Etter Lys by IngrinaRelease date: May 7, 2018
Label: Tokyo Jupiter Records
Behind its rather stale façade, France’s music scene bustles with the vitality of its unsung creative talent. Acknowledgement for the scene is sparse, and rare are the names that earn and reach international recognition. A great pity, especially when considering how much character the independent rock scene has grow to develop within the French borders. Tulles’ Ingrina and their debut full-length are, for instance, a prime product of the scene’s unique sense of creativity and talent.
From the album’s cinematic arrangements to it dense, overdriven textures, Etter Lys bears the markings of a deep affection for all music genres labeled with the “post-“ prefix. post-metal would be the default category for a rock record as orchestral, textured as this one, though such a labelling would overshadow Ingrina’s most noteworthy qualities.What sets this particular band apart from its peers is the grit instilled in their music, more rooted in the aesthetic of garage punk bands than the likes of sludge metal acts. Ingrina is more of a post-hardcore with a transcendent post-rock edge, at the midpoint between DIY-venue loud-rock and deeply evocative, quasi-orchestral soundscapes.
Underlying the paysagistic beauty found on Etter Lys lurks an ever-present sense of solitude, angst and dread offsetting the otherwise blissful experience. The bands’ dense sound resonates with a dark, slightly cavernous timbre, reaching for a stark, desolate ambience rather than full-on violence and aggression. With that being said, you can safely assume that a heavy rock band comprised of a bassist, three guitarists and two drummers will be prone to dip in the “loud and heavy” territory. ‘Black Hole’, one of the most dynamic tracks on the records, kicks things off with an outburst of pummelling drums and dissonant, noisy guitar riffs, establishing the shape and tone of what is to come in the process with its outstanding arrangements.
Every part on Etter Lys soars, sinks, flows and crashes with incredible vibrancy; all transitions, as sudden as they may sound, serve an undeniable sense of purpose to the overall composition. Moods shift, textures evolve and unveil themselves throughout each of the seven songs, with each subsequent track tying in meaningfully with the next. ‘Black Hole’‘s eruption transitions into the more steady-paced ‘Fluent’, counterbalancing the action-packed opener with a massive ten-minute piece tainted with desolation. ‘Coil’ comes next and adds a clearer sense of direction to the narrative with a more dynamic progression, eventually building up to some truly beautiful, blissful melodies. ‘Resilience’, slowly but surely picks up on the glimmer of hope that the previous track ended on, blooming majestically over the course of its seven-minute runtime, only to have things revert back to a tempestuous, disorienting atmosphere with ‘Jailers’. Next, ‘Surrender’, the albums’ gargantuan fifteen-minute epic, slowly builds up to some of the albums’ heaviest riffs, dipping into some sludgy, hard-hitting riffs during its grave, post-metal finale. Finally ‘Leeway’ comes in to deliver one last chapter to sum up the whole journey and tie things up for a dramatic close.
With every song placed in context, Ingrina’s Etter Lys record is a sturdily built debut and a thoroughly engaging listen. Etter Lys is not to be picked apart, specifically because its main strength resides specifically in the summation of its parts, or rather in the way the parts are put together. Through a graceful handling of influences and an exemplary meticulousness towards structure and narration, Etter Lys is a beautifully crafted piece that gives us every reason to be excited for Ingrina and their promising future.