Rorcal - _The Way We Are, the Way We Were, the Way We Will Be..._
(Independent, 2006)
by: Chaim Drishner (9.5 out of 10)
It's time to scuba dive! Deep down, into unknown dark hues of blue and green and rot and beauty untold; into the endless ocean of emotion, possibilities and mysteries abound. This thirty minute mammoth by an unheralded Swiss band is all one needs to quench the thirst for class, aesthetics and profoundity, especially if one's goal is to explore the realms of sludge-oriented, slightly experimental post-atmospheric hardcore in its role as the tool for soul searching odysseys. Holy shit! Is this album heavy, and into that, beautifully so...

Rorcal -- or more accurately, Rorqual -- is a whale sub-species, one of the largest in scale and weight. Rorcal, the band, is no different, in all aspects. Oceanic, sparse and wild, but also enigmatic and easy to correspond with, even relate to, Rorcal's music is as heavy as the boundless sea (or the creatures that call it home) and ever so beguiling, captivating and mesmerizing. Just smell that sweet, nauseous odor blowing off the ocean; the pungent stench of sweetness and decay; of life and death alike. Only he who has spent a life long time coupling with the sea can truly appreciate this beautiful macabre dichotomy of life and death celebrating, flirting endlessly on the beach, the shore of existence.

Rorcal's music entices such existential marvels, to the very truest. Tidal waves of menacing and maniacally slow beats pound the listener unconscious; cosmic guitars roll like thunder and oscillate from the very sparse post-rock etiquette to the bottomless pits of metallic mayhem and dissonance; vocals like the dying embers of a great plague now flooded and drowned by these merciful waters, cry their very last blasphemies towards a perfectly blue skies, and then, suddenly -- silence; a calm before or right after the great storm...

Like the ocean, angry and harsh, and a heartbeat later as friendly and cuddly as a kitten, Rorcal's music oscillates between those highs and lows resulting in a gray area in between, a dimension that is nothing short of divine and tranquil atmosphere generated by these Swiss magicians.

Thickly layered, the laid back parts equalize the very harsh and holocaust-like dirges of razor-sharp searing guitars and torturous screams, what ultimately results in a strange flirt between the two extremes, and the effect is utter and holistic and all-encompassing. The seemingly simple instrumental array is far from that: erratic and ever changing rhythms; little guitar "tricks" and various styles of strumming and effects does the listener encounter and is overwhelmed by the sheer richness of the compositions and their execution.

_The Way We Are, the Way We Were, the Way We Will be..._ is no less than a work of wonder. Seek this album out as if your life depends on it!


(article published 25/5/2008)

1/15/2011 C Drishner 9 Rorcal - Heliogabalus
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