Enter Oblivion by Glasgow Coma ScaleRelease date: December 12, 2016
Label: Fluttery Records
To say that Glasgow Coma Scale knocked me down would be an understatement. A relatively unknown band closing a really somber year for music was the silver lining in the cloud for me. This German 3-piece band packs more firepower in their latest album Enter Oblivion than I initially expected. The band name caught my attention – a post rock band dabbling in the concepts of a neurological scale to record a human being’s conscious state would definitely have some mind boggling stuff to offer us hungry post rock souls.
Well, for starters, I won’t classify GCS as a typical post rock band. They are a brainchild of a pristine and long love affair between krautrock and post rock, waiting to be discovered. The song dynamics are so intelligently crafted that it helps me look beyond the endless horizon of what instrumental rock can offer. Krautrock has always fascinated me, especially the inclination towards sepulchral bass riffs and a simple yet groovy drum fill that continues throughout the songs. But sometimes the overall rhythm and dynamics reach the inevitable banality; Glasgow Coma Scale wittily eliminates this shortcoming with their constantly evolving instrumentation with every track. Opening song ‘Sonda’ starts out bold with a groovy, psych-laden bass riffage accompanied by a harmonic tonal sweetness that pulsates from quieter to heavier rhythm throughout the song ultimately culminating in a crashing yet not overbearing crescendo. ‘Southern Crosses’ takes the mind on a soulful journey, worming further into the oblivion, with layered atmospheric jamming and a distinct space rock vibe.
If you are a fan of Monkey3 and My Sleeping Karma, you’d definitely dig ‘Ghost Not Found’; guitarist and keyboardist Piotr Kowalski steals the show in this track. This track borders on the progressive side, sonically speaking, but the band is pervading on an alternate dimension here, intermeshing between various sonic realms at the same time. Marek’s command over the bass, which feels very Tool-ish (A nice touch by the way!) accompanied by the simple yet creative drum fills by Helmes Bode sets up the platform for Piotr to freely experiment with the synths and guitar tones and have absolute control over every nuance. Easily one of the best songs in the album for me.
Glasgow Coma Scale don’t have variegated riffs in the album; rather they have a core concept that gradually progresses and develops consistently, ergo providing an engrossing coherence to the album. ‘Silent Bird’ surely has a cascading tempo and the sonic experimentations leap higher than the preceding songs but the mood and climactic harmony are in alignment with the overall mood of the album. The closing track ‘Birthland’ effectively nails the flair the band strives for. Another mind-altering trip deep into the unknown realm of oblivion that can tranquilize every inch of your body yet put you in a state of frenzy, especially the last minute that would leave you in a state of shock-and-awe.
Enter Oblivion is a perfect substitute for a hallucinogen that lasts for almost 44 minutes with absolutely no side effects whatsoever. The top-notch production ensures that there are no stones unturned to make it one of the finest albums that came out in 2016. A huge shout out to Fluttery Records for signing up with the best of artists in the post rock/instrumental scene and Glasgow Coma Scale is another explosive entry in their roster. Should you be looking for a trippy post rock record with just the right amount of awesomeness and uniqueness, this is the album for you. Rarely will you find a band that experiments on such a level especially with their debut album and that alone should provide an impetus to all the post rock lovers to give these guys a try; trust me, you won’t regret it.