by Mark Anthony Brennan
‘Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes’ is an impressive effort, to say the least. Recorded at Montreal’s renowned Hotel2Tango with a gaggle of guest musicians, the album is a richly layered cornucopia of musical sounds. It’s progressive drone metal, but that’s a label that is more limiting than illuminating.
“Archangel”, for example, starts with vocoded vocals, which are soon joined by the signature drone guitar. However, the song eventually eases into melodic singing. There is similar variety on “You Are A Comet, You Are A Fire”, which also features interesting time signature changes, recorded spoken passages and some brass to top it all off. “Tonight, The Dead Walk” has some goth elements, whereas “Leg of Lamb” is frankly more of a really heavy power pop song.
The album requires a lot of attention from the listener, not just patience (did I mention that the songs clock in at an average length of around 12 minutes?). The band could have rewarded us with a bit more structure, as the mini-epics tend to meander rather than progress, but the discerning art rock/post-rock fan will enjoy the journey. High quality speakers or headphones are an absolute must.