Encircling Sea - A Forgotten Land 2xLP

Sludge (or "post-metal" if you like) has become very blah these days. Some may argue that it always was, but they'd be wrong. It seems like the sub-genre had hit it's peak a couple of years ago, with bands such as Cult of Luna and Isis dominating, but since that time, only a few of the style's bands are really putting out worthwhile records. Australia's Encircling Sea is a band that few people have probably heard of, but they are certainly keeping the spirit of post-metal alive, and indeed could be carrying it to a whole new level. They have crafted an album worthy of our adoration - a true masterpiece. A Forgotten Land contains 4 songs and about 68 minutes of epic, sprawling and beautifully atmospheric metal. These guys play with more passion and heart than I could even imagine being able to muster up - A Forgotten Land is honestly one of the most intense sludge albums I've ever heard. The first two tracks, "Yearn" and "Transcend"  slowly build up, crash down around you, and eventually return to a sense of stasis and calm. The third track, "Become," is an all-acoustic folk song, full of lovely, heartfelt melodies. The closer, "Return" is a mid-tempo 20-minute track that makes me question whether I'm even comfortable calling this a metal record. It is a metal record, but the beauty and grandeur that characterize so much of the music makes it quite unusual. I'm very much in love with this record, and I think you will be as well.

You can hear some samples on the band's Bandcamp page, and if that's not enough, you can watch a YouTube teaser from our friends at Replenish Records, who will soon be releasing the 2xLP of this on American shores (while Germany's Sick Man Getting Sick will be handing the vinyl in Europe). For now, the CD of this can be had from Natural World Records.

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