“Curiosity is a real bastard”
So begins the opening track ‘Curiosity’ of the seventh album from German band Long Distance Calling (LDC). They’re mostly an instrumental post-rock band who use lyrics sparingly to convey the occasional cryptic point. They don’t perform their music in the sense of following a set pattern of structured notes. What LDC are offering here isn’t so much songs as mental imagery. Through their music, they evoke images based on the mood and textures of their sound, which is a synthesis of several styles.
On ‘How Do We Want To Live?’ you’ll find riffs, repetitive rhythms (a couple being a little too repetitive and outstay their welcome), layered guitar and keyboard pieces alongside the occasional melancholic mood. The band’s underlying manifesto on this album is the issue of mankind’s increasing reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI), thus the title ‘How do we want to Live?’
Long Distance Calling asks, do all these technological developments bring us closer to Utopia or Dystopia?
After being told curiosity is a real bastard but it’s the way the universe knows itself ‘Curiosity pt2’ kicks in with its incessant techno backing rhythm and some scorching Floyd influenced guitar. This sets the pattern for the rest of the album. They have quite a wide range to their technical and emotional range, and they demonstrate just what can be done with the standard band line-up, proving melodic subtlety and metallic power can be successfully merged without the need for a vocalist.
‘Hazard,’ ‘Voices’ and ‘Immunity’ are all powerful pieces with 90’s techno synth backing creating an ambient mood and with some fine guitar work as the songs morph into rock workouts, with Hazard warning about the dangers of subservience to AI.
‘Fail/Opportunity’ is melancholic, almost sinister, with its mournful violin sound. ‘Beyond your limits’ is the only track featuring vocals and is as close as LDC come to offering a standard rock tune. If they ever become a classic rock band, they’d have a bright future based on this.
Album closer ‘Ashes’ is a doom-laden conclusion, with its message stating humans are a virus and a plague, and AI is the cure, all to a haunting dark atmospheric synth backdrop. This is an album you’ll need to listen to a few times to fully appreciate the sheer depth of the music and the skill of the instrumentation. The music is complex in places but not needlessly so. If you’re a fan of bands like Opeth, Lunatic Soul, and Rush, there’s a lot in this album for you to enjoy.