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Boomkat Product Review:
This is the debut album by Leeds band Vessels, who make terms like 'post-rock' and 'math-rock' sound far less like condemnations than they ordinarily do. From the very start, it becomes clear that this band have a little more to them than your usual quiet/loud also-rans: just cop an earful of the jazzy, rapidfire sophistication of 'Altered Beast' with its layered guitar arpeggios and wacky syncopations. It's pretty hard to tell exactly where the dominant rhythms are supposed to come from, but the piano, drums and stringed instruments all seem to be doing their own thing, but in the same key. Some of the record's success is surely owed to the bold production of John Congleton (who has worked with Explosions In The Sky and Black Mountain, among others), which takes the aggressive, fulsome sound of the band at full pelt and then cranks it up a little higher than it really needs to be, resulting in riffage of prog-metal proportions on 'An Idle Brain And The Devil's Workshop'. The more subtle elements of the record are better still, messing around artfully with electronics and guitar treatments, making this a more balanced record than a great many of its ilk.