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Long Distance Calling: Avoid the Light

The German instrumental post-rock (or whatever!) outfit Long Distance Calling returns with Avoid the Light, its second album of dense, atmospheric wall-of-sound experimentation. What else would you expect from a band that credits one of its members with "ambience"?

Opening track "Apparitions" is as mysterious as its title, going from psychedelic background music to stoner metal during the course of its 12 minutes, leaving the listener unclear about exactly where Long Distance Calling is headed on this six-song, 55-minute album. The urgent "Black Paper Planes" borrows a Rush vibe, while the crisper, less-dense "359˚" allows for some breathing room. These dudes are intelligent, too: "I Know You, Stanley Milgram!" musically references the Yale University psychologist known for his experiments in obedience. (I had to look that one up!)

As Long Distance Calling did on its debut CD, Satellite Bay, the quintet includes one vocal track here: "The Nearing Grave" features Katatonia singer Jonas Renkse, and even though the majestic doom-metal piece adheres to the album's overall structure and tone, it represents a refreshing change of pace and should compel Long Distance Calling to consider adding a full-time singer without, of course, entirely dropping the otherworldly instrumentals.

Track Listing:
1) Apparitions
2) Black Paper Planes
3) 359˚
4) I Know You, Stanley Milgram!
5) The Nearing Grave
6) Sundown Highway

Added: July 3rd 2009
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Long Distance Calling on MySpace
Hits: 2758
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Long Distance Calling: Avoid the Light
Posted by Dean Pedley, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-07-03 08:20:34
My Score:

Long Distance Calling are a five piece from Germany's Munster region consisting of David Jordan (guitars), Janosch Rather (drums), Florian Funtmann (guitars), Jan Hoffmann (bass) and Reimut van Bonn on ambience. The latter gives a clue as to what the listener will find here as the band build a foundation of prog and pysch sounds that they self describe as art-rock or post-rock across five instrumentals and one vocal number 'The Nearing Grave'. It all makes for a moody and dense atmosphere that aside from the more vibrant 'Black Paper Planes' is decidedly downbeat. Katatonia's Jonas Renkse supplies the vocals on 'The Nearing Grave' and featuring a variety of guest vocalists across more of their material is perhaps a direction for Long Distance Calling to take in the future. As it is they are somewhat stifled by the almost entirely instrumental format and this is not an album you are likely to find yourself returning to time after time.

Long Distance Calling: Avoid the Light
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-06-11 10:34:52
My Score:

German band Long Distance Calling have put together a nice instrumental album (save for one track) that combines elements of post rock, math rock, progressive rock and metal in various forms and makes for an engaging listen. This was a tough record to categorize for me as I have not heard many bands that sound quite like this. Atmospheric texture and waves of sound make for an inspiring aural experience. To say this record is moody is an understatement. The layered instrumentation and the gradual build up of music within the compositions leading to crashing crescendos and intense metal guitar chords all contribute to the album's melancholy atmosphere. The musicians include David Jordan (guitar), Florian Funtmann (guitar), Jan Hoffmann (bass), Janosch Rathmer (drums) and Reimut van Bonn (ambiance).

The first song entitled "Apparitions" is quite epic in nature with a slow build up into progressive metal bliss. The contrast between the softer, trance inducing sections and the metal parts is captivating. The gradual build up almost has a Coldplay feel whereas the heavier parts reminds me of Opeth. "Black Paper Planes" starts heavier with metallic guitars and excellent drumming before slowing down, leading to some lovely atmospheric guitar chords and effects (presumably the 'ambiance') and ends with extremely heavy riffs with math rock precision. "The Nearing Grave", featuring Jonas Renkse on vocals, has a nice melody and the ebb and flow of the musical soundscapes is ideally suited for Renkse's voice. The album ends with "Sundown Highway" where the skill of Rathmer becomes apparent, as intricate rhythms, rolls and fills propel the song towards a poignant acoustic ending.

So if you like moody instrumental music filled with a somber atmosphere combined with heavier riffs you would do well to check out Avoid The Light. This is a solid effort and I look forward to hearing more from this band.

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