The name Dirge really meant nothing to me, not even when informed that they play postcore, a genre that is gradually gaining popularity. Dirge is re-releasing their 2004 album And Shall The Sky Descend, prior to releasing a new album in October. It is said that their music appeals to people who like Neurosis, Isis, Jesu and Pelican, and I’m about to find out whether this statement is justified or not.
Postcore is obviously a very slow, heavy and atmospheric style of music, so what And Shall The Sky Descend has to offer is four long tracks of which the shortest one lasts little under twelve minutes and the longest one lasts for 24 minutes, which is also the title track of the album. The music composed for this disc is indeed highly enjoyable if you’re into the bands mentioned above, although I might add that Dirge is perhaps even slower than the average postcore act. The sound varies between hypnotizing melodies and sheer heaviness, but always in a slow fashion. For some reason Dirge reminds me a bit of our own Dutch Transmission0 every now and then, but then again, Dirge is still way slower and probably a bit heavier too.
These French guys have been around since 1994, so they’ve got their sound quite in order. This is clearly displayed on this disc. But the vocal department isn’t all that in my opinion. Of course the vocal contributions are very minimal, but when they appear there is one voice that I just don’t think convinces me of his ‘emotion’. There is another vocalist that sounds nice and raw, very intense as well, but the other guy isn’t doing me a favour so to speak. Luckily he’s around so rarely, it can’t really become a point of irritation.
I believe there is also a woman occasionally present with clean vocals, which does the music some good again luckily. Although her capabilities aren’t that stunning, it’s nice for the variation.
For short, I hear potential and fans of the bands mentioned in the intro surely will please themselves when checking this band out. Relaxing melodies varied with devastating Armageddon-inducing riffs all played in an enchanting atmosphere make for another nice addition to the postcore genre. The bio states that a tour will follow with the release of the upcoming new album, so I’m looking forward to that.