By Jonathan Smith
Germany’s Long Distance Calling have created quite the slow-burn of an album with Avoid The Light. The band’s music is often described as a mixture of “post-rock” and “post-metal,” and while listening it’s easy to conjure up comparisons with a group like Godspeed You Black Emperor! but also with the more drawn out and ambient side of a band like Agalloch. The instrumental songs on Avoid The Light mutate by the minute, ranging from minimalist guitars and drums to multiple layers of sound that mesh together as things move ahead. For example, album opener “Apparitions” begins with a soft progression that builds up to a wave of crunching metallic chords over flowing ambient atmosphere before finally quieting back down to where it all began. Jonas Renkse provides guest vocals on “The Nearing Grave,” and while his style works well with the music, it doesn’t necessarily add anything essential. Avoid The Light is not always exciting or engaging when listened to directly, but as ambient background music and easy listening it’s fantastic and enjoyable stuff.