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Our Survival Depends On Us : Melting The Ice In The Hearts Of Men

The latest full-length from Our Survival Depends On Us is a fascinating, sweeping, cinematic Post-Metal opus.

'Melting The Ice In The Hearts Of Men' is the fourth album by Austria's Our Survival Depends On Us. Generally, I consider myself well versed in the ways of Metal. I am usually quite comfortable at evaluating and reviewing Metal albums from a myriad of genres. This album was a bit of a new challenge for me. It made me feel like an outsider looking in, usually I'm in the deep end of Heavy Metal swimming happily. 'Melting The Ice In The Hearts Of Men' put me on the pool deck, wearing water wings, trying to find a safe place to hang my towel. That is not to say the album was unwelcoming or harbored a pretentious eliteness, I think this album just operates on a different scale than I am used to. Think of combat; there are MMA fighters and boxers who specialize in one on one combat, there are security forces such as SWAT that are a small, elite, skirmish units, then there are full blown armies. I feel that this album operates like full scale invasion of a continent, while I'm a guy getting punched in the gut by a ham-and-egger in some dank, musty, boxing ring somewhere. 'Melting The Ice In The Hearts Of Men' operates on a huge scale and occupies a much larger space and breadth then I am used to Metal doing. It is a little intimidating and not my usual listening wheelhouse, but those feelings come from my own shortcomings, not a lack of accessibility by Our Survival Depends On Us.

To craft something on the level of 'Melting The Ice In The Hearts Of Men' it takes talent, artistic vision and first rate production capabilities. Typically, I prefer distorted, stripped down and bluesy over the orchestral, eerie, and atmospheric this album serves up. Our Survival Depends On Us has a way of seamlessly blending dashes of Black Metal rawness, Doom riffage, progressive drums, sports arena organs, and an array of percussion. They whirl all those components into something new and fresh. There is a lot packaged in there, it creates a haunting, dark, piece of art that is breathtaking, they just used way more colors then I am accustomed to.

At times this album feels like it could almost fall into the "soundtrack" category but it has some inexplicable elements that make it seem a bit more multifaceted then what would generally be construed as its peers. It does however beg to be overlaid with visuals.

The second track 'Gold And Silver', my favorite track, is an amalgamation of many different genres. It takes a cheap, tin-can, circular Black Metal guitar opening and quickly shifts lanes into Candlemassian beefy riffs and a huge crying guitar solo. Although the song clocks in at over 10 minutes, tempo changes and elemental genre fluidity that are all beholden to a driving percussion make the song worthy of its length. The run time allows the band to find little pockets and corners within the song to jam out, exploring different sounds yet all under the same banner. It is like riding a train, each town or stop along the way is different and diverse but still lies on a single track. There are many different vistas here but they are all connected.

In some ways this album has left me trying to define the undefinable. 'Melting The Ice In The Hearts Of Men' is an incredibly unique, massive, opus style piece. If I had to categorize it into a genre I would lump it into "Post-Metal". It was interesting and enlightening to listen to, I'm still not sure I fully understand what message it's trying to convey, but it was inspired and entertaining nonetheless.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Galahad
2. Gold And Silver
3. Song Of The Lower Classes
4. Sky Burial

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Our Survival Depends On Us bandpage.

Reviewed on 2020-08-20 by Chris Murray
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