Ironically, it almost seems like 10,000 days since we saw the last Tool album. Well, 10,000 days is the equivalent to 27 and a bit years, so not quite that far yet, but it has at least been a decade since the previous album from the LA masters of progressive metal. And understandably, there’s a lot of hype growing towards it, as on and off progress continues to be made, and has been for at least three years, not owing part to the now resolved lawsuit that had hung heavy over their heads for a lengthy period of time. There’s also an awful lot of impatience. So far, the only trace of new material we’ve had is a two-minute long instrumental jam, tentatively titled Descending, which by the band’s own admission is only a fragment of a song in progress. Yet the memes, anger and remarks persist. So I thought I’d offer an alternative to those dismayed by the lack of answers or have grown tired of waiting, by rounding up eight excellent, lesser known bands to listen to in the mean time whilst the new Tool album materialises:
Post rock, or post metal in whichever way you want to view this band’s music seems provoke three kinds of moods for me personally. A soundscape that aims to transcend space, a soundscape that plays with our emotions or a soundscape that represents some kind of darkness or doomsday scenario. A Swarm Of The Sun definitely falls into the latter category of these moods. The musical workload masterminded by two Swedish gentlemen, drags rock music kicking and screaming into a chasm, with a black sky onset. Characteristically of this genre, it’s appropriately grandiose, Refuge fitting its title of warning signs to come from the apocalypse. It sounds monumental, like the shifting between Earth’s tectonics. Little time is given to adjust to the scale of the guitar barrage that begins, and fills 2010 album Zenith’s running time, all the while with dulcet tones trying hush the oncoming threat. There are quieter moments, filled with the echoes of strings plucked, resonating beautifully, yet it still maintains that air of foreboding, skilfully executed by these two undeniably talented musicians. Darkness rarely sounds this alluring and judging by the quality of their two albums in an eight-year lifespan, it rarely receives this much adoration too.
2010’s Zenith, as well as this year’s The Rifts and 2007’s King Of Everything EP are all available from A Swarm Of The Sun’s Bandcamp page, all for a small fee.