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28th April 2017 – Flowers Blossom In The Space

01. And Then Came Spring
02. Sleep//Awake
03. Uns
04. There You Are
05. Reminiscence
06. Kalga
07. A New Solace
08. Hope Unfolds
09. Lights & Colours
10. Sometime Somewhere

With a population well in excess of a billion people, it should come as no surprise that India would have some jewels in its music scene. With bands like Skyharbor and Demonic Resurrection touring on an international level, it’s clear there is a thirst for all things Indian and metal – but it turns out this extends to post-rock also. If that sounds like your thing, aswekeepsearching are the band you need; the Ahmedabad quartet already have one album under their belt, and you’re well advised to buckle up for album two.

Post-rock as a genre is fraught with limitations; it’s easy to imitate or even out-and-out copy, without really straying into anything innovative. The ability to form a niche in such a densely populated market has been well and truly outsourced and it’s all the better for it. From the album opener “And Then Came Spring”, with its multi layered synth/guitar approach, Zia catches you off guard and when paired with some beautifully delivered Hindi lyrics akin to Ashe O’Hara’s stint in TesseracT, it’s clear you’re onto a winner.

The album ebbs and flows as with all post-rock records, however its peaks and troughs are vast and deep, with heavier sections aiding the crescendos. The instrumental majesty of “Sleep//Awake” is astonishing, where layers upon layers of sound populate as far as the ear can hear whilst sweeping you away under waves of tabla and strings.

Tracks like “Reminiscence” and “A New Solace” have a cinematic quality that is bolstered by a clarity in the production that might usually come across as sterile. With every single note taking shape in its own space, you can truly understand the love and devotion that goes into building something so textured. “Hope Unfolds” and “Lights & Colours” take a step into the aforementioned TesseracT arena with effervescent guitar tones interjected with gentle chugs and glistening synths. The tracks maintain a quality throughout that is relatively unmatched by the bands’ peers.

As “Ascend” rounds out the album it’s clear that Zia is just as much about what the band doesn’t say as what it does. These voids left for your imagination to bloom as the album consumes and enraptures the listener, aided in part by the sparse but delicate vocals. It’d be silly to imagine that aswekeepsearching didn’t carefully construct these tracks to do exactly that, but there is an organic quality that is maintained throughout that can only serve as a statement of confidence in the eleven songs that make up the record.

The bright colourful heat of India acts as a perfect soundscape for shimmering post-rock swells. Whether it’s the vastly populated cities or the rural greenery, the subcontinent is an awe inspiring place and aswekeepsearching do their damnedest to capture the essence of their home. With a fairly beefy run time this, album is a journey best undertaken whilst sitting outside on a sunny day.

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