Balloons Kill Babies – Leviathan

Leviathan cover art

Artist Balloons Kill Babies
Album Leviathan
Genre Post-Rock
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Release 20 July 2013
Rating: Average

Balloons Kill Babies emailed me to review this on an old blog. I said I would and have brought it with me to PostRockStar. If I was not reviewing it I do not think I would have played it more than once. With repeated listens I’ve still not found that something that takes this from solid to spectacular. For me the production is really what makes this release somewhat lifeless. Let me explain.

The record was produced (entirely, it seems) by Marly Luske. His CV includes The Red Paintings, Ash Grunwald, and Deep Purple. I will admit to knowing only one of those bands, but after a quick Google search I find that none of those bands play any type of metal. I feel that could be the downfall. The EP is well produced, but not by someone well versed in producing heavy music.

The first track, “Akathisia” takes some time getting where it wants to go, but finally settles on a chugged, flange soaked, mid-tempo post-metal groove. It’s OK, but fairly uninspiring.

I am now skipping to the EP’s final effort “Somnophilia” where everything revolves around a catchy little riff that does eventually lose its effect due to overuse before closing the track with a long, arduous sample taken from Sleeping Beauty (2011). It works well, but could do with being cut shorter as I find myself just wanting the track to end.

Now if Balloons Kill Babies continue to write tracks like title-track “Leviathan” then we can look forward to some great music from them in the future. In fact I think that any lover of post metal is going to want that particular track in their collection. It is a slab of driving build ups, chugging chords, and just enough quieter, more melodic parts that keep the track interesting. It’s nothing new, but shows that they can compose something that works.

So, in conclusion, the only reason I’ve listened to this release more than a couple of times is that I am reviewing it. Nothing else really made me want to go back to it, even if I do think that the title-track is pretty good. Balloons Kill Babies are a young band and this is their debut EP. I won’t shy away from their future releases as I really think they can improve their song writing and overall sound, but for me ‘Leviathan’ is no more than an average release.