Constants - The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension

Rating

single starsingle starsingle starsingle star

RIYL

Red Sparowes
Pelican
Callisto
Isis

Release Date

07/14/2009

Tracklist

1. Genetics Like Chess Pieces
2. Damien
3. Those Who Came Before Pt. 1
4. Those Who Came Before Pt. 2
5. The Nameless
6. The Timeless
7. Identify the Indiscernibles
8. External Reoccurrence
9. Abraxis Pt. 1
10. Abraxis Pt. 2
11. Ascension
12. …Passage

Users Rating

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Constants have been around for quite awhile now, with three releases under their belt, and have earned the attention of post-rock fans all over the world. However, while the band’s earlier releases were a rough glimpse into what Constants had to offer, their latest full length – The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension – truly showcases what the band is capable of within this 60-minute dreamlike journey.

Like many post-rock bands, listening to a Constants' album takes patience, with numerous songs eclipsing the six-minute mark, although the band throws in some three to four minute tunes in between to give the listener a break between the longer songs – a very smart move on their part. Another interesting aspect of this release is that the songs go together in pairs; so for example, track one and two are connected musically, songs three and four also flow into each other, and the cycle repeats for all twelve tracks. Additionally, by listening to the tone of the music, reading the album title as well as the song names, it seems like Constants also split the album into three different sections.

The first four songs have a dreamy feel to them and will most likely put listeners into a trance by the end of the fourth track. The opener, “Genetics Like Chess Pieces,” starts off slowly but powerfully as it transitions into a beautiful melody supported by a groove-oriented rhythm section and eventually settles down into the verse. It is here that the listener is first introduced to the vocals which aren’t outstanding but add to the gritty feel of the music and definitely deserve a place on the album. Furthermore, the next three tracks are along the same lines as the first one, with soft verses followed by a heavier chorus.

The following four songs have a darker vibe to them and are almost depressing in a way. The music is noticeably slower, with haunting guitar melodies, with even the vocals sounding sadder. “External Reoccurrence” is particularly noteworthy as the band trudges through over three minutes of disorientation with vocals that echo back and forth, and the drums also have an odd effect to them, making for an overall sound that is hard to put into words.

The last four tracks are more powerful than the previous ones and have an uplifting feel to them, which goes along with what would presumably be the name for this last section – The Ascension. “Abraxas Pt.1” starts off this segment and is more upbeat than the previous tracks, almost feeling frantic in a way. This song is one of the few completely instrumental tracks on the album and serves as a nice bridge to the last few songs, with the final song sounding like a compilation of all the various tones heard throughout the rest of the album that ends on an uplifting note.

Some people may disagree with this interpretation of The Foundation, The Machine, The Ascension but there’s no denying the beauty and musical mastery Constants display here over the course of an hour. The only blatant issue with this release is that the vocals will be an acquired taste for many listeners, and the singing does take away from the music at times. That being said, Constants have assembled a monster of an album that is sure to please its listeners, particularly fans of post-rock.

--Nicholas Fritz

Last updated: 09/29/2009 09:04PM

Comments

M.J.Austin
07/03/2009
10:53PM
Location
Dallas, Texas

This is good shit.

fictional
07/04/2009
04:16AM
Age: 34
Location
Bayside,NY

I havent stopped listening to this for like a month now.

Zach Roth
07/04/2009
02:34PM
Age: 26
Location
Fishers, Indiana

Decent. Unremarkable.

Top Albums: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 || Tumblr | Twitter

cloudscollide
07/04/2009
08:11PM
Age: 26
Location
PA

LOVE this album. I can't stop listening to it. Top 10 material.

Nicholas Fritz
07/04/2009
09:41PM
Age: 31
Location
Quakertown, PA
Christopher Pandolfo

LOVE this album. I can't stop listening to it. Top 10 material.

I actually first heard about this on your blog a few weeks back and really dug it so I chose to review it. It's definitely a solid release, but it took me a like 3 or 4 spins to really get into it.

Genre: Corecore
07/06/2009
02:48PM
Location
St. Louis, MO

The vinyl release of this album is a triple LP, and it clearly didn't have to be if they were only going by the playlength of the album, so I think it's pretty fair to assume that the album is divided into three different parts.

~Tom



The Silent Ballet: The very best in instrumental and post-rock reviews and coverage.

Spartan E7
07/06/2009
09:34PM
Age: 28
Location
Infinitely Inwards

Very good album. I wasn't expecting this and it absolutely impressed me.

You should never be surprised when you get attacked, you'll know all the freedoms they took from you when you get em back, when in fact they were never yours to begin with, this is a prison planet, you're servin a life sentence.

Nicholas Fritz
07/07/2009
05:46AM
Age: 31
Location
Quakertown, PA
Genre: Corecore

The vinyl release of this album is a triple LP, and it clearly didn't have to be if they were only going by the playlength of the album, so I think it's pretty fair to assume that the album is divided into three different parts.

Yeah, I actually received the packaging in the mail after the review. On the back of it, it has all the tracks split into three different sections - pretty much exactly how I laid them out with four tracks in each section. One part is The Foundation, another is The Machine, and the last is The Ascension so everything ties together, which is very cool.

Rick Gebhardt
07/07/2009
07:22AM
Age: 33
Location
Minnesota
Spartan E7

Very good album. I wasn't expecting this and it absolutely impressed me.

Same here. This is a gigantic leap forward for the band.  Stellar stuff.

Find me EVERYWHERE:




explodinginsound
10/25/2009
12:27AM
Age: 30
Location
Brooklyn, NY

i love this album.  sorry to be so late to the party...

Rick Gebhardt
10/25/2009
07:01AM
Age: 33
Location
Minnesota
Dan Goldin

i love this album.  sorry to be so late to the party...

No worries.  I'm still listening to this... probably going to be a year end candidate.

Find me EVERYWHERE:




explodinginsound
10/25/2009
11:58AM
Age: 30
Location
Brooklyn, NY

agreed.  it reminds me a lot of Oceansize, and I mean that in the best way possible!

cloudscollide
10/25/2009
02:42PM
Age: 26
Location
PA

Definitely in top 10. Love this album.

EDIT: That's almost exactly what I said earlier in these posts. Oh well.

CD is fantastic.

scott.m
10/25/2009
06:03PM
Yep. Damn solid album.