Great instrumental record. There actually are not a ton of instrumental rock albums to be found, strangely enough. The ones that are, like this one, stick to more of the Eastern tribal rhythms than the traditional rock sound.
In fact even as an alternative record, Grails' Burning Off Impurities isn't particularly powerful. The core of its sound only unfolds near the midsection of each song and at times can sound too passive. However, with the title and the way it sounds, I can assume this record is a movement as much as an actual album.
Latter segments of songs can be a propulsive force, while the introductions can seem quiet and passive. There's a psychadelic element to their music that exists more in the textures used than the actual progressions, it's actually somewhat fascinating to hear at times, but other times seems a bit overt.
Well alright, it all falls under the umbrella of post-rock. My recommendations for music of this nature are to put it on and kind of let it sink in. It's good for fans of post-rock, fans of rock, and fans of psychadelic music, really the drums on this record are excellent but some of the guitar elements seem a bit simplistic by comparison. It's all driven by the drumming, like most post-rock acts, and while the record doesn't reach cataclysmic highs, it does enough to make the feeling of searing guitar jingles and chill drum and bass stye moments all work to its advantage.
The softer moments of the album also work more to the band's advantage. The best song is Drawn Curtains, which is more of a swollen homage to string music, and recants the softness of apple blossoms and cold water rather than anything harsh the record hints at first. I use apple blossoms because it's still forced into sounding Eastern, not even middle Eastern as the other sounds suggest, this track sounds straight up Asian.
Overall, this is a good record. For a mind-clearing experience, it works well, though their are better records to distill your brain into. My only real problems with it are that yes, it sounds too passive at times. There are records that sound similar to this one that are much heavier, such as Earth's Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull. Since I like instrumental rock sounds I give it high marks, but I wonder why it's so hard for bands to tackle straight up rock music instrumentally without the need to infuse progressive or Eastern elements, or both.
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