Friday, November 2, 2012

John 3:16 - Visions of The Hereafter - Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

When you've been writing music reviews for a number of years, you get to witness bands improving, getting worse and far more commonly just completely disappearing. Sometimes from the ashes of the disbanded comes another project and John 3:16 is one of those. The project comes from Phillipe Gerber, who was the founder of French alternative band, Heat from a Dead Star, who the more attentive may remember were reviewed in this here blog a while back. As John 3:16, Gerber previously released a 5 track EP entitled "Sinners In the Hand of an Angry God" and now there's a 9 track album.

The album starts off with "The Ninth Circle" possessing a post-rock style and fools the listener into thinking that they're in for an entirely instrumental album until the vocals kick in which have an undeniable contemplative nature resembling a cross between a shoegazer and a group of chanting monks. The ambient "Throne of God/Angel of the Lord" has a shimmering guitar sound that isn't miles away from Mr Gerber's previous band or for a more recognizable comparison, Mission of Burma coupled with chants that are reminiscent of Enigma. Loud drums open the 7 minutes of shoegazer ambient drone that is "Abyss of Hell/Clouds of Fire" with a simmering pleasantness that totally betrays the song's title. Fans of instrumental post-rock will have that excited smell of urinated underwear when hearing "Ascent to The Blessed/To The Heavenly Paradise".

Despite all the religious titles whether or not the religious overtones of the chosen monikers of the project are the actual beliefs of Mr Gerber is entirely unclear and up to the listener to interpret. Throughout the album are some fine tracks here and the level of musicianship is undeniably high. Personally I have trouble paying attention to the entire album for the full length of time but that's a complaint I have with instrumental albums and almost every post-rock album I've ever heard so despite the best effort to be objective as with all reviews subjectivity filtered through personal tastes weigh higher however I am likely to listen to "Visions of The Hereafter - Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory" again purely as background music despite or maybe because this music would be perfect for a Wim Wenders movie or a nature documentary.

Check out the album for your self by clicking on the bandcamp site below.


John 3:16 bandcamp site

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