To come across an album with a wondrous atmosphere is something that many of us think is a lot rarer than what it actually is, but it is nonetheless a boon whose value never wanes. It’s more often than not that rock aggregates it all into the realms of psychedelic and post-rock yet it’s every now and then that some bands manage to create a surprise like few others. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I went into Gjoad’s debut, but coming out of it I cannot help but feel both thoroughly impressed and incredibly moved by what I’ve heard.
This is one of those works where just pinning it as one style is to do a disservice to what the entirety of the work brings to the table as a whole as there aren’t just one or two words you can put together to make the categorization of it effortless. Gjoad knows exactly how to lure the listener in with the very atmosphere of “Samanōn” being alluring in its initial subtlety with its expansive and immensely detailed soundscapes painted a gorgeous picture that keeps us listening for even longer to allow the environments to evolve into what can only be described as breath-taking. It’s in every one of those minutes that Gjoad manages to incorporate influences all the way from dark folk to even black metal a little bit to allow “Samanōn” to become something special all on its own, and it’s only after multiple listens that you can start to identify how well they all come together in order to produce to the glory that is before us with this tremendous effort. We’re constantly being flown through absolutely gorgeous scenery that Gjoad has hand-picked specifically to fit the music so amazingly well that to dismiss the power behind every chord of the guitar or beat of the drum that I will truly wonder how someone could defy such excellence when it is placed right before them, for if there is one work of its kind that’s to show a band’s unique identity as well as the pure talent that is behind the name, then I could not imagine a better name to fall into the vague boundaries of atmospheric rock than Gjoad and the sheer audacity of what’s achieved within the confines of everything that “Samanōn” brings to the table.
There are many albums out there that are best suited to just laying back and letting the music wash over your entire being to fully experience everything that the work has to offer. You could absolutely do that with “Samanōn”, but I feel that would be a disservice to what the work embodies. A walk through the woods on the side of a mountain are more appropriate for what Gjoad has done here for it truly captures the glory of those hills, the spirit of the air that swirls around the peaks, and a captivating sound that will leave the listener enthralled long after “Samanōn” has drawn to a close.
LISTEN to “Samanōn” on Bandcamp here.
Gjoad does not have any social media that I could find, so please follow the label for this release, Antiq, on their Facebook here or their Bandcamp here for hopeful news of further cooperation with Gjoad.