Our Survival Depends On Us
Painful Stories Told With a Passion For Life

Beginning with the 1998 debut EP from Isis, a perpetually expanding number of bands criss-crossing the metal and hardcore scenes have successively attempted to snatch the torch from the hands of slow-core, for lack of a better word, godfathers Neurosis. Isis’s Mosquito Control was tribute bordering on plagiarism, and having suceeded in creating a buzz, they attempted to make their own mark on the sound, smoothing out the rough edges into an even-flow presented to best effect on 2002’s Oceanic. From there the floodgates opened, with Rosetta taking the sound to cosmic heights, Mouth of the Architect layering cinematic soundscapes, Year of No Light adding screamo elements, Overmars giving it an industrialized nihilistic edge, Conifer heaping on the sludge and most memorably, and obnoxiously, Cult of Luna claiming they never even heard of Neurosis (yeah right dudes).

While the preceding examples, all good-to-excellent groups in their own rights, have added much to the letter of the ‘word as law’, most, if not all, have seemed to have foregone the ‘spirit-bound flesh’. Salzburg’s Our Survival Depends On Us have proven themselves the Tribe of Neurot’s most orthodox disciple by reducing the Neurosis sound to it’s most primal core, while at the same time emphasizing the folk elements which the members of that iconic band have only given full expression to in their solo outings. With zero reliance on synthesizers, loops or laptops, OSDOU’s tribal pulse, throbbing bass and roaring guitars set the scene for Mucho and Thom’s impassioned, uniquely guttural and gurgled evocations, sometimes trading off, sometimes harmonizing, if you can call it that, Austrian accents on the voices of Von Till, Kelly, Danzig and Windstein.

Rather than drone on endlessly, the band are direct and cohesive songwriters, maintaining that trademark vast epic vibe while still turning in emotional, personal performances. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album’s centerpiece, “Angel Ranger”, a stunning reinterpretation of blacklisted American Indian folk icon Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Eagle Man/Changing Woman”, spiked by a soul-searing guest violin solo by Saila Pusa. The bonafide originals are equally memorable, lyrically weaving stark tales of loneliness in a familiarly foreign milieu, eternally yearning for an archetypical honesty, passion and glory that seems irredeemably lost and forgotton. Each song is a hypnotic, dare I say totemic, mantra divinely inspired to induce a sense of both longing and purpose deep in the listener’s heart, and release the strength that hides within.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by John Gnesin
July 3rd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    Well written review – sounds like a band worth checking out.


  2. Commented by: Sandwiches

    Cult of Luna actually claimed they’d never heard of neurosis? Bah ha ha ha you’ve got to be kidding me. I love that band, but seriously come the fuck on. The beyond and salvation and even parts of somewhere along the highway are VERY neurosis-esque.


  3. Commented by: timshel

    “slowcore” has already been coined to describe a different kind of music. See bands like Low, Bedhead, Codeine, and Rex.

    Still, this review makes me want to give the music a try — I was going to pass it over based on the ridiculous band name alone.


  4. Commented by: Chevalier Mal Fet

    I always thought of that group of bands as shoegaze, and have heard the word slowcore used to describe both shoegaze bands and slow hardcore bands. As I said, my use of the term was strictly for lack of a better one…. sludgecore sounds too awkward, Cult of NeurIsis Core a little too unwieldy. Doomcore?


  5. Commented by: Erik T

    I used doomcore to describe the first Battlefields record-sometimes it fits


  6. Commented by: Blog › Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks of 2009 › Teeth of the Divine

    […] Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest, Obscura – Cosmogenesis, Our Survival Depends On Us – Painful Stories Told With a Passion for Life, Porcupine Tree – The Incident, Raised Fist – Veil of Ignorance, Suffocation – Blood Oath, […]


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