I already know that, while reading post-metal and Belgium, many of you might approach this review having in your mind the unholy masses typical of the Church of Ra. Well, get ready for something quite different with Splendidula. Five years have passed since their debut Splendidula, and Post Mortem is their first release through an actual label (Inverse Records), with a completely renovated lineup which only features David Vandegoor (guitars) and Kristien Cools (vocals) from the first record.
After the instrumental intro, an unexpected Eighties-sounding hard ‘n’ heavy riff welcomes us in “Nami”, not exactly what we were expecting from a proper post-metal record, or perhaps this is exactly what this complicated definition should represent. Actually, the song itself features many of the aspects that characterize the approach of Splendidula, especially the scarce attention paid to what they should sound like and into which niche to fit. The quintet didn’t leave anything out and gathered material and inspiration from all sorts of backgrounds, as also proven by the following “Too Close To Me”, from occult rock to doom metal, giving a prominent role to Cools’ versatile voice (in this sense, let me point out the song in French “Aturienoto” and the concluding “Mortem”).
On the other hand, this utter variety is also a potential limit for Post Mortem, as sometimes you might end up with a slight disappointment when expecting a certain kind of sounds to arrive, before the music switches to something very different. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it might even be that the album gets you exactly because of it, if you got a bit sick of the classic sludgey version of post-metal.
Splendidula also did quite a good job in terms of the quality of sounds, the bass lines, the backing vocals, putting up something very interesting and definitely not trite. They are currently taking their discomfort all around Belgium and it is likely that Post Mortem might also reach other stages throughout Europe over the next few months.