Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Materioptikon by IO
The ‘Materioptikon’ is (unless I’m very much mistaken), a device which DC Comics villain Doctor Destiny to create reality from the fabric of dreams (thank the lord for wikipedia eh?). Whooohahahahh! So it’s an entirely suitable title for IO’s second album, a release that frequently lulls the listener into a dreamlike state before bludgeoning them awake with some impressively meaty walls of sound. ‘Breathe In The Sea’ manages this trick particularly well, the womblike heartbeat of the opening section of the track drawing you in to a nicely chilled 5 minutes or so of sparse guitars and fractured drum patterns before exploding into what sounds like Satan with a hangover.
Many of the tracks are mini symphonies in their own right (some clock in at nearly over 9 minutes...that’s longer than the average X Factor winner’s career), moving through complex time signatures without losing coherency. There are lots of neat little touches here and there too (like the vaguely Sakamato style synths on ‘Silent Hymns in the Dark’) which reward repeat listens and reveal a depth of sound that experimental rock can sometimes lack. Ambitious, loud (in parts) and epic, it’s still surprisingly accessible at the same time, not an easy trick to pull off but clearly a measure of the musical ability of the players involved. Dr Destiny will be impressed...
Materioptikon is out on Grammatical Records on November 15th and there’s an album launch at The rainbow in Birmingham on Friday 12th.