Originally Polish formation Yenisei (named after a large Siberian river) was founded as a metal project, but it was so time consuming to find a vocalist that the band members began to create instrumental material. The search for the singer was stopped, instead keyboard player Rafał Piniaź joined Yenisei. “We mostly focused on having instrumental tracks showing different emotions. In some of them you can hear sadness, others could bring joy or solace. Good melodies and atmosphere are key elements that we wanted to include on our debut. We have many different inspirations from different genres, but if you like to be more familiar with good post rock bands you can check Tides From Nebula, We Lost The See or If These Trees Could Talk.”
After looking at the wonderful front cover art, during my first listening session I conclude that the Yenisei river on the cover is a metaphor for the music: it starts slow and calm, gradually turns into more powerful and ends in full splendor . The 6 instrumental compositions are simply structured, every track the music starts dreamy, hypnotizing or atmospheric (with tender piano, fragile guitar and soaring keyboards), then gradually turns into more lush (with fiery guitar work, raw guitar riffs and a tight, often propulsive rhythm-section) or shifts to bombastic eruptions. The climates range from dark and melancholy to romantic or euphoric. To me it sounds like a pretty emotional and compelling musical experience. It's categorized as postrock, but I grew up in the Seventies and Eighties, often early U2, The Cure and Simple Minds come to my mind, due to the atmospheric guitars and keyboards.
My highlight is the final epic composition There Was Nothing We Could Do (8:30). In the first part the music alternates between dreamy (with spacey synthesizer flights) and more lush and powerful (with raw rock guitar). Halfway the band delivers an exciting build-up from mellow to heavy and bombastic, this creates a strong tension in the music, emphasized by the contrast between the celestial keyboard sound and the fiery guitar runs (razor sharp like Robert Fripp). This excellent track showcases the potential of Yenisei, well done guys, a promising debut album!
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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