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Quercus : Postvorta

The 'Oak' returns (Quercus is Latin for "oak"), and this two piece seem to be as avant-garde as ever before. 'Postvorta' contains several discontinuations in each track and unique combinations of instrumentals, yet they seem masters at making all of these elements sound incredibly coherent. As a bit of trivia, and a good example of their anti-normality, the guest vocalist on 'Poles' should be mentioned. I believe his name is Čudlik and he's a cat. With all of the added echo effect you'd be surprised how well it fits with the track's ethereal aura.

While Quercus remains mostly a funeral doom band by definition, the band has incorporated clean and slightly bouncy bass and elements which remind me of progressive metal. Even within their main genre label they seem to wander between Until Death Overtakes Me-like ambient/funeral doom and Worship's bleakness. However, with it's rich atmosphere and variation, this album is probably best compared to bands such as Aarni and I Drowned In A Stream Of Mourn.

The music is filled with all kinds of different elements including samples and musical oddities such as on the third track which mixes in a pretty big portion of psychedelic rock. There seems to be an explanation for this though. 'Postvorta', the title of the album, is also the name of an Etruscan goddess from the past. Thus, if this sound of a restless dream is in fact time travel then this would indeed fit my image of being tossed around gently in an enlightened astral layer. The track 'Die Schwarze Sonne' (which is German for 'the black sun') in particular is a good example of this brightness since it mostly consists of bright guitar play as well as high flown vocals. While mentioning the vocals, there are several vocalists involved and they do everything from male growls, to clean male and female vocals, to Čudlik's commendable effort.

'Postvorta' is one of the most impressive avant-garde doom metal releases I've heard in a very long while. They've undeniably mastered the sound quite well. I'm also a big fan of having bands turn a genre upside-down and make it sound like that's how it's supposed to be. Since funeral doom has never been less "funeral" than this, I've truly enjoyed this musical journey. I would recommend this to all who enjoy metal that is out of the ordinary or who simply want funeral doom which doesn't sound generic for a single second.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Poles
2. Die Schwarze Sonne
3. Postvorta
4. Prophets, Letters, Memories

Duration : Approx. 67 minutes.

Visit the Quercus bandpage.

Reviewed on 15-06-2009 by Arnstein Petersen
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