German post-rock (or should that be post-metal?) band Long Distance Calling (hereafter referred to as LDC) return with their 8th studio album, “Eraser”. As with any instrumental album, it can be difficult to get in the head of the artists in terms of what they are trying to impart with their works. LDC here leaves little to the imagination, which in many ways helps in the listening experience (yet another bonus for those who purchase physical media). Set against the backdrop of a Koyaanisqatsi-esque theme of “life out of balance”, the album artwork shows several threatened or endangered species, along with their comparisons to humankind, indicating the album is meant to examine the themes of mankind existing outside of nature, and our oftentimes detrimental impact on the world around us, with each track being about one of the endangered species shown in the album art.
“Enter Death Box” is a fairly short overture of sorts to the album, before getting to the meat of the record by the hand of the first full cut “Blades”, a driving metal-tinged song. “Kamilah” – quite possibly my favorite song on “Eraser” – showcases an atmospheric blend of metal and shoegaze that punch all the right buttons. “500 Years” follows up with a precise atmospheric blend of progressive metal, very similar to something that fans of The Ocean would be familiar with. “Sloth” is perhaps the most unique song on the entire album, a slow burn of a track – thus appropriately titled – mostly lead throughout by a sax part interspersed by a very Gilmour-like tasteful guitar playing.
In a record related to rather gloomy ideas and topics, “Giants Leaving” serves as about as upbeat of a song as the music contained here will allow. “This song is dedicated to the albatross, unfortunately, one of many species facing extinction” have say LDC “The albatross is a beautiful and majestic creature, soaring across the skies with the largest wingspan in nature. The albatross is one of a few monogamous species, making it more challenging to mate in an increasingly dangerous and over-fished environment, decreasing food availability and ongoing pollution.” Bringing down the curtain on “Eraser” is its title track, serving as a haunting ending to a thematically thought-provoking and sadness infused compendium of songs.
This album was my first experience with the band, and as someone who is more typically used to the shoe-gaze aspects of other post-rock bands such as God is an Astronaut or Mogwai, I was pleasantly surprised with how LDC has fused the somewhat stereotypical ambient aspect of post-rock with heavier, at times thrash/Maiden-esque instrumentation to create a distinctive instrumental approach. There are a few cuts that I think were screaming (no pun intended) for a guest vocalist spot, but the lack of that is something I could hardly fault the band, especially given the album’s running theme. LDC have created a wildly evocative and diverse collection of songs with “Eraser.” Crackling with live energy, but as nuanced and atmospheric as anything in their catalog, this record is another bold step for this highly idiosyncratic band, one that could possibly be their most organic and accomplished effort to date.
Released By: earMusic
Release Date: August 26th, 2022
Genre: Post-Rock / Progressive Rock
- Janosch Rathmer / Drums & Percussion
- David Jordan / Guitar & Synth
- Florian Funtmann / Guitar
- Jan Hoffmann / Bass
- Enter: Death Box
- 500 Years
- Giants Leaving
- Blood Honey
- Landless King
Pre-order “Eraser” HERE.
An excellent effort showcasing a different side of the post-rock genre, for anyone who’s looking for an intelligent and heavier instrumental record, this Long Distance Calling album is ready to please your ears