Immanu El - They'll come, they comeImmanu El
They'll come, they come
And the Sound


Having dedicated a decent amount of the past five years of my life to the music scene (in various functions and positions, most ending in savage failure), I've developed a rather refined musical palate. I nod and smile and say things like, "Yeah, this band's not too bad" when a friend plays me a song or a group they've recently fallen in love with, but rarely do I find these sessions truly rewarding. My ears have been damaged too long and too often by music for me to continuously fall over myself for new bands like I used to (but I desperately search for that wide eyed, naïve boy in the landscapes painted in new records), not unless they're really bringing something to the table. And Immanu El's "They'll come, they come" is unquestionably a forceful and substantial album; an effort that probes sections of our musical consciousness that have fallen into shadow and been ignored too long.

Sweden has Aerial and Once We Were, both bands supporting a very high standard for the cinematic explorations of other Scandinavian groups, and Immanu El pass this rigorous assessment with flair and elegance. As is often the case with exceptional records, the closer is brilliant. " valleys" is a sweeping, graceful composition, and a fitting conclusion to an album that effortlessly traverses terrain we typically associate with bands like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, and Logh. It's difficult to truly do anything novel and unique in the genre of post-rock, but Immanu El come damned close, at the very least combining all the beauty that the aforementioned groups investigate in a subtle, distinctive manner. "Panda" demonstrates how essential Claes Nilsson Strängberg's voice is to the overall sound and achievement of Immanu El. Vocals are often absent from these types of explorations, and attempting to place a voice into the strata of other instrumentation is a complicated and precarious procedure. Immanu El excel in this respect, and in a myriad other respects throughout. Absolutely brilliant.
- Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

Ef - Give me beauty… or give me death!Ef
Give me beauty… or give me death!
And the Sound

Trying to find any other word than 'moving' to describe Ef's debut is something I've been struggling with these past few days. With a wide arrangement of instruments to use at their discretion, they've constructed a sublime collection of post-rock that's as forceful as it is grounding. Each song careens down a path of delay-driven guitars and yearning strings and even a few scattered vocals here and there to give the record a little more room to breathe. At times "Give me beauty…or give me death!" seems to have the power to make time speed up around you with the captivating rise and fall of "Final touch/hidden agenda", and at other times, it can slow things down with the humbling sway of "Hello Scotland". Any post-rock listener should take note: Ef might just be the band you're looking for during this cold, cold winter.
- Phil Del Costello