Purple Haus by Bear The MammothRelease date: July 28, 2023
Label: Art As Catharsis
Do you like MONO, Russian Circles, This Will Destroy You and Explosions in the Sky?
If you answered ‘yes’ then I could end the review here, confident of having met the goal to give enough information to decide whether to listen to this album or not. You’ll love it.
If not… this next part is for you.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia this 4 piece conjure together a sound that funnels guitars and synths into slow cinematic, emotive chord progressions that swell and build until eventually erupting into massive full band moments which ultimately crash like an avalanche. Progressive elements (aka riffs, noodling and impressive musicianship) come into play sparingly throughout the album when the band is at its most engaged (‘Freshwater’ and ‘Unserene’) and they absolutely hit with force. I would argue however that the more ambient and ethereal movements will have you spacing out and vibing (‘Jaded’ and ‘Somerset’) to a greater extent.
Compared to the bands previous album ‘Years Under Glass’ which was heavier and perhaps more direct, I feel this new album comes across more as a reflective and somber collection of material and around 43 minutes duration, these 7 tracks will really take the listener on quite the journey. If you put it on in the background sure Purple Haus certainly fills the air with a mood and occasionally draws your attention away from whatever task you are doing but it rarely commands it. When engaged with intent and a good pair of headphones, this record is like a portal to another land which sets fire to the imagination. It’s not a head turning album with immediate effect, it’s a slow burn with various access points depending on what you like about the genre. As someone who has seen the band perform live in support of previous releases it makes me giddy with anticipation to witness this new material on stage!
In short: Great instrumental post-rock from Australia hitting exciting new highs and some darker deeper levels. Do not sleep on it.