(2019 - Small Pond Recordings - Ireland)
What other bands do you know who gather and blend everything from post rock, jazz fusion, electronica, tropical, ambient, minimalism, abstract, avant-garde, and broad strokes of math rock? Meet Dublin, Ireland's brilliant all instrumental creators Alarmist. This 4th release pulls out all the stops, allows the flood to fill the valley with rivers of tireless progressive, torrid passages, all in music that acts as true tonic, to display their dexterity and virtuoso skills, An album that instantly grabs you around the neck, shakes you, sits you down in a comfy chair, and force feeds you some of the finest musical craft on the planet.
Originally a 4 piece all instrumental math/post/fusion of sorts band from Ireland, with members Neil Crowley (drums and keyboards), Elis Czerniak (guitar and keyboards), Osgar Dukes (drums, percussion), and Barry O'Halpin (guitar and keyboards), on this 2019 release (their actual 2nd full length album), they still have Osgar as a guest on drums (track #1 and #3) but otherwise operate as the trio without Dukes. Recorded from 2017 thru 2019 (which Alarmist call "forever and ever"), at The Meadow in Wicklow, Ireland, engineered and mixed by Deaf Brothers, the 3 members do all the composing and arranging themselves. Alarmist have a fairly short discography but the output is strong, beginning with a self titled mini album released in 2011 on Eleven Eleven label, then another mini album in 2013 called 'Pal Magnet' by the band (no label), followed by 'Popular Demain' in 2015 on Small Pond Recordings. 'Sequesterer' (also on Small Pond) is their most fully realized and strongest effort to date.
They will be remembered now, and most likely become well known in all progressive music circles. They most certainly caught my attention, and kept me on 'stunned' throughout the first and second listen. With not so much a scent of weakness, Alarmist sail full speed ahead into their own universe. The collage of styles glisten with past space-age dimensions, and parade a spectacular momentum that promptly approaches your senses, and transfers all its bravura. Possible comparisons are futile, and the ingredients are given, but no other band folds these elements together like Alarmist. The job for the reader and ones who love inventive music, is to go to Bandcamp or their website and listen to their music, and kindly buy some, so musicians such as these can keep releasing outstanding records.
The members have an expansive knowledge of genres, able to switch gears with spatial jazz chords, suspended post rock lushness, hyper electronic escapism, domino progressions, intricate arithmetic riffs, and spell inducing cooing, all in one release of 9 compositions, in 39:25 minutes. It is all at once fresh, full of life bubbling over, and quite exciting to the ears and mind. So much so, it has easily made my TOP CHOICES list of 2019. GIGANTIC RECOMMENDATION.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 11 - 25 - 2019