Jul 28, 2012
Compel - "Compel" ...
From the start of the first track, “(The Capture) Hag” this is a slow brooding affair, but it certainly isn’t an aimless jam, as so many instrumentals from this genre are in danger of being. No, from the out start of this swamp doom offering, there is implied movement. This piece goes somewhere, and if you let it, it will take you along for the slow ride. The instrumentation is sparse, so the musical ideas have lots of breathing room, and there are quite a few subtle tempo changes and shifts in direction to keep you looking out for the next compositional twist. I only wish I knew more about the subject matter that these three compositions are based on, and there is clearly strong links that tie these tunes together, a larger story arc is implied by the titles.
The next track, “Let It Be The Devil” really does an admirable job of moving us to a new place, with a much faster tempo, and lots of stock riffs that are intertwined in ways that let us ignore their pedigree of having been used by many a doom merchant, as the track twists through more variations to keep you glued to the speaker. The track moves along really nicely, and has a great feeling of building up to the next track.
The last track “Giants (The Escape)” starts off with a lyrical, moody riff in a slower tempo, which through me for a loop on first listen, because of the previous tracks feeling of building up to something big. Compositionally, this is no misstep on the band’s part, however, as the last track is really the main course in many ways, and has an epic feel to it, even more so then it’s always meandering but never lost predecessors. The EP really does go out on a high note; while there is nothing here to shock you in the last track; it certainly never gets boring, and it brings the album to an end in a perfectly fitting fashion, leaving you wish there was a fourth track…
All in all, this is a fun ep. It never teeters on the fence of falling into saminess, which so many do; and it really does engage you in ways so few instrumental outings do. If I were to assign this some kind of rating, I would say it is easily a 7.5 out of ten. The murky moods and heady mix of riffs bring to mind all kinds of fantastical visuals, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. While it may not be genre redefining, it certainly makes Compel a name I want to watch out for, and while it is available on their bandcamp site in a “name your price” capacity; I would encourage you to spend some bucks on it, because I want to hear what they record next.
Words: Jonathan Dee
Compel | Bandcamp