Today i thought i should do something different from reviews. I want to share with you some thoughts about instrumental bands. You know, these guys that look all cool up in the stage and they don’t really like talking. Is it just me or have we, over the years, seen instrumental bands rising significantly in numbers? I think it started like ten or fifteen years ago. That’s when i first got in touch with post rock. I had only heard about post punk, what people used also to call as dark wave or gothic rock. Now we can seen the term post attached almost everywhere. ”Post metal”, ”post hardcore”, ”post punk”, ”post credit bank”, ”postal office” e.t.c. The first post rock bands that i heard were Mogwai and Godspeed you Black Emperor. I can’t say that i didn’t like them. Nevertheless i remember being a bit confused because i hadn’t been really used to bands with no vocals (with a few exceptions i guess). Their music was mostly this: strong atmospheres, artists on stage playing their music like they didn’t care. Songs beginning slowly, then building up (like we like to say here), then reaching a peak where the song fully unfolded and then the song was slowing down again.
Don’t get me wrong. Post rock, instrumental songs can be cool. But songs that last twenty or more minutes can easily turn up being really boring. In my opinion it is not easy to write such a song. It can go either ways. From being really awesome and epic to really boring and frustrating. Personally, most of the cases i prefer bands with vocals. But i reckon that you can find really awesome instrumental bands like Pelican, Bongripper, Tides from Nebula and Russian Circles, to name some. In my opinion the bands listed above have structured their songs in such a way where you don’t feel the need for vocals at all. At least that’s what i believe.
In some cases bands with vocals can be really boring. Some months ago i went to a live here in Athens where a greek band was opening for Belzebong. I ‘ m not going to say their name obviously, but here in Athens you can find them in many live lineups. They were playing so slow, too slow, and their singer was so bad that i wish i had an mp3 player with me that time. In their last song, luckily for us, a singer came up on stage and she sang with them, being the most interesting part of that night until then.
Instrumental doom bands have increased significantly in number the last years. Bongripper is an excellent example of this new trend.
The thing is, it’s obviously all a matter of taste. Perhaps some bands should have hired a singer. Sometimes really cool stuff can come out of that. For example you can check out Sunno))) ft. Attila Csihar ”The Symptoms of Kali Yuga”. Some instrumental bands are obviously doing a great job and they should continue doing their thing, while some other bands can do as a favor and disband. Absence of vocals doesn’t always make you seem and sound cool.