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The Grasshopper Lies Heavy - Every Man for Himself and God Against All

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy
Every Man for Himself and God Against All
by Daniel Fox at 27 August 2014, 11:53 AM

I had absolutely no idea what 'Post-Metal' was when I first heard US eccentrics (for want of a better word, if that's not taken as a compliment) THE GRASSHOPPER LIES HEAVY, the obscure name a reference to a fictional novel, about the aftermath of World War 2, one in contrast to that of the parent novel, which is set in an Axis regime, following an alternative end to the War. But much of this may mean much to most of you, since this full-length debut of the band is purely instrumental.

"Part I" of the album is difficult to encapsulate into simple words. After about a minute of eerie ambience, jarringly-edgy cascades of riffs sprawl forth. The best description I can come with so far, would be to compare it to TOOL's hypothetical demo tapes for a new (laughing hysterically) album, though perhaps with twice the amount of expected fuzz and mud. As much as there is going on in the first track, I can't help but noticing the homgeneity to it. After an unfortunately-long 4-and-a-half minutes, the blissful sonic currents of the "Part II" provided much-needed breaks in the crashing of their hulking, aural tidal wave. Crisp drums and base, tied together loosely by lilting guitar melodies neatly thread the song from start to end.

"Part 3" does not seem to differ much from the beginning piece, though it at least lies to us for the first two minutes with promise of cool, calm ambience, which soon transgresses thresholds of any last promise of collected calm, and we're once again met with abrasive, sharp cliffs of noise. Capped off with over 2 minutes of abstract ambience, I can't really figure out what the direction of this song is. Perhaps I'm not meant to, or perhaps I'm just that musically uninclined. "Part IV": what can I say? Two solid mids of nearly-endless chugging will either get one in the mood, or put them in a mood. With syncopated riffs locked in at odd time signatures, lathered in discordant ringing of leads, there is a surprising enjoyment to be had of the sheer oddity of this track. "Part V" had me balk at the length, but nonetheless I spun it for as long as it took to come up with something to say. Some passages were beautiful, some were heavy, some were purely inaccessible, and the rest simply strange, the last half of the song almost 100% seemingly meaningless noise.

I have never been aversed to instrumentals; in fact, I would welcome them. But to dig an instrumental is to be captivated by arrangements, or wow'd by the instrument play; whatever tickles your fancy. Whatever it is this band aimed to accomplish, did neither of these things for me. However, I can definitely see them appealing to fans of the many obscure branches of Doom, and may even attract a few MOGWAI fans.

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Part I
2. Part II
3. Part III
4. Part IV
5. Part V
Lineup:
James Woodard – Guitars, Bass, Noise
Mario Trejo – Bass, guitars, Noise
Eric Sandoval – Drums
Jared Flores – Guitars
Record Label: Crowquill Records
     


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Edited 24 October 2021
 

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