Now I want to be completely honest with you; I have trust issues. I’ve been writing reviews for years now and when a band says “hey, can you check out my latest album for me? It’s awesome” I tend to become suspicious. Not only because most reputable sources know I can make up my own mind without being told some sweeping statement of praise about what your band can actually do. It’s not like I don’t have my reasons, I mean if you believed it every time some random band/label told you how awesome their latest release is you have one (or both) of the following issues. a) you have a super huge collection filled with some of the most average releases ever made available to the public or b) you’re just a gullible fuck. Seriously, if every Russian (just an example guys, relax) blackened doom metal band told you that you should pick up their latest full-length just simply because they said so… well there’s a pretty blunt assessment in the above sentence.
In the face of all that it becomes pretty refreshing when a humble label comes to me with a “hey man, we’ve got this release – something a little heavier, tell us what you think” I jumped on the opportunity to give Dumbsaint’s 2015 effort a proper look over. My willingness to look over the preconceptions about opinions I can formulate myself and in place, tell you about some of the year’s best instrumental effort that also doubles as some interesting sound/visual art. Art As Catharsis has been on fire the last few years, take this year’s efforts for example. With a number of bands touring, recording and releasing music the humble label of Sydney, Australia promoting the music regular crowds might not hear about in major music news releases, there’s a chance you’ll be hearing more from Art As Catharsis (let’s see how many times I can name drop the label). Now I don’t want to lose you, if you’ve read through this rambling love and hate relationship I have for modern music I applaud you – because you aren’t here to hear my life’s story, you’re here to read about Dumbsaint’s ‘ Panorama, In Ten Pieces’.
I’ll admit now that I don’t exactly have a running musical history of Dumbsaint’s music. The band themselves are driven by a combination of art and music, making a full-on artistic approach more than worthwhile for any listener familiar with their particular style of music. New music is as amazing as it is exciting and the experience is more rewarding than it should be. Will you remember Dumbsaint for their flair of artistic originally? Probably not, you’ll think it’s a fad of the genre, but truth be told Dumbsaint have been putting everything into their 2015 releases, ‘Panorama, In Ten Pieces’. The band themselves credit themselves with eighteen months of hard work; blood, sweat and tears. Filming, photography and most of all the music.
Everything is painstakingly placed, from start to finish ‘Panorama, In Pieces’ is a work of art. Showcasing beauty around a central theme:
“Panorama, in ten pieces. is a suburban horror that tells the story of a residential street in darkness. Populated by a revolving ensemble of dysfunctional lovers, loners and shut-ins, the film peers in at the strange relationships and domestic rituals that go on behind the closed doors of one neighbourhood at night.”
Funky right? It’s a pretty out there concept, honest and humble (just like a certain label I mentioned earlier). These guys could have taken some typical political stand-point, tying in war, depression or even government spending. Instead Dumbsaint chose to focus on something completely low key, benefiting in its abstract simplicity. As for the music it comes down to how it interacts with you. ‘Panorama, In Ten Pieces’ placates a technical crowd, passing on the more technical aspects of modern music. Instead instrumental storytelling takes precedence, allowing each instrument to shine both separately and together as a unit. It’s a musical awareness – knowing what each member is doing and how they are going about it. It’s actually more cohesive than you think.
Overall it’s a wonder the internet isn’t ‘hyping’ the release of this record more, for all the call of the “true metal fan” searching through the underground of music – there’s a lot to be said for how lazy you fuckers are. Dumbsaint’s ‘Panorama, In Ten Pieces’ is a work of art, with two faces. On one hand is the filming, photography – making use of the awareness modern listeners have for combing two mediums. There’s also the fine point of Dumbsaint’s music which could actually stand by itself with acclaimed merit. So while you’re trolling around the internets, searching for that brand new album to hype over take this album and fill the void you obviously have. You don’t have to agree every time someone says this is music is great, but you should definitely believe me.
releases 07 August 2015
All music written and performed by Michael Tokar, James Thomas and Nicholas Andrews