First posted on echoesanddust.com.
The latest album from Helicopter Quartet features a beautiful mixing of mournful orchestral movements with the most sparse elements of post-rock music. On ‘Leading Edges’, Helicopter Quartet take us on a journey across five tracks, offering us incredibly emotional compositions. An incredibly sad yet beautiful note anchors the entire album together, expressed in different ways through the composed pieces of music. There’s something quite different at play here, with the bands’ branch of instrumental music not ever falling into any particular genre.
It seems the main focal point of the music on the bands latest album is the emotional tones brought by the composed pieces. ‘Leading Edges’ features some of the most beautiful violin movements in any post-rock album, comparable to some of the greats within the genre such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Some tracks move at a quicker pace, with the violin movements sounding almost comparable to the work of Hangedup, though perhaps less manic. The beauty comes in the delicate presentation of the music itself, when everything takes a step back and slowly progresses along the individual movements.
Helicopter Quartet’s branch of instrumental music is sure to hit a note with particular loves of the post-rock genre, though the slow elements that dominate the album are sometimes hard to swallow. Much of the album meanders around at glacial paces, and even when the music is supposed to be picking up the pace, it still seems to meander around to much. With the album featuring incredibly sparse elements in each of the songs, it becomes somewhat of a challenging listen at times, though it is one that is incredibly rewarding to those who enjoy the emotion music can bring.
‘Leading Edges’ might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are some brilliant compositions present on the record. The main track that stands out from the album is the reworking of an outtake from their previous album ‘Refuge’, which features some of the most beautiful violin movements one could hear. Helicopter Quartet certainly have a great understanding of what it is they want to achieve in their compositions, all of which has been executed brilliantly on their incredibly beautiful new record.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- The Way It Never Was
- Refuge (2014)
- Trailing Edge