EP REVIEW | Tölva - Wide Shot EP

a2365420346_16ARTIST: Tölva 

RELEASE: Wide Shot EP

RELEASE DATE: 16th September 2016

RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned

Post-rock is almost always at its best when it is subtle, delicate, free-form and bordering on ambient music. It should also be noted that other styles are fantastic, but I feel post-rock and ambient music to be kind of next door neighbours. And so when they invite each other over for a barbeque, beautiful and majestic soundscapes and musical textures are made together; harmoniously, slight but somehow always so clever that it remains interesting. On 'Wide Shot', an EP full of such sounds, French based post-rock outfit Tölva deliver refreshing and earnestly beautiful post-rock/ambient songs that are spiced up by a more progressive sound than your normal instrumental outfit. Wide Shot lands beautifully between post-rock art music and the heavier and louder post-metal genre, offering a neat cross breed of genres and sounds.

'Wide Shot' opens with ‘Poveglia’, which uses fade in to a wild degree before introducing the dense yet fine instrumentation on the track. Much like subtle undercurrents of Berlin School of Electronic Music, the band use a light soundscape to introduce the first plucking of a guitar with bright sounds stationed behind and the neat introduction of the bass guitar. By the time the drums enter the mix, a beautiful yet simple guitar chord progression brings the music together. On ‘Poveglia’ the drums tie everything together in one package, allowing tiny blemishes of ambient guitar textures to sneak into the ear space of the listener. ‘Renton’ follows with a much more progressive rock/post-metal sound, built again around the steady yet full percussion of the drums. The guitars sound much heavier, as does the bass guitar, but even over the crunch of prog-instrumentation there is the rhythmic guitar playing that echoes the bands post-rock core. At around the four minute mark the band leans back toward a more ambient sound and then in a way, step-by-step, they crescendo back to the fuller, heavier sound of the beginning of the song.

‘Puzzle’ begins as an interlude of sorts; soundscapes float while tiny bells are plucked in the background of the mix. The trance-like guitars on ‘Puzzle’ allow Wide Shot to sound much like the soundtrack to a wintery, French or Icelandic film score. The EP’s title track ‘Wide Shot’ seeps in with a very distant fade in (much the same as opener ‘Poveglia’) but introduces a more ambient style sound before breaking into a post-metal wave of energy. ‘Wide Shot’ is by far the most epic track on the EP; soaring guitars and melodic soundscapes all conjoin to form a tight and heavier sound. At around the half way point however, the band slide back into their textured, subtle and beautiful form of a more quiet sound. This time, however, the undercurrents of metal run rampart through the slower and quieter parts of the track. The outro, which begins just past the half way point, connects every trick the band have pulled over the course of the EP and throws it at the listener in a fantastic, vast and satisfying way.

Tölva weave enough magic on Wide Shot to make the listener wish it was an entire album; and that’s pretty much one of the only flaws with this EP… The songs on the EP, while lengthy, seem to set up a wider scope for more potential material that could lead into an album that would showcase a fuller and more structural element of the band. For example, the beautiful and engaging interlude type track ‘Puzzle’ seems as if it’s asking to be noticed more. Similarly the first track ‘Poveglia’ seems like an album intro, with its heavy and fading instrumentation, but feels tight and frustrated in the context of the EP. Also while those who enjoy post-rock, progressive rock, ambient music and different types of heavy instrumental music will find this tremendously enjoyable, some listeners may find it too basic or simple for complete appreciation and praise. But, for those willing, this EP is a brilliant, simple and subtle listen. Each track stands on its own comfortably (even the interlude type track of ‘Puzzle’) and reinforces the bands skill and talent throughout. The performances and mixing are solid, fantastic and engaging; the production is clean enough to be appreciated by post-rock fans and heavy enough to be loved by metal listeners alike. Even the album art is impressive, and links back into the core stylistic elements of post-rock, ambient, textured and dense music. It’s fun and full; enjoyable for its production, performances and sound.

4/5

'Wide Shot' is available to buy/download right now from tolvaband.bandcamp.com

LINKS:

tolvaband.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/tolvaband/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.