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With Echoes In the Movement of Stone

Minsk

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Album Review

Minsk bassist Sanford Parker has become an in-demand producer within a certain precinct of the art-metal underground; he's worked with Yakuza and Pelican, among others, and Yakuza saxophonist Bruce Lamont returned the favor by blowing on the last Minsk album, 2007's The Ritual Fires of Abandonment. This time out, there are no guests at all. With Echoes in the Movement of Stone is Minsk's heaviest, most aggressive record to date, the drifting psychedelic soundscapes of the first two albums frequently pushed aside in favor of a pummeling assault reminiscent of Neurosis' Through Silver in Blood or the Melvins' (A) Senile Animal. The songs are as long as ever, with three of the album's eight tracks nudging or passing the ten-minute mark. The band's music surges and ebbs like a massive tide, with the guitar lines moving in a linear and horizontal fashion rather than erupting in traditionally cathartic solos — the effect is clearly derived from Neurosis, but there's also a strong undercurrent of Iron Butterfly on a track like "The Shore of Transcendence." Tribal drum patterns and throat singing give the album's quieter moments a meditative feel, building inexorably to the doomy roar that is Minsk's trademark. And the final third of the 11-minute album closer, "Requiem: From Substance to Silence," is a most welcome comedown, the music slowly wafting away until nothing remains but drums and almost ambient keyboard tones. While this album doesn't move Minsk's music forward in any significant way — they do what they do — it's a superb example of a band achieving total stylistic maturity, self-confident and impressive as hell.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Although they borrow their moniker from the capital city of the country of Belarus, Minsk actually hail from Peoria, IL, of all places, where the bandmembers began working on demos circa 2002, inspired by a cross section of ancient doom and futuristic post-metal that was growing quite popular at the time thanks to the emergence of groups like Isis, Cult of Luna, and Rwake. For Minsk, distinction from the pack would emanate from their unusually percussive approach, a consequence of the complex interplay...
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With Echoes In the Movement of Stone, Minsk
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