24 Mar 2018

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Hiboux - Album Review: Command the Earth to Swallow Me Up

12 Mar 2017 // A review by butch181
With a similar style to such acts as Explosions in the Sky, Mono, and Jakob, Hiboux (pronounced ee-boo) are an instrumental post-rock group hailing from Wellington. Command the Earth to Swallow Me Up is an alluring release, with layers of instruments that provide a greater flexibility to adapt a track without disruption of the flow. This six track album is nothing if it isn't adventurous; no chance of being radio friendly with an average track length of 8.5 minutes, to which I have to respect Hiboux for putting the music above the ability to promote it.

Opening track, East of Seddon, meanders at a slow, undulating rate, driven by guitars, but not at a volume that comes across as overbearing. Everything rises together as one, and demonstrates a remarkable comprehension of timing and cohesion between the various musicians. The track is rather repetitive, but flows enough to not actually noticeable unless you are specifically looking for it, though after the six minute mark, we do get a mix of discordance and atonality thrown in to remind you that the track is progressing.

Standing Waves, is a lower energy track. While the guitar riffs are often at a greater pace that East of Seddon, the overall flow feels more sluggish. It fits in well with the use of heavy distortion later in the track, which again never comes across as being heavy-handed. A balanced group, that coordinates and has a great balance and compatibility. This track has a resembling nu-metal sound to the tracks 1975 and Ilah (Silent War), from NZ nu-metal group Blindspott.

Each track is distinctly different from the previous, but they fit together giving a real sense of journey. When you close your eyes you can imagine countless scenarios that this soundtrack would fit with, and that is the beauty of instrumental work; without lyrics, the listener is free to choose the emotion and meaning that fits them individually. A similar sound to fellow Wellingtonians Into Orbit, but with more band members and instruments, Hiboux has greater plasticity when it comes to crafting their music and performing, and it shows in this release. 

Command the Earth to Swallow Me Up is a brilliantly tranquil piece, and a new preference for my instrumental playlist.

About Hiboux

Formed in 2013, Hiboux is an instrumental rock band from Wellington.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hiboux


Night Flights
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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