Instrumental music always has the capacity to inspire images and thoughts in the listener, the best examples guiding those thoughts to certain places and events in the mind. Some like Danish progressive post-rock band IIIrd Alternative take it further with artistry and skill, their music creating soundscapes and worlds in which the listener is immersed to freely find their own visions and emotions within the immense sounds created, each with their own distinct and unique feeling and image.
Audiences across Denmark have been steadily swept away by the Aarhus quintet and their imaginative and creative sounds since 2003. Now with their debut released on their own label, Gehör earlier this year, IIIrd Alternative should see Europe being the next to submit to their musical enticement. The album consists of six tracks that span across almost an hour of musical imaginativeness that inspires and nurtures personal narratives in the listener. The band recently commented on instrumentalism with “Music for us is the most direct form of creative expression of moods with feelings and sensations for both artist and listener. IIIrd Alternative is exploring the possibilities that instrumental music offers in terms of not dictating or predefining the perception of the moods and feelings the listener should sense or feel.” They went on to say “As we do not imply in words or pictures the thoughts and mood to the listener, we have the potential to create an atmosphere where an audience can have totally different experiences from the same source of communication.”
That potential is realised with IIIA as a package and in the individual songs, opening track ‘Umbra’ the first proof and realisation of their comment and aim. The track is a big worldly experience, an emotive musical landscape that wraps itself around the sounds recipient. The guitars of Lars Evers, Rasmus Frisenvang, and Daniel Malling Zederkoff produce an expanse of generous and engaging sounds invoking senses to bring an inner reality to the song.
Across the six musical pieces IIIrd Alternative bring strong variety and variation so each song has its own distinct character and story to inspire. ‘Eye Against Eye’ has a darker more intense tone, the driven riffs and grinding sound almost a foreboding for the following epic sense of ‘The Great Flood’. The song is dramatic and haunting bringing a cataclysmic feel tinged with hope. The sense of chaos and tension consumes at times but is then tempered by calmer and mellow trust fuelled elements. In every track there is a dark and light feel and not once is either allowed full reign adding to the deep feelings felt when listening, each track an emotional journey whatever its length.
The mysterious and menacing ‘Dark Rift’ is a tension breeding slice of sound and the strongest on the release. The deep growling bass of Hamed Golchin matched by the firmly directing drums of Simon Meiner bring an air of possible violence and whatever the trio of guitars bring on top that air of foreboding is inescapable.
‘Deficit’ and ‘Æble’ complete the release and just as ably instil the same reactions in the listener as previous tracks just with their own diverse imagery to encourage but never to direct.
IIIA is a creative and powerful delight and a wonderful showing that music does not need words, imagery or hand guiding for the listener to create a tapestry to feed the imagination.
IIIA is available as a name your price download at http://iiirdalternative.bandcamp.com