Amia Venera Landscape
The Long Procession

So in a year that saw some truly excellent self-released efforts grace my year end list (Iron Thrones, Norse, Contaigeon, Shadow of the Colossus), and a last minute entry (Deathspell Omega’s Paracletus) along comes Italy’s Amia Venera Landscape and pulls a utterly unfathomable hail mary to nudge its way right onto my [yet unpublished, -ed.note] year end list in the 11th hour.

In a year that was relatively quiet for metalcore, The Long Procession stands as a true standout. Melding the shimmery, jangly textures of Misery Signals, the evocative, uplifting melodies of Life In Your Way, some of Poison the Well’s You Come Before You and Tear from the Red‘s more urgent, rumbling structures, The Long Procession initially comes across as a huge mishmash of established bands. But when you throw in a large amount of dreamy post-rock ambience and beautiful instrumental segues on par with country mates At the Soundawn, it all comes together to form something very special.

From note one of fierce opener “Empire” to the last fade out of the brilliant closer “The Traitor’s March”, The Long Procession is a gorgeous vista of varied and evocative music. Even with large sections of the album being instrumental― which only serve to highlight the explosive metal-elements―the album is perfectly implemented. The balance and contrast is executed flawlessly; from the gruff roars and clean croons, to the delicate acoustic/string tinged shimmers and sky splitting heft, the album is steeped in a controlled passion and graceful elegance littered with explosions of discordance and mountainous post rock ebbs.

Amia Venera Landscape aren’t just piecemeal with their ambiance and post-rock elements either. Sure, there’s the standard 2-3 minute interludes (“Glances Pt. I”, “Infinite Sunset of the Sleepless Man”), but they are also interwoven into the other rangy songs ― many of which are over and around the 5-8 minute mark, as the likes of “A New Aurora”, “The Traitor’s March” and “Nicholas” show. There’s even time for long instrumentals: 8 minute “Ascending” and the 14 minute “Marasm”. The latter being as an ambitious of a song you’ll hear in the genre on par with the likes of post-rock kings like Rosetta.

Sure, the clean vocals might veer into emo-territory, but the well done, distant roars keep things grounded and the abundance post-rock/ambient element could be construed as pretentious, but the when you think the band is wandering languidly , they reign you back in with urgent, shifty, emotional metal (i.e. “My Hands will Burn First”, “Glances Pt. 2”). Again: It’s all about balance. And Amia Venera Landspace do it brilliantly.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 4th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: bast

    Last paragraph.


  2. Commented by: etownMN

    Ordered this directly from the band after reading a review on Sputnik. Totally blown away and amazed this has not made more waves around here since it has such an “American” feel to it. Only other album that comes close for this type of music last year is Rosetta’s Determinism of Morality (loose comparison, but just about as devastating). Good review and dead on.


  3. Commented by: Ndiva

    Wow! Based on your review, I listened to this CD. It is phenomenal!!

    thanks!!


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