For Fans Of
It has been over three years since the release of ‘Hollow Be My Name,’ a record that pretty much cemented Perth’s Eleventh He Reaches London as one of the must haves in the post-rock world of Australian music. Back with their latest seven track full length ‘Bânhûs,’ the group look to take the sounds and landscapes they are well known for and explore them further on both sides of the heavy and atmospheric spectrums under a sturdy cloud of gloom.
One thing that this group have always been amazing at is keeping their unique and quirky style intact, and this is done extremely well on the theatrical opening track ‘The Dragging Cloud’. The genre changes in this one song alone include sludgy stoner rock, atmospheric post-rock and even a more fast-paced down-the-line guitar driven approach. As per the usual on a EHRL record, the tracks blend seamlessly and the album is better enjoyed as a whole rather than singling out particular tracks.
The beauty of the opener turns into pure torture on the slow dragging of second track ‘Code Entwined’, in which the vocals are strained as if sung from a prison with the guitars hitting constant notes like the bell toll of doom. The band then switch this to the much gentler and relaxed ‘Body Unbind’, a different colour and dynamic that still works perfectly well against its opposite. This is the band’s strength.
The shortest track on the record is also one of the most unique, ‘Veil’ is laced with a piano and folk sounding guitars in what sounds like an old time ballad, which lifts its pace to a percussive driven chant. The closing tracks are highlights, ‘Glass Harmonium’ brings its beat in every now and then to give an element of groove to the song then wisps it away to let the building guitars create tenseness that underlies the whole track only relieved during the harmonised chorus lines. Then, closer ‘To Whomever’, uses plenty of space for a dramatic ending, beginning slow with lo-fi vocals and bass lines almost as if all of the band’s energy has disappeared eventually opening up with rumbling drums and staccato lead riffs.
Eleventh He Reaches London are well past the point of discovering or explaining their sound. They could coast, but they have decided to very slowly build and expand on what they create, and while this record is truly dark, the colours and dynamics involved make every minute something worthwhile.
1. The Dragging Cloud
2. Code Entwined
3. Body Unbind
4. No Funeral
6. Glass Harmonium
7. To Whomever