Vortex by ToundraRelease date: April 27, 2018
Label: InsideOut Music
Toundra is one of the most talented and underrated post-rock bands out there. They don’t get the praise or attention they deserve. However, they are always able to top themselves and push the envelope and they’ve proven they don’t know how to release bad albums.
‘Vortex’, the title-track, kicks things off and blends into the first few seconds of ‘Cobra’. In no time we’re made aware of what we can expect for the next 40+ minutes. Such a beautiful riff and melody, fabulous drumming. And, on top of all this, and considering there is an overload of post-rock bands nowadays, they have such a distinct sound. That is something that’s becoming harder and harder in this genre’s world with so many bands doing similar things.
Next up is ‘Tuareg’ and its borderline post-metal guitars. So intense and so beautiful at the same time. ‘Cartavio’ is an interlude, calming things down before we’re hit by ‘Kingston Falls’. This track shows a band playing to their strengths while still being innovative and challenging. Again the emphasis on guitars and melodies. I have to praise the song structures. What an insanely well-written song.
One of the many highlights, ‘Mojave’, is also one of the longer tracks clocking in at 11 minutes. The intro is reflective showcasing a beautiful guitar line and delicate beat in the background. Very stripped back and chill for the first 3 minutes. After that, it swells into a mammoth. Many ups and downs, twists and turns. Do I have to say the drumming is phenomenal on this record again? Wow! The last section of the track is introduced by a massive and devilish riff. I feel like I’ve been thrown all over the place and I feel great about that.
‘Roy Neary’ is a welcomed chilled interlude just before ‘Cruce Oeste’. Again, typical Toundra melody and intensity from the get-go. It doesn’t take too long to introduce itself and hold you in its embrace and warm melody. A glorious ending to a glorious record.
There is simply no moment or transition that feels awkward. All tracks are seamlessly thought out and written. The attention to detail is impressive and there is so much to take in. I’m sure Vortex can be replayed an infinite amount of times and it would still have so much to reveal. This album deserves to be appreciated. It’s inspiring, highly energetic, full of riffs, hooks, melody. What else do you need?