Archive for the ‘A Film in Color’ Category

Sounds Like Hell: A Film in Color

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Sounds Like Hell is an irregular column on doom, noise and sludge.

Sometimes an artist creates a sound so unto itself, they monopolize an aesthetic. How many post-rock bands are burdened by comparisons to Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky or Godspeed, whether deserving or not? How many noir-influenced acts find themselves permanently linked to Bohren & Der Club of Gore?

Even if New Jersey trio A Film in Color find themselves lumped with those comparisons, they do a tremendous job of marrying those sounds together in their immense eight-minute track “A Study in Terror”. I’ve said it before, but the most powerful bands are almost invariably power trios — think Russian Circles’ vibrant dynamism, Boris’ droning noisescapes, Young Widows’ dissonant meditations or Sleep’s smoke-filled epics. And while “A Study in Terror” opens with a sombre passage that suggests darkened rooms and chiaroscuro lighting, that’s merely a lead-in for the enveloping wave of gargantuan noise that follows. There’s something to be said for bands that play the wrong notes, and here, the bass neither complements nor conflicts with the dreamy guitars or the massive drums, settling somewhere in between for a sound that’s both uplifting and unsettling.

This is the kind of music surround sound was made for: cinematic, immersive and completely all-encompassing.