What we have here is an interesting wee album from Belgians All We Expected and Irelands Raum Kingdom with each band contributing two tracks, equating to roughly 40 minutes of music for your buck. Both bands straddle the Post Rock/Metal divide and are obviously indebted to the likes of Cult Of Luna, Isis (the band of course and not the rampaging terrorists) and scene behemoths Neurosis.
The two tracks from All We Expected, “We’re Not Born To Live Like Brute” and “Flood”, are both instrumentals that clearly show the band have already developed a mastery of light and shade. Each track starts with cleanly picked, shimmering guitar lines before invariably the other instruments come crashing in with howls of feedback and distorted riffs. Although both tracks are quite lengthy All We Expected manage to just about keep your attention by changing pace and atmosphere numerous times throughout each composition, resulting in a cold beauty that is at times cinematic in scope.
Raum Kingdom take up the second half of the album with their contributions, “Grace” and “Lost In the Hunt”. Again, both tracks clock in around the 10 minute mark and there are definite nods to Neurosis circa A Sun That Never Sets. Raum Kingdom go for a more gritty, earthy sound that really suits their Doom inspired sounds. The music contained within the two tracks is suitably crushing with a tribal feel bolstered by the solid drum work of Mark Gilchrist. However, the key to their success lies with the vocal stylings of Dave Lee, who is in inspired form throughout and utilises a variety of techniques from a whispered croon, to a full throated guttural roar, which really adds an air of impending doom to the music.
If Post Metal is your cup of tea you could do a hell of alot worse than savour this gem of an album. With bands like All We Expected and Raum Kingdom coming through the ranks the scene is in considerably safe hands. 9/10