Emphasis – Gliding All Over

Gliding Over All cover art

Artist Emphasis
Album ‘Gliding All Over’
Genre Post-Metal / Post-Rock
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Label Geenger records
Release Feb 14 2013
Rating Very Good

Emphasis are a 3 piece band from Čakovec, Croatia who bring to the table a beautiful mix of atmospheric post-rock blended with segments of post-metal intensity. The band makes excellent use of samples throughout their music and while frequent, always seem to shed light behind the song’s meanings and convey emotion. Actually, I think that the band’s choice of samples is what helps them stick out among the crowd and make their songs just a little more unique. That’s not to say that the band’s raw talent isn’t the driving force behind their material, because there is definitely a strong level of musical craftsmanship to be found on their latest release ‘Gliding All Over‘, released  through Geenger Records back in February.

Alda” kicks things off with a very Collapse Under the Empire esque feel to it. Crescendo guitars began to rattle in their infancy as a slow drawn out atmospheric number plays through leading into the much more post-metal track “Every Storm Keeps a Secret“. Brutally heavy guitar work drives this track forward, leaving nothing to be desired along the way. The track ends with a quote from the movie The Network, which is easily the most sampled song in all of post-rock. Luckily neither this track nor the next one “Sun Falls Earth Rises” uses the “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” sample, instead opting to use samples that to my knowledge haven’t been used in any other post-* track. “Sun Falls Earth Rises” pushes nearly 9 minutes and features a beautiful clean guitar build up as the 2 minute plus sample plays out. As the sample concludes the guitars rip through the track at full force pushing higher and higher as the song rapidly approaches it’s peak. Without question my favorite moment on the album comes at nearly the five minute mark of this song as the song reaches fruition and a guitar solo once again rises breaks free from the giant wall of sound.

I’m unfamiliar with the foreign language singing/chanting that leads into the next track “Animals“, but I like it a lot and it serves well as the lead in. Enjoyable as it is, I felt like this track could have been shortened quite a bit as it does feel a little on the repetitive side until it makes a strong finish. “Tonight We Ride Ghost Horses” is an incredibly well built track that showcases the band’s more technical side while featuring brooding and looming overtones that makes the song feel a bit darker than the rest.

Some Places Take Places” is a shorter transitional track that sees an extremely simple yet catchy 3-note piano layer define the track. This number leads into “Enter the Signs” which opens with an impending sense of urgency. This track really drives home the factor that Emphasis are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to using heavy riffs to create their brand of atmospheric post-metal. The final two minutes or so of this track is bliss to the ears as the band continually shifts guitar styles while maintaining a heavy presence. “Mura” closes out the track as a homage to the band’s homeland and features beautiful female vocals, leaving a lasting impression on the listener as the album comes to a close.

Despite being in existence for nearly 6 years and supporting bands such as Caspian and P.G.Lost, Emphasis have managed to slip under my radar until now. ‘Gliding All Over’ is their sophomore release and follow up to their 2007 debut ‘Element of Morrow‘ and is a formidable release that is able to stand toe to toe with even the best post-metal releases. The band shows no real weaknesses and use their relentless riffs and well timed samples to give their music both staying power and identity. Overall a very good album from a band I have nothing but positive things to say about and look forward to seeing what they do in the future.