself to the music after a trying day. Though far-reaching, MTYC thrives on the trance-like quality of trippy riffs and knowing how to fill space. The album isn't always on 11 and I like that. There are slower moments, where every riff and fill seems carefully calculated, and there are others of pure bounce and sway. It's pretty astounding that they manage to capture such a diverse sound without losing a distinct identity.
Seeing as how this was the first time I had ever heard of Caldera, I have a feeling that the vast majority of those reading this right now are in the same position I was just a few days ago. After listening to MTYC a few times through I can honestly say that my eyes and ears have been opened to a world where instrumental music doesn't suck. In fact, MTYC sounds as fresh and full as anything I've heard this year, and I've heard some really good records. If you're at all into melodic, thick and ambient doom, this will be an unexpected treat.
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