Even in the most hostile, harrowing, and abrasive off-shoots of metal, the power of the riff stands tall. Distinctive riffs create detectable patterns in a song, even when they’re not also carrying melodies or rhythmic hooks. And even a site such as ours can’t deny the power of a strong vocal melody. Harsh vocals can vitally contribute to the creation of an emotional response or become percussive instruments themselves, but singing is often a more potent ingredient in channeling a mood or making a song memorable.
These ingredients of music, even in its more extreme variants, create instinctual connections to the human mind. Vast amounts of academic research and philosophical speculation have been devoted to trying to explain why this is, but whatever the answer, the connection seems to be primordial, likely pre-dating language or even the full evolutionary development of the human brain as it now exists. It is a universal language that everyone understands, innately.
Of course, complex and discordant music (and noise) has its own appeal, for reasons that are maybe even less well-understood, but it’s those primordial connections that often prove most formidable.
Which brings us to Breath the Oath, the forthcoming second album by the Dutch stoner doom trio Pander that we’re premiering today in advance of its January 20 release by Argonauta Records. Continue reading »