This being my first instrumental review, I was a bit lost as to where to start. But hey, there’s a first time for (almost) everything and Poly-Math is a good way to pop my instrumental cherry.
‘Melencolia’ is the first full-length opus from the Brighton trio and includes three monumental movements, each clocking in somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes. Along the way we get a dizzying sequence of twists and turns; the power house display of riffs and melodies ebbing and flowing between sections of atmospheric reflection.
‘Melancolia I’ opens to an angular haunting guitar line over a lazy acoustic melody that soon gives way to discordant prog-rock riffing; an atmospheric motif follows, building into a frantic discordant assault on the senses. Strangely, the absence of a vocal is irrelevant as the music twists and folds in on itself, varying the intensity and the rhythms around the sinister melodies, easily switching from super heavy chaos to spacious dreamscapes at the drop of a chord change.
‘Ekerot’ continues in a similar style, with urgent riffing giving way to moody slices of percussion and sonic experimentation. One section actually goes a bit pop, before turning all frantic then chilling again to a marching rhythm and a spidery solo. The effect is a little claustrophobic, but it serves as a welcome challenge.
Temptation of the Idler rounds off the trilogy of songs with clockwork guitar lines to create a texture, before typically proggy discordance full of clashing rhythms and riffs picks up the pace for the ensuing drama. Eventually, it all returns to the guitar lines from the introduction to ‘Melancolia I’ with sampled voices and effects closing the show in suitably atmospheric style.
Although the instrumental format is naturally limited, Poly-Math succeed in keeping it interesting on this challenging roller coaster of emotion – well worth a listen; headphones and darkness required.
‘Melencolia’ by Poly-Math is released on April 8th on Superstar Destroyer Records.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)