Initially forming in 2007 out of Sudermania, Sweden, ioseb is a post-rock band that recently released agartha. One of the things that separate this album from a lot of other post-rock albums is how they chose to use their time. The longest track on this album is just over five minutes, which for a typical post-rock band is a basic intro. Instead of extending sections out they decide to get right to the point. There isn’t any filler on this album as each song wastes little time getting to the most exciting parts.
Another thing that should be noted is how the album feels like it was made in the middle of a blizzard. From the sounds of wind, to the crystallized synth the album feels like the band was playing in Superman’s crystal cave. I absolutely enjoyed it, as there is a consistent theme that the album reinforces to make you feel more engrossed within the music. Additionally the production is stellar. Everything from the piano to the guitars sounds professional and just as good as anything within post-rock right now.
The album starts with “det röda tornet,” which starts off as a loose ambient piece that plays with cold winds and piano. They twirl around each other making a whirlwind of sound before the storm. Army-type snare rolls make themselves known that something is peering ahead. Halfway through the song the storm that has been brewing finally hits. Distorted guitars and walking bass lines carry the song as it simmers down a bit. I was impressed by the end of the song which takes an unexpected turn. A number of singers harmonize and seem to be doing a type of chant. Ioseb hit so many great moments on the first track and all under six minutes.
“at blott i tviflets spår til sanningarne vandra” doesn't waste any time and starts right off with the whole band in full effect. A great song all around but again what I really enjoyed was the unexpected moment. I thoroughly appreciated the subdued singing that only lasts briefly but really adds a lot to the song. Their ambient pieces are quite beautiful as well. While both revolve around the arctic tundra “agartha” contains guitar while “ack Värmeland du sköna” contains piano. They close the album with “o swedenborate! o rosencreutzare!” which channels a bit of Sigur Rós. The song reaches great heights and was a good choice to end this album.
Agartha is an album that condenses some of the best parts of post-rock and puts them in any easy-to- digest package. I highly recommend you check out this music.
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