◯ by La VéritéRelease date: September 2, 2020
For most of the early 2000s I would breathe, eat, sleep and drink post-rock music but as the years went on the genre lost my attention. Bands seemed to struggle to continue hitting the euphoric heights and headed off on other musical paths that I never connected with. O by La Vérité has awoken all those things I loved about the genre and it does an amazing job of venturing into the heyday of post-rock without wandering down the well-trodden holes. It achieves this with a mix of ambient drone and rousing classic post-rock passages and these spine-tingling arrangements are a stunning culmination of a years writing and recording.
The organic feel and flow to the songs drives this release as a piece of complete originality even though there are several reference points. Whilst the crescendo early into ‘Movement 1: A Mother’s Arms’ rings like This Will Destroy You there’s far more space here and the focus is not solely on the spiralling guitar work. The droning intro wraps like a cloak so it is ever present, and it adds a spacious layer to enhance the sound as the guitars soar. The expansive switch from quiet to loud is also something Explosions In The Sky mastered impeccably on 2003s The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place and it’s a technique that is accomplished here also, as guitars switch from sparsity to being awoken by hard pounding drums. It makes it loud whilst still retaining a sense of weightlessness rather than just heavy and even the albums heaviest point ‘Movement IV: It Is Interesting To Go Home’ still feels so buoyant.
All four tracks stretch over 8 minutes and they do so with no obvious repetitive pattern. The band isn’t scared to pull a high spiralling crescendo back into the misty bay and set off on another tangent. On ‘Movement II: Charred by Wildfire’ the song is brought back down a few times before disappearing into piano lead ambient distortion that folds into the next track. ‘Movement III: Like the Limbs of a Mighty Oak’ spends the most time in the guitar driven post-rock arena and even there it never struggles for a fresh idea or knowing when to move on.
It is very easy to let this album loop over and over and still keep picking up new feelings. O reminds me why I love music, why I love post-rock. It is emotive and powerful and when done well there aren’t many forms of music in the world which can compete. La Vérité do it exceptionally well and it is a credit to them that they can re-enter a genre after ten years away and still create something with as much feeling and intensity as O.