“Rei” is the second release from Leeds based Post Metal collective Hundred Year Old Man. Following on from their debut single “Black Fire”, the three track “Rei” will be released on January 26 as a co-release between Gizeh and Wolves and Vibrancy Records in an edition of 300 copies of single sided 12″ vinyl with a B-side etching. Mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Cult of Luna, Alcest, Pg Lost) it sees the band build on their initial release and acts as a gateway to their debut album slated later in the year.
For this release the six piece are joined by Alex Creamer and Anthony Ferguson (vocals and bass respectively on “A Year in the North Sea”).
“Sun and Moon”kicks off the Ep with stormy drones that fuse with some sort of sample and minimal beats which when the guitars and bass spring in to life take me back to 1992 and Scorn’s “Vae Solis” album. It has that sort of Broadrick guitar and the slowish minimal percussion that Harris used alongside Bullen’s dubby bass lines. This changes once vocalist Paul Broughton’s screamo vocals joins and the track veers from Scorn-ish metal to more epic, but melodic and layered Post Metal. One thing that Hundred Year Old Man do is create atmosphere. It is not just beating down the listener with intensity or heaviness. There is a lot of layers and keyboardist and sampler Dan Argyle’s contribution in the band helps in underpinning the atmosphere, with also adding proggy elements to give the music variety. The guitars can reach downtuned depths of dirtiness, but also seering melody. This variety enables them to be multi dimensional.
“A Year in the North Sea” opens with operatic samples over a bed of distorted guitars that are feedbacking into drones creating a bleak atmosphere with snatches of screamed vocals floating in and out. The track changes mid way with some industrial clangs and bird song field recordings before changing from a drone scape to an industrial, almost intro or outro of a track. You could see this track used in a live environment with some sort of filmic background as an entrance piece.
“Rei”, depending on which context it is used in can with be a name or mean in Hebrew “My Shepherd, My Companion, My Friend”. Presumably this is referenced in the samples and vocals, but I can not pin down a clear instance of it. The title track is the epic one of the Ep reaching nine minutes in total. It has a similar feel to “Sun and Moon” with the pace, the dubby bass, synth and soaring guitar. These items build in increments till the beat down or break down occurs and the down tuned guitar, bass and drums lead into a more sludgey Doom Post Metal sound, vaguely reminiscent of Pelican with the obvious difference being the vocals. A return to the more atmospheric qualities happens with samples presumably from movies , before the descent occurs again. The guitars fuse to work in both the heavy and more reaching aspects, before a tribalist drumming, synth and guitar section bring the listener into another movement of the track. This one, despite the crashing drums, pounding guitars and harsh vocals, is probably the most melodic section thanks to synth that is forcing its way between the elements. For the remainder of the track the band pound away mercilessly before the final section which is like a machine braking down. The label describes the music as this “The title track demonstrates the staggering ambition that Hundred Year Old Man posses. Ripping into a cathartic sludge reminiscent of Neurosis at their best, it’s a towering, immersive, nine minute journey that refuses to loosen its grip until the dying moments.”
With two relatively short (in amount of tracks) it will be interesting to see what HYOM can unleash on a full length album.
At time of publishing the band are about to embark on a Euro tour. The dates are as follows:
01.02 – London (UK) – The Black Heart / 02.02 – Boulogne (FR) – L’Horloge
03.02 – Paris (FR) – Olymipic Cafe / 04.02 – Mouscron (FR) – El Bar
05.02 – Bruges (BE) – Koerspeerd / 06.02 – Hamburg (DE) – AstraStube
07.02 – Braunschweig (DE) – Nexus / 08.02 – Prague (CZ) – Eternia
09.02 – Berlin (DE) – Nuke Club / 10.02 – Gent (BE) – Cafe Den Drummer
16.02 – Birmingham (UK) – Hammer & Anvil w/ Nadja
17.02 – Manchester (UK) – Gizehfest / 21.02 – Liverpool (UK) – 27 Club
23.02 – Sheffield (UK) – Mulberry / 24.02 – Banbury (UK) – Wheatsheaf
13.04 – Manchester (UK) – Rebellion / 14.04 – Reading (UK) – Face Bar