Tides From Nebula is on tour with fellow Polish band Riverside, when their second album; Earthshine will be released in The Netherlands and Belgium. For us, it is the right time to give a brief impression of this post-rock band that will have the honour to warm up the crowd, before Poland's best known progressive metal band hits the stage.
First of all, the band plays an atmospheric kind of modern instrumental post-rock music. Long soundscapes and pleasant guitars, with an occasional explosion of power put the balance in the music right. The four members responsible for the music are guitarist Adam Waleszyński, guitarist, keyboardist and pianist Maciej Karbowski, backed up by bass player Przemek Węgłowski and drummer Tomasz Stołowski. Tides From Nebula started in 2008, releasing their debut album Aura in 2009 and after heavy touring, the band started working on the follow-up Earthshine, which is available in stores right now.
These Days, Glory Days takes about a minute and a half to turn from an atmospheric soundscape into a powerful combination of instruments, where the power lies in the reoccurring theme, which also starts the song. The modern elements combined with guitar and bass, played with a lot of effects finish the job. The Fall Of Leviathan starts like a song that could have been written by a band like Muse, with an intriguing relaxed midsection and a pretty rough and powerful end. The continuing song; Watching For The World To Turn Back is very low in volume at some points with very soft keyboards and piano and an occasional guitar, taking you away to a futuristic environment. Imagine you are alone on a planet millions of light-years from home. That is the feeling of the first three minutes of Caravans, where nice Indian drums make their entrance and an atmosphere created by a band like Calexico takes over, waiting for an explosion of sounds only to return to the planet of the beginning of the song. White Gardens also has this perfectly built atmosphere, just like the soundtrack of a movie, starting nice and relaxed, building up in power and volume with heavy bass and drums making for a nice piece to shake your head to. Then, a kind of a short interlude, Hypothermia is a futuristic piece- just keyboards-which gives you the feeling you are alone in a spaceship or in a submarine. Just over ten minutes and the longest song of the album, Siberia takes you on another journey. Calexico comes to mind again, the soft keyboards building towards the heavier pieces, creating a dark and moody atmosphere. Close your eyes and see where the music takes you. Orchestrated keyboards, smooth guitars and drums take you to the last part of Earthshine's journey, when you are taken to the Cemetery Of Frozen Ships, emotional and relaxed.
Listening to this second album, I think Tides From Nebula will have a tough job, opening for Riverside. First of all, because the album is completely instrumental and second, because this is music you have to listen to. The complex atmosphere, created by shifting from low volume towards more power and back to very soft again, could cause some misunderstanding at a live concert. I am curious how the audience reacts to this music. But at home, sitting on the couch, having a nice glass of whisky and listening to Earthshine, you surly will enjoy the trip Tides From Nebula takes you on. One of world's foremost composers of music for films and theatre; Zbigniew Prieisner, produced the album, and to me it seems he had a huge influence on the band's music. The closest thing I could compare this album with is Calexico, who sound like film music more specifically, like a science fiction movie soundtrack.
You have to give the album a chance, because it takes several plays to feel the full intensity of the music.
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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