Leech - The Stolen View
Viva Hate Records
Instrumental Post-Rock
6 songs (53:01)
Release year: 2009
Leech, Viva Hate Records
Reviewed by Goat

Although a year or two ago it seemed that you couldn’t turn around without bumping into a Post-Rock band, the crowds seem to have thinned somewhat now. Hopefully, of course, this means that the weak have fallen by the wayside and the strong continue down the path towards whatever it is that all Post-Rock bands are aiming for; the most beautiful piece of music ever recorded by man, presumably. Swiss four-piece Leech, formed in 1995 and here on album number four, are at the forefront of that march to perfection if new full-length The Stolen View is any indication. Made up of the brothers Meyer on guitars and piano (both) and Serge Olar and Tobias Schläfli on drums and synths respectively, the instrumental music takes a slow but reflective route, stopping to see the sights and take in the landscapes, all in all rather like a louder, ever-so-slightly more Metal Sigur Rós.

This truly is shut-your-eyes-and-smoke-some-drugs sort of music, the melodic riffs and piano at the front whilst the synths ride along in the background, often barely audible, but making all the difference. Some moments, parts of The Man With The Hammer, say, are in danger of becoming boring, the worst fate for a Post-Rock band, but those little touches of weirdness from Tobias’ hands rescues the song from that fate. Overall, though, the album’s very enjoyable, opener Silent State Optimizer especially being a blissful listen, Bluesy guitar tones mixing wonderfully with the backing piano and almost unnoticeable drumming. Fine, there’s not much variety from then on, although things take an almost Toolish turn towards the end of the album, Inspiral and Totem & Tabu especially. The latter turns ambient towards the end, creating a soundscape that’s surprisingly gripping despite the track being nearly twenty minutes long.

A lot of music most rewards those with the patience to sit and listen, often several times in a row, and whilst The Stolen View isn’t the best album ever released in its much-maligned genre, it is an excellent example of it that fans will eat up. Heck, if you’ve never bothered with Post Rock before then this might just be the band to change your mind in that regard. Leech certainly deserve praise outside of their native land, and this album suggests that they’ll be getting it.

Killing Songs :
Silent State Optimizer, Inspiral, Totem & Tabu
Goat quoted 83 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:38 pm
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