It is not clear what their “father” has committed for being wanted (by the state or his enemies) but it is clear that his children were taught a lot from him, when daddy was sitting on the bench outside their house looking at the rotten ruins of an old monastery from which the children often hear a hissing sound that was then accompanied by the pounding rhythm of the oil refinery on the other side of the scope. These two things – the fulminant vocals and the exuberant drum skills – are a major reason why this record will be on a lot of people’s Album of the Year lists in twelve months. The drumming is really excellent as Kevin is able to switch effortlessly from hard-driven blastbeats to simple, slow nearly post-rock jazzy touches. The vocal performance is on point and really emphatic, and especially the guest vocals by Isa from fellow-Belgians Slow Crush on “Canine Devotion” make for an unbelievable atmospheric moment on an album that’s full of such.
Pointing out these two elements does not mean that the other instruments are doing a minor job, it is quite impressive what they deliver. The sound is sometimes crushingly heavy (for example on the opening title track) but also quite elegant and delicate at times so that there are several moments when the audience might wonder if this is still the same record. However, as the record goes on and one goes through a lot of different tonal atmospheres – ranging from soft shoegaze or post-rock spirals to feisty death metal chunks – it becomes noticeable that the five-piece from East Belgium is not just another post-metal band but one that knows all the little tricks to change a song and its dynamics within fractions of a second. Top20 record 2020! Easily!