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Impostor Syndrome - Album Review: Oriens

27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Impostor Syndrome is an experimental recording project based in Auckland, New Zealand. Becoming best of friends as seventeen-year-olds over a shared love of Alice in Chains, it took until 2019 before vocalist Ryan Culleton, drummer Scott Nicolson and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Coulomb were to create music together as a unit. I had previously come across their single I Talk Too Much, and at the time I was wondering how they would come across in a larger setting, and having now heard their debut album, Oriens, I think I have a much better understanding. To put it simply, this trio is one of those incredibly rare and strange beasts in that they are musicians who go wherever the music takes them and refuse to sit within any consistent genre.

Alternative rock is one tag which would fit their oeuvre, but it is highly experimental and although there is a thread throughout the album it can be more than a little frayed at times, and somewhat difficult to follow. That Will Always Be My Rock is more of a spoken word piece with highly atmospheric accompaniment, with a piano which is pained in its’ approach, and feels more like a film monologue than something which appears on an album, while Hello contains the anger of guitars being pushed beyond their limits. That is the opening number, and the instrumental is just 35 seconds long, and is very different indeed to the alt pop of Sweet Nothings which follows, which owes more than a small amount to a very angry Split Enz. Apparently, the album draws from many personal experiences over the years while at the same time blending nightmarish fiction and dream-like visions, and these boys need to stop cheese before bedtime!

They change course time and again, and it soon becomes apparent that there is no point in really trying to tag their music as it is permanently moving, with no regard for what could be commercial and get on the radio, which makes a very pleasant change indeed. I would say it takes until at least the third full play through that I started to understand what they are about, as up to then it just felt too fractured and wayward, but the more I listened, the more it came together and made sense. This may not be an immediate release, but it is certainly one which is worthy of investigation.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Impostor Syndrome

Soundtracks to experiences. ~ "The band are thinkers, experimenters, and explorers. They bear the bloodline of their now nostalgic forefathers, without following their footprints into the world of tribute. They forge their own path." - muzic.net.nz

Impostor Syndrome is an experimental recording project, whose wide range of influences challenge the idea of what is commonly heard within the confines of New Zealand Progressive Rock. The band is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and blends alternative rock with film score and spoken word, described by muzic.net.nz as ‘Industrial meets Depeche Mode’. Becoming best of friends as seventeen year olds over a shared love of Alice in Chains, it took until 2019 before vocalist Ryan Culleton, drummer Scott Nicolson and multi-instrumentalist Shannon Coulomb were to create music together as a unit.

The 2020 pandemic gave the trio an opportunity to further their learning and experimenting of recording techniques, resulting in an album’s worth of music to be released in 2022. The pursuit of expression and boundless creativity, drawing from a wide range of influences, continues to be the central motivation for the band. They have also been converting a garage into their own recording facility that will no doubt keep the band busy for years to come.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Impostor Syndrome

Releases

Oriens
Year: 2022
Type: Album

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