Leonov, from Oslo, Norway, is a band that calls itself a blend of post-rock and metal. Wake is set to be their second release, after a self-titled album in 2014, and will be out on Fysisk Format on October 26. The quintet is made of Tåran Reidal on vocals and keyboards, Ole Jørgen Reindal and Rune Gilje on guitars, Morten Kjelling on bass, and Jon-Vetle Lunden on drums. It’s the first time I’m acquainted with the band, but a few minutes only sold me on it. Let’s see what it’s all about…
Wake commences rather modestly with “I Am Lion, I Am Yours”, but this song encapsulates what Leonov is all about. Tåren’s voice, filled with reverberation, soars above the music, which goes from grainy and harsh to more mellow and contemplative, but in both cases the point is terraforming—id est building an atmosphere and maintaining it. The eerie melodies are a good fit above the melancholic, heavy, driving riffs underneath, and are also going to take root into your brain, because they often are memorable, as well as being good.
The metal side of things hinges on doom and post-metal, and the whole thing coalesces into post-doom and doomgaze. Wake is an emotionally visceral album. I felt particularly strong for the penultimate track, “Oceanode”. It’s deliberately slow and crushing, and it’s a marvellous album to explore. Wake comes out on October 26.