Bleaklow are an experimental slash instrumental post-metal trio based out of Sheffield / Manchester / Brighton that have recently released an EP entitled The Sunless Country. This would not normally be a cause for concern at sardless HQ given that several 10 thousands of bands release EPs all the damn time and no one really gives a shit about 99.9% of them, however the geographical location and proggy instrumental post metal nature of Bleaklow piqued this reviewers interests. You see, for some reason there is a lot of really great instrumental experimental rock that comes out of the British Isles - And So I Watch You From Afar, Alright The Captain, Adebisi Shank, Brontide, The Redneck Manifesto et al etc +++. These bands all fucking rule, so these Bleaklow dudes have a lot to live up to. This is through no fault of their own, rather it is this reviewers bumbling lack of geographical skills which means anything from "The British Isles" is something that can be lumped together.
To put it right out there immediately, Bleaklow and The Sunless Country sound a lot like Russian Circles, but it is not like they try to hide this fact and it is in no way a bad thing. There are healthy doses of technical guitar work, excellently accompanied by a solid rhythm section. Interspliced within the highly atmospheric and at times sinister sound there are also occasional mildly cheesy sexed-up smooth dude guitar solos (see particularly approximately 15:10 to 15:45ish ), but these seem to work within the context of the sprawling epic that is The Sunless Country, which as an individual track clocks in at 23 minutes++ in duration.
The Sunless Country is available on Bleaklow's website as individual tracks, however stick with the long version, The Sunless Country definitely works better this way allowing the listener to become fully submerged in the sound, whereas the individual tracks will obviously lack context. Indeed, the individual tracks are only available in the words of the band themselves, as
[a] rubbish attempt to make it a bit more "accessible" because not many kids want to listen to a 24 minute song these days. Given they also had a limited run of handmade, stamped and sewn CDs that sold out within an hour of release, it would seem the kids do in fact enjoy the lengthy tracks. Here's hoping for more from these guys soon.
- The Sunless Country
- The Sunless Country