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Contemplation and action - 90%

spiritechnology, June 1st, 2008

The Surrealists from Queensland returned, quite soon after their 2003 cacophony, Seepia, with an additional guitarist to deliver a new but short length release possibly hinting somewhat at what was in store from this band in the future in the form of increasing use of structure and adherence to boundaries.

The first track on this EP most closely resembles the heavily discordant Seepia album, although it is a little more focused in that many phrases take the listener in a sustained direction for longer before unravelling into the fragmented atonality and also sometimes rhythmic irregularity this band is known for. But then boundaries to the randomizing combination of elements are again erected around the phrases and the piece explodes forward with this traction once more enabling a sense of defined spacial direction. Similarly, but in certain of the not so completely discordant section of the piece, tones float above the sustained and rigid stream of percussion below in an ambient but slightly detached manner, akin to debris floating to and fro in a gentle river eddy as the current spills on right next to it, before being pulled back into a main flow of structure and pummelling onward down the musical stream.

The second and last 'metal' track on this release displays an even greater awareness from this band of what the human brain perceives as structure in music. Long and sustained phrases stretch in and out, almost as if reality is breathing, to create a majestic sway against the rigid and grounding use of percussion before again briefly exploding forward with profound force and then finally unravelling into disarray. A soundscape wraps up the EP.

This release is poignant for its ability to so vividly portray the human consciousness as it moves between the contemplation of all that it cannot achieve without an adherence to structure or design on the one hand, and a realisation of the sharp unfolding clarity and direction which suddenly emerges when those conditions are met on the other. All the sections in this release in which the stream of music forms a sustained metallic attack are amazingly majestic and energetic and embody sharp clarity and force. Highly recommended listening.

From Corrupt Australia: