(Andy Synn presents another fully justified exception to our usual rules in the form of the exceptional new album from Pittsburgh’s Chrome Waves)
It is always fascinating, often a little bit thrilling, and even occasionally slightly fulfilling, to watch a band achieving its true/final form.
This is not, in any way, an attempt to downplay the quality or value of said band’s previous work – which, in this case, includes an extremely solid debut in A Grief Observed and an even better (and emotionally deeper) second album in last year’s Where We Live, along with a couple of shorter, but equally intriguing, releases along the way – but an acknowledgement that growth, be it physical, emotional, or musical is an ongoing process whose end point we don’t always know in advance.
Case in point, even the most casual listener, on their first run through The Rain Will Cleanse, the third album in as many years from prolific “Post-Black Metal” group Chrome Waves, will quickly realise that the band have pretty much abandoned… or, perhaps it’s better to say, grown out of… their more blackened influences (the only real remnant being the scattered shrieks strewn here and there throughout cathartic closer “Aspiring Death”) in favour of a sound that favours the more emotive and expansive, Post-Rock, Post-Punk, and Shoegaze-inspired side of their identity.
It’s still recognisably the same band, yes, but is also just as clearly the next step, the next necessary step, in their ongoing evolution.
Call it the beginning of their post “Post-Black Metal” phase.