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Very relaxed, smooth music - 72%

Noktorn, May 17th, 2008

Caldera's an interesting band; they're a French four-piece that plays a style of music similar to obscure doom metal band Centrifuge, albeit with a more emotional sound and organic feel. Caldera's music could be best described as a combination of a pinch each of traditional doom and stoner metal added to a pot of Pelican-style post-metal. Like that band, Caldera's work is entirely instrumental, and again like them, it never feels like something is missing from the equation due to the absence of vocals. If anything, it gives the music an even more open and flowing feel, like you're lost in a forest with no humans for miles. It's a particularly evocative release from a collective of artists with great talent in their field.

You could describe Caldera as being a metal jam band pretty accurately. The tracks, in true post-metal style, are fairly winding and journeylike in tone, with little in the way of repetition or traditional song structures. The lack of vocals accentuates this even more, preventing any one instrument from 'leading the way'; drums, guitars, and bass are all generally doing very different things. Like most post-metal, the music is structured around peaks and valleys, but unlike a band such as Isis, the climaxes of Caldera's music don't necessarily indicate an end or progression; Caldera's songs are more like fragments of endless processions of melody and rhythm. It's perhaps even less 'songy' music than Pelican in that they aren't easy musical units ready for consumption. Caldera's music is a more challenging listen than most, but it's equally rewarding in that difficulty: it demands from the listener and gives you more than most.

The production offers a lot of acoustic space for very natural-sounding instruments. It helps add to the woodsy tone of the music; lots of clean guitar and bass sections merge with the more bombastic electrified parts to provide a very flowing listening experience. The tracks aren't very individualized, but they make up for that with providing the very whole experience that is 'Mist Through Your Consciousness'. The recurring motif of trees isn't a coincidence; this is music to be lost in the forest to, and to take in the grandeur, beauty, and cruelty of nature. It's a poetic album, moreso than most in the metal scene today, and it is daringly executed through its directionless meandering of instruments. You could accuse this music of being emotionless, but that's not what it is; it's the sound of being stranded in a world that feels no emotion towards you.