Liverpool instrumental post rock band Kusanagi make a long awaited return with their second full length Aeon, an album that has a lot to live up to following the bands well received debut album Yugen from 2015 but it is good to see that they do that with stylish aplomb.
Aeon starts as it means to go on with impactful opening track I See You, a massively impactful start to the track with a vast swathe of sound and pounding drums soon morphs into an electronic flourish that is vibrant as it is unexpected and gives the album a driving start before the song transforms once again into a more heartfelt instrumental, driven by great use of rhythmic passages on the keyboard which give things an anthemic edge.
The shimmering Memory Reflector follows and is almost ten minutes of musical emotion that takes in a whole range of peaks and troughs delivered with a whole lot of measured playing that certainly shows off the members of Kusanagi‘s musical skills and demonstrated exactly what a great band they are.
Alterdark goes beyond the ten minute mark but flies by in an array of grooving time changes during which you wont be able to tell what’s coming next, such is the eclectic nature it. The track starts with an ominous electronic element that switches to a pulsing throb of noise before the jagged rhythms emerge and as the track unfolds, it seems to tell a story with its inspiring vibe, building and building before reaching a thunderous conclusion. This a track with a heavy vibe but that heaviness is coupled with soothing melody that goes side by side with the emotional turmoil that is constant throughout the duration.
Repeat/Static/Movement is a much more upbeat track and revels in its glacial sound with a massive synth sound that sits perfectly alongside the more serrated guitars and the resulting sound is a huge slice of inspiring audio joy.
The album ends with The Infinite Bright, an initially more mournful track with a nagging bassline but that mournful nature morphs into something even more powerful with great use of those synths again (which the band use to enhance the entire album and it works every time) and the result is an extremely triumphant end to the album, concluding it in the most perfect way.
Aeon is a superb album and another high point in the career of Kusanagi, a career that sees them constantly evolve and reaching a higher trajectory in their vast musical spectrum.
Aeon is out now!
Words: Gavin Brown