Denver’s ALTAS share territory with post-rock bands such as Explosions in the Sky or Russian Circles but they refreshingly sidestep many of the typical genre tropes. Their compositions are carefully designed, the structures evolving engagingly and leaving so little room for excess that the listener rarely realises the average song length is seven minutes.
ALTAS is eager to expand the type of instrumentation and influence typical in post rock. Distorted guitars thrash under bell-like Rhodes melodies; sparkling synths arpeggiate over abstract effects; hip-hop bass grooves, jazz beats and cumbia rhythms make subtle appearances. Above all, ALTAS engages the listener with gorgeous, emotive melodies that suggest narrative structure. The clear exposition, conflict and denouement of each song perfectly complements film soundtracks.
Ahead of the release of All I Ever Wanted Was, available on LP and download on May 31st, 2019 (pre-orders are available HERE) they are releasing the video for ‘Rattenkonig’. The band explains the video thusly, “You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, but she will always come roaring back.” This dark and atmospheric art film begins in a dystopian office where employees fulfill their mundane tasks as cogs in the great machine. However, a looming chthonic force begins to invade, seeping in between cubicles and calling all things back to her, back to the Mother. This film is a reflection on the inevitability of Nature’s raw power told through contemporary dance, abstract imagery, a driving composition, and a narrative as old as Nature herself.
Check it out.