Surgeon – Fjords

Fjords cover art

Artist Fjords
Album Surgeon
Genre Post-Metal / Post-Rock
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Label Independent
Release 25 December 2012
Rating Average

I’ve heard the Newfoundland, Canada 4-piece Surgeon described as Post-metal, though they are self-described as instrumental prog-rock, which is more fitting than Post-metal, as they are aren’t metal to my ears. I recently gave their latest release “Fjords” a listen, and I’m left wanting more. Some of that is due to expecting more metal in the “post-metal”. To explain:

There are a lot of moments of cool bits or great sounds on this album. A great example is the opening and titular track of the album; the listener is greeted with a barrage of heavy punches. I love albums that start out by slamming the listener around. It really gets the listener’s attention, makes one sit up and take notice. You’ve my attention, Surgeon. However, we go from that opening assault to a mellower instrumental jam section. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t live up to the promise first thirty seconds of the track delivers. We start picking up momentum, and the bits around the five-minute mark are great furrow-your-brow-and-smirk “fuck yeah” moments that end far too soon. In the end, it’s a 6+ minute song that has a minute worth of awesome and the rest is only OK.

For one more example, “Leaf Blower” has a cool guitar intro. Add some cymbal and a rad guitar harmonic part, and this track feels like it’s really going places. However, around two minutes in and we’ve lost that intensity. We’ve gone into prog territory. This is not a bad thing at all, but it’s not incredible either. “Leaf Blower” doesn’t recapture my attention like the opening 30 seconds did. The tracks on the album seem to have this in common. There are a lot of builds that don’t grow to bursting, and there are a lot of cool parts with too much “only ok” music between. This album isn’t a bad listen, but it’s not gripping. But fans of instrumental or prog music should definitely give this a listen. However, as a post-rock/post-metal release, I’d call it average. – Tim