Better get a beverage of choice and get comfortable for this one. This is by far the longest song you’ll have heard on this blog. But in the best of ways, as a two part space epic absolutely cram filled with unique musical and cultural ideas that keep this a truly fascinating listen. Comparisons to the works of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and the heydays of krautrock have all been ushered to these four (now three) Croatian gentlemen, but the first part of 46 minute long St Anthony’s Fire, reminded me a little more of Ozric Tentacles, at least from the psychedelic scale of their music. While somewhat of an extended jam, the influences from Balkan and Oriental scales and dipping into jazz territories, even classical compositions at times, keep a gorgeous constant flow throughout the unbelievably tight evolution of both pieces. Electronics haze, phase, swirl and whirl in and out of multi-textural guitar exhibitionism, pace changing as quickly as British weather thanks to an insane drum performance, but there is never a lull in its running time. Consistently exciting from beginning to end, music oft doesn’t sound so free and unrestricted by traditional music conventions, and that what makes Fjodor and St. Anthony’s Fire from 2013 a stroke of genius from a band of phenomenally talented musicians.
St. Anthony’s Fire is readily available from the band’s Bandcamp page, whereas their previous work is much more difficult to come across, so research is definitely needed to unearth that.
Some of the best kinds of music ensnare you for a listening experience unlike any other. Pink Floyd. Mastodon. Ozric Tentacles, if you know of them, just to name a few. Minnesota’s Maeth take cues in what makes these three bands world class songwriters, yet are very much their own unique beast, with extra emphasis on the beast. What you’re getting is a progressive metal band that are unafraid to take their music above and beyond tired barriers. The entirety of 2012’s Horse Funeral EP is one song broken into five segments in which the title track here, goes on as much as a flight as the rest of the album. Starting in space almost, sludge mode engages for an impressive show of strength and a surprisingly catchy riff, colliding head on with excellent off-kilter drums. The soundscape is then hushed into a repetition of that riff, supported by a gentle touch of bass before an ethereal flute takes hold of the proceedings. See, progressive music doesn’t get that spiritual sounding nowadays, but these gentlemen can take it there or wherever they please, as their near-leagues below sea level depth is astounding. Maeth aren’t musicians, they’re dreamweavers. Whether that’s a psychedelic tour of space, or a terrifying avalanche solely to crush, they deserve to breach their cult status as one of progressive metal’s most exciting new bands.
The Horse Funeral EP was only the beginning. Please go check out their 2013 album Oceans Into Ashes on their Bandcamp, as it expands the groundwork covered here into a fully-fledged masterpiece.