Holy Cow! Man, I just love how sometimes an album takes you by surprise and just blows you out of your socks. Yes dear readers, this album Trans Earth Injection from the Dutch band Semistereo did just that. And the best thing is, from the stunning artwork in the digipack, to the booklet, to the sound and most important the songs, everything is of the same high calibre.
And I have to be honest, until this dropped in my post box I had never heard of this band. And when you realise this is self produced and recorded around the globe, you become even more in awe of the result. Even when this turns out to be their third album already. Compared to the likes of Oceansize, Karnivool, Deftones and A Perfect Circle, the quintet managed to capture strong melodies, with atmosphere, depth as well as raw eruptions. So yeah alternative rock, but with a pinch of post rock and a tad of prog.
With 7 songs and over 50 minutes of playing time, this is a hammer that everyone serious about rock music should give a home. It is intense, it is powerful, it is mind blowing. And maybe even more. So no more chit chat, go out and buy the thing and immerse yourself in one of the best albums this year has yet seen!
Next up is this independent self titled release by Dutch prog rockers SemistereO (you try typing that!). Although I needed repeated play to get into the album, I think the 5 piece have delivered a very interesting and entertaining album.
So the first question will probably be why I really had to dig in. Well, that is because of the sound of the lead vocal. Martijn Weyburg has a typical voice, that I needed to get used to, especially higher up. But the big surprise is, when he does harmonies, he amazes with a awesome melodic touch and a very playful way of arranging them. Very good!
Secondly the band use a wide range of influences. In that way they remind me of bands like Porcupine Tree and especially the wonderful Leprous. So very adventurous and versatile. And then those grandiose harmony vocals really come in handy, as they take care of attracting you to the songs. Because when 10 songs bring you 65 minutes of music, you can be sure there is a lot going on.
Even if the band is not yet of of Leprous standard (which is part a money thing as big productions don´t come cheap), I am impressed with the musicianship and overall quality on offer here. Any open minded prog rock lover should show their support and get this. Then the band can develop and will certainly surprise even more in the future.