Hailing from the relatively rich rock pastures of the Irish midlands, Ropemaker have struck for the third time, the current incumbent christened ‘Glean’.
Bassist Shane Reilly lends his talents to yet another instrumental offering, and with the highly underrated Alan Eakins on skins, it’s a meaty yet contemplative release.
This variety of instrumental post metal demands production values of the highest calibre, and Aidan Cunningham has delivered here.
The bass tones and guitar licks are woven together like a mesapotamian carpet, fluid, complementary and in bold sonic colour. Immediate comparisons will be drawn with New Zealand outfit Jakob, who are widely recognized as having brought the genre to it’s zenith in recent times, and they are not without merit.
The Kiwis’ influence is keenly felt on the track ‘Echoes Bones’ , where a rising, spine tingling melodic passage is patiently constructed before delivering a shuddering crescendo, then dissolving into a whisper.
What marks this release out as different is that the style does not remain static, and the above mentioned homage lasts only for a track in it’s true sense.
‘Mutinous’, as the track moves into it’s adolescence, and ‘The Shrew’s Fiddle’ are manic by comparison, the busy, dextrous fingers of guitarist David Slattery race through scales and combinations, shadowed by the now 5th gear fills of Eakins, drenched in the clear nut unobtrusive bass tones which have been extracted expertly by Cunningham.
It’s hard to find a home in words for these two last tracks, as they do not follow the ‘guidelines’ for such instrumental metal, as do releases from, say, Cork’s Rest or Refraction, a refuge for Reilly in the past.
They are dark and ominous, less comfortable, requiring something more of the listener than passive or distracted consumption. There are hints of the teeth grinding anger of Cobalt, the melodic elements try to rise and dissipate but are strangled from below by this new culture.
This is a very competent and enjoyable EP, and well paced for a three track release. A moderate criticism is that some of the riffs, particularly in the second half of the record seem to have no logical conclusion, and the abrupt ending to ‘Mutinous’ is a bit jolting in terms of the listening experience as a whole.
The closer could perhaps do with being harnessed and reigned in a bit, as the opening riff and mini lead at it’s conclusion are a bit too frantic to be absorbed with ease.
A fine effort for the most part, although ‘The Shrew’s Fiddle’ could do with being tamed, as it seems in a terrible rush to force feed you each one of the considerable number of notes contained within.
It’ll be interesting to see where the boys go from here.
3.7 / 5 – Kevin Jacob ::: 10/06/18