Within a few minutes of the first listen, ‘Hollow Realm’ positively positions itself as a re-assessment of the post-rock genre as a whole. Indeed, Talons’ debut album is not only a shining beacon alight with proof of their talent, but also a fresh breath of air into the territory so commonly dominated by swooping atmospherics and tributes to sludge metal.
From the melodic and overlapping feedback of ‘St. Mary Will Be The Death Of Us All’ to the crushing wall of sound and emotion that closes the album with ‘Hollow Depth’, Talons prove that they have come up with a distinctive sound that is both innovative and exciting. Inherently rhythmic, sometimes melodic and always challenging, Talons’ sound comes off best on tracks like ‘In The Shadows Of Our Stilted Homes’, ‘Impala’ and ‘Iris’ where the different elements are provided with superb balance.
Presumed interlude ‘An Unexpected Future Event’ has atmospheric pulse and pounding power (and horns) while ‘Great Railroads’ focuses on melody provided by the strings and sports a distinctively Celtic vibe. But these are mere aperitifs to the grandiose ‘Hollow Depth’, arguably the stand out track on the album. The track goes from tender notes to dominating amp-destroying sections elegantly sowed together with melody, tight musicianship and a healthy dose of awesomeness. This is not a song, it’s a statement.
With ‘Hollow Realm’, Talons have graced us with what is quite genuinely the best post-rock, if not overall, album of the year and as a debut, it would be hard to find a more distinctive and solid offering. Don’t get me wrong, the music Talons creates is not immediately accessible, and you will have to fight for it through multiple listens. However, this is an album worth fighting for.
'Hollow Realm' by Talons is available now on Big Scary Monsters Records.
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