“The post-rock trio creates a dense shadowy atmosphere with a distorted screaming guitar and a perfectly restrained beat, but contrasting the weight are delightful ringing melodies and that high-pitch tremolo often found in happy-sad atmospheric black metal. The three parts seem to take turns being the optimistic one while the others ground it in reality…” — Toilet Ov Hell
Gothenburg, Sweden-based post-rock trio BARRENS, featuring members of long-running alternative/experimental indie rock unit Scraps Of Tape, is pleased to unveil their disquieting new video for “Atomos.” Now playing courtesy of Toilet Ov Hell, the moving track comes by way of the band’s impending debut full-length, Penumbra, set for release next month via Pelagic Records.
“The video of ‘Atomos’ plays as a recording of a fever dream, or perhaps of a life,” issues the band. “The chaos and cross cutting; the distorted reality and loose references; the beautiful and the abstract blend together to form a broken narrative that most of us can relate to. Created by Linus Johansson it supports a track which explore a dreamlike state which careens almost out of control and then back again. A metaphor for being alive.”
Adds Toilet Ov Hell, “Penumbra as a whole is an exercise in balancing oppression with catharsis. It hits you with a desolate landscape: a tom and snare crawl; a down-tuned riff; a malfunctioning electronic synth layer… then a cymbal crashes; a melody kicks in; the tempo triples and suddenly everything is okay, for a moment.”
Read more and view BARRENS’ “Atomos,” at Toilet Ov Hell, HERE.
View the band’s previously released video for “Arc Eye,” below.
While there exists a great deal of common ground between what Scraps Of Tape and BARRENS create musically, BARRENS develops their own idiosyncratic sound on Penumbra. Driven as much by synths as guitars, Penumbra oscillates between the dark and bright sides of post-rock. Conceptually, the record centers itself on the topics of change, metamorphosis, and transformation, “especially movement into, through, out of shadows, and back again,” notes guitarist Johan G. Winther. “Being both lost in darkness yet finding comfort there. Seeking it. Afloat in blinding light, suspended in darkness,” as it is etched into the vinyl.
Penumbra is dense, sophisticated, deep, mature, overwhelming, minimalist, and elaborate all at the same time. It does not sound like a debut album of a new band, but more like an intuitive but also carefully reflected creation of musicians fused together by a long and strong bond. “What we all have in common is that creating music is a cathartic release. We do it not only because we want to, but just as much because we have to,” explains Winther. “This makes writing and creating something that is born out of equal amounts happiness, light, and positivity and anxiety, darkness, and negativity. It’s a constant movement through various degrees of light, of shadows, and of deep darkness. The shared bond of this has been the catalyst for what BARRENS and Penumbra is, and what it will continue to grow into and develop out of.”
BARRENS’ Penumbra will be released on CD, LP, and digital formats April 10th. Find preordering options below. Fans Of Mono, PG.LOST, Caspian, Mogwai, This Will Destroy You, Pelican, Scraps Of Tape, God Is An Astronaut, and the like pay heed.
The members of BARRENS were already touring together before they were even a band. In 2018, Markku Hildén joined Scraps Of Tape, Winther and bassist Kenneth Jansson’s other band, as a live drummer for two tours of Europe and a tour of China. “Finding an immediate chemistry between us both playing and hanging out, we quickly realized we had very similar ideas regarding music and creating art together. So the outlines for what BARRENS would become were sketched out back then in vans, trains, planes, and over post-show beers at local bars,” recalls Jansson. Once back home, the newly formed band composed demos, drawing inspiration from new sources, and venturing through both well known and unknown territories. In the summer of 2019, Penumbra was recorded in Uppsala and Gothenburg, produced by the band, and mixed and mastered by Cult Of Luna’s Magnus Lindberg at Redmount Studios in Stockholm.
“Fans of cinematic instrumental post-rock a la This Will Destroy You, Pelican, Mono, Mogwai, etc. will find a whole lot to love about the band’s debut single, ‘Arc Eye,’ with an extra dose of synth-laden atmospherics that give the music an especially melancholic feel.” — MetalSucks