Post-metallers Pijn release their second project in the form of Tanzaro House, a live studio recorded, album-length EP. As someone personally familiar with the genre, Pijn have the task of demonstrating some unique character. In a genre like this which is quite well populated in the modern underground, they must provide a reason to be listened to. Some qualities of this project achieve this, others, whilst still enjoyable and well-crafted, are in danger of bleeding into the sound of their peers and pioneers.
One notable element of this work is its exploration of post-metal’s sister genres. Pijn excellently weave in post-rock and types of progressive metal in this EP, giving it the subtle edge a project like this needs. Blush Unseen kicks off with an ethereal haze of sound beneath the guitars that climb and ascend so very akin to the compositions of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Much of this is achieved with the expert utilising of space within the track’s mixing to create a vivid foreground and background. The listener is then violently and suddenly thrown into a cranking up of intensity. The transition is harsh, but bold and by the three-and-a-half-minute mark we begin to a have a clear idea of metal forming from the softer, more post-rock intro. Similarly, on a song like Eyde, Pijn implement primal drum triplets that are very reminiscent of the works of Tool. As they draw inspiration from such an unmistakable school of sound, Pijn put on show once again the slight diversity that moves their sound in the right direction.
Another merit of Tanzaro House is the way it plays with the convention of the archetypal crescendo in ‘post-‘ music. Lacquer holds out entirely on a typical crescendo, instead letting the track lead to the anti-climax of the eerie recording. Unfortunately, other than that the song is quite minimal impact. Similarly, Eyde’s build-up throughout the middle of the track just seems to endlessly build without the climax one might expect. What’s more, Pijn’s decision to make the middle two tracks of this EP without a crescendo, but the first and last tracks with them is a testament to their awareness of the way they want their project to progress. On Tanzaro House, it is abundantly evident that the towering points are at either side of the EP.
However, Pijn still at times struggle to break free of the traditions of their genre. The opening riff on Eyde, whilst sounding good with its sharpness cutting through you and demanding all attention, feels awfully like the kinds of riffs ISIS would write. Much the same with Dumbstruck & Floodlit, which again much like ISIS draws from the same sludge metal sound to sprinkle over the ‘post-‘ style. The vocals too, consisting of the same abrasive lo-fi shouts and occasional cleans as ISIS. When adding all this together, it feels as though Pijn are still not making enough of a statement that stands alone from the former icons of their sound.
Pijn have talents for crafting bold riffs, masterfully mixing atmosphere, and strictly controlling pace, amongst other things. On paper, there is little fault. But as we move from the internal and contextualise this band, they still are faced with the hardest challenge of carving their place in history. Their potential for doing so is towering, and they have already begun in the right direction. But still they need to push themselves and their ideas a little further to find the greatness that their talents deserve.
Highlights: Blush Unseen, Eyde
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Purchase their new album here