We Stood Like Kings is an instrumental post-rock band from Brussels, Belgium. The quartet was formed in 2011. The focus was to create new soundtracks for old silent movies, resulting in a debut in 2014 ('Berlin 1927') where they provided 'Die Sinfonie der Großstadt' (Walther Ruttmann, 1927) with a new score. This new album, 'USSR 1926' is a soundtrack for Dziga Vertov's 1926 movie 'A Sixth Part of the World'. The movie will be played during live performances and that is something I'm really looking forward to.
You can actually find the movie on YouTube with a soundtrack by Michael Nyman. My suggestions is this: watch the movie with the soundtrack muted and replaced by this brilliant album. It really is worth the effort. It gives the whole a new dimension where modern day music blends in with black and white images. The film is in fact a call for unification (Wikipedia told me that) and that unification between the images and the music is quite amazing.
If you're not into silent movies, which I can perfectly understand, don't worry. Without visual stimulation this album can perfectly stand as an excellent post-rock album. It reminds me of a mix between the piano driven modern classical music Olafur Arnalds and the elaborate soundscape-rock by Godspeed You Black Emperor. I'm not going into a song-by-song on this one but I have to mention the dramatic classical composition of a track by 'Are You A Master Too'. Do I hear a few Wagner influences in there?
The song is followed by the beautiful 'Kremlin', where piano and soundscapes show the most gentle side of this four-piece band. I think I even have to use the word 'lovely' while reviewing it. Slowly, very slowly, the song turns into a classic post-rock anthem and suddenly there's the distorted guitars and drums. They disappear just as sudden by the way. This song is followed by a quite playful song named 'Immense Wealth', equally mesmerizing as Archive's 'Noise' album has been to me when I first discovered it.
There's a lot of competition for my personal top-of-2015 albums but I'm quite sure this one will end up very high in that list. I'm not just saying that because We Stood Like Kings hail from my country but also because this is a damn good post-rock album. I wouldn't be surprised if this band appear on this year's Dunk!Festival line-up and I definitely wouldn't be surprised if they turn out to be one of the highlights of this edition. Needless to say that this comes highly recommended for every fan of post-rock music.