Belgium’s All We Expected play an epic form of post-rock that rockets the listener into the band’s world. As expressed on Hatàr, their 2017 full length, that world twists and turns with the machinations of our powerful and very real, tangible world. The two aren’t really that different. The band draws its power from zeroing in on particular aspects of that familiarity and dialing them all the way up.
If there was ever material that could be called power post-rock, Hatàr would be it. There’s a grandeur to the work that pushes the listener off into an intense and tumultuous state of being. Post-rock — and epic heavy music in general — already maintains a feeling of connection to huge elements of the natural world, and that feeling proves heightened here. These tracks showcase the feeling of mountains shooting up against the horizon and valleys between those peaks flowing all the way back to the listener’s vantage point.
There’s strikingly clear production throughout the work which helps drive home its grandiosity. In other words, All We Expected don’t play noise rock or noise metal, although there’s of course plenty of space for that style elsewhere. They play, instead, songs that prove conscious and reach out from the midst of their swirl into a “great unknown,” so to speak. There’s a drive that takes the listener along for a ride, while also demanding that they be conscious of what’s going by beside them.
Indeed — in truth, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with sound, color, and movement. We know this – at least inside, even if we don’t think about it all the time. We can hide ourselves from the intensity, or we can carve ourselves out a place in the middle of it. Hatàr exemplifies the latter option. Pressing play feels like one is being shown around by a god responsible for what we see in front of us. There’s a sense of control, but there also remains a huge rush. This band plays with remarkable precision and skill, throwing out notes from all directions in order to contribute to their unique stream of sound.
Listen to the band below, via Bandcamp.