Vandemonian (ˌvæn dəˈməʊnɪən)
1. Noun: A native or inhabitant of the former Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania)
2. Adjective: Of or relating to Van Diemen’s Land or its inhabitants
Vandemonian is a 3-piece progressive post rock band from Hamburg, Germany. The name traces guitarist Nick Braren’s roots back to his birthplace – Tasmania, Australia.
Their guitar-driven music connects progressive and dynamic song structures with unconventional rhythms and time signatures.
Atmospheric elements of post rock are met with dissonant guitar tones, driving bass and upbeat, jazz-infused drumming. Roughly half the songs are instrumental.
With post-rocking walls of guitars (the opener ‘Roboter’ seems inspired by Tool’s ‘Schism’ riff), the band initially focuses completely on action and pathos. After all, the trio, especially singer and guitarist Nick Braren, spent three years tweaking “Xenophilia”. And you can hear that in every instance of the album. In addition to post-rock extravaganzas, there are plenty of references to alternative and indie rock.
The premise for this album is that it is a turbulent album for turbulent times. I particularly disagree, since even though the world is going to hell in a hurry – and by world I mean mainly the so-called civilized societies – this album “Xenophilia” manages to offer one, or even several, rays of hope and light.
A fascinating debut album! It’s an elegant and aurally very varied song-set that sees Vandemonian fusing the very best elements of prog rock and post-rock but with added jazz, soul, smoke and mirrors! There’s a great sense of composition and atmosphere built over the 40-odd minutes of this album, I think we’re going to hear a lot more of Vandemonian!
The groove of the first track pulls me in immediately. It’s a post-rock, sometimes nearing post-metal, approach within alternate rock, while challenging rhythms and changes make it more progressive. I hear some Maybeshewill or Mogwai. There’s a jazzy bass in Razumikin, and a cinematic approach like their countrymen Long Distance Calling. No influence outweighs any other. Nothing is so prominent that it defines the band’s sound. It’s a melting pot but these guys do make it their own.
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