Wednesday 1 April 2020

Staghorn - Corvus IV

Labels: Self-Released
Formats: Digital + Special accompanying Comic Book physical release
Release Date: 20 Mar 2020


1. Torch
2. Lux
3. Rahula
4. Samsara

Over last few weeks there have been stories and personal accounts of how pollution is being reduced and how animals are reclaiming parts of the land due to current isolation measures. That is a great thing and shows how the planet can benefit from less human consumption and impulsiveness. Ethical  US post-rock/metal band Staghorn is a project constantly striving for these kinds of outcomes, all while consciously ensuring that it's own footprint is reduced to a minimum and it's message is delivered to as many people as possible.

Having released it's first album Parousia I - Kismet II in 2015, then came the lengthy process of writing and delivering second album Wormwood III in late 2019. The band has now returned with Corvus IV, as well an accompanying instrumental version. This release carries on the story set out in those previous releases and brings a new element to their art. 

Staghorn tells a story of the earth and how the human race is destroying it. That story is told straight away with a spoken-word piece at the beginning of ‘Torch’, the album’s opener. It’s followed by an instrumental made up of slow crashing percussion and thunderous riffs in the vein of doom, but with melody amongst them that provide light. The birds singing on ‘Lux’ and the gentle musical tones deliver a relaxing feeling. Musically, it’s layered in such a way that it doesn’t sound over-the-top or twee. Heartfelt is the best way that I can describe it. The minimal use of vocals also allows the instrumentation an extra depth of texture, allowing everything to be brighter and more airy. 

‘Rahula’ is a song that again breeds calmness, as the whispered/gentle vocals sit within the instrumentation as opposed to on top of it, lulling you into a false sense of security before Staghorn’s dissonant heaviness and the additional vocals of Drew Speziale of Circle Takes The Square take over. It’s a drastic but beautiful contrast. Closer ‘Samsara’ ends Corvus IV as it started. Grippingly emotive spoken-word is later joined by gentle piano and ambience in a song that makes up over half of the album’s complete playing time and it’s here that you really get perspective and time to reflect on the band’s message and on what you can do yourself to be better. It builds, plateau’s and leaves as it entered. 

Even on it’s own, this album is incredibly thought-provoking and inspiring. The music is performed excellently throughout and there’s no moment where it loses momentum. If ever there was a time to better yourself and do the right thing for the land we’re tenants on, now is it.

You can stream and purchase Corvus IV via Staghorn's bandcamp page below:-

The band has also made an instrumental version available too:-

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