asidefromaday - chasing-shadows-chronique-pochetteAsidefromaday are a five-piece from France dealing in various types of music with the prefix of ‘post’. Now I’m not a big fan of this prefix. I tend to be suspicious of bands distancing themselves from their neighbours by claiming to have moved on to higher, more refined ground. However, as a fairly recent convert to Neurosis who get lumped in with these sort of tags, and having a lot of respect for the French metal scene I was more than happy to check them out.

Asidefromaday certainly aren’t your basic mainstream metal band. Their songs are quite groove based on which the band riff off like jazz, there’s no big verse chorus structures. Dense, claustrophobic and yet suggestive of eerie monolithic cities in their scope, you could call it epic, although that suggests I find it exciting, which I seldom do. For the most part the vocals of Fred Nivard very one dimensional hardcore growls, all at one pitch, more like another instrument like rhythm guitar than lead, adding texture more than singing songs and attempting to engage.

This is at the heart of the problem for me. It lacks humanity. Post metal sounds like metal but doesn’t feel like metal, it’s missing a vital chromosome which stirs you. ‘Chasing Shadows’ feels more like a pseudo intellectual exercise than an expression of emotions. Sure, Fred Nivard sounds angry, but it doesn’t ever move you to empathy. Apart from the occasional quietly sinister keyboard intros and whispered vocal parts, this album leaves me cold, unmoved and decidedly un-rocked.

We do have ‘Wolfs Tears Are Falling Stars’ which is a great song title and at four songs in at last we have something with a bit of drama and changes in pace. I wouldn’t call it memorable but it has some identity if only through being slightly less dull. It’s the best of a fairly interchangeable bunch.

Devotees of the genre may find this hits the obscure spots that other metal music can’t reach. For me, Asidefromtoday, I won’t be listening to this again.

Asidefromaday – Facebook page