Tides From Nebula - From Voodoo To Zen | Album Review

Hailing from the architectural splendour of Warsaw, Tides From Nebula faced a considerable change at the beginning of this very year, with the group making the transition to a three piece following the departure of Adam Waleszyński. Whilst the adjustments of a lineup can derail any band, many post-rock bands have met their untimely demise via the means of departing personnel. However, the Polish dynamos have persevered, with the group now being on the cusp of their fifth record and their first offering since becoming a three piece; From Voodoo To Zen. Even with the group now navigating new waters and dynamics, From Voodoo To Zen stands the group’s most ambitious, rich and creative to work thus far.

The follow up to 2016’s Safehaven, From Voodoo To Zen see’s Tides From Nebula sidestep away from strictly adhering to the iron sensibilities of post-metal to experiment with contemporary and complimentary textures. The recently released single that is ‘Ghost Horses’ introduces the record with it’s atomic siren of polished static and it’s adjacent crawling synths prior to diving into a jarring yet haplessly appealing ocean of post rock excellence. From here onwards, Tides From Nebula continue to drag you down into the neon post rock sea in which they bathe in.

Whilst Tides From Nebula have occasionally incorporated synths and swathing electronic textures into their output since their respective early days, From Voodoo To Zen see’s the Polish trio heavily experiment with such synthetic instrumentation. However, it’s pleasing to say that such experiments aren’t just only major successes, they lift the group’s renowned output to lofty new heights. ‘Dopamine’ is the fantastic example of such a sentiment, with the track’s beating, fluorescent synthwave foundation supporting a marble monolith of post-rock tinged shoegaze. It truly sounds like something that would be conjured if Russian Circles and Carpenter Brut amalgamated and joined forces in a pursuit to create art that bridges the gap between their two respective realms.

Even with the group’s new found adoration of all things synth and electronic, Tides From Nebula never sacrifice or compromise their integrity or post rock roots. Tracks such as the colossally anthemic ‘The New Delta’ and the sunset ambience of ‘Radionoize’ demonstrate how such electronic sensibilities can be implemented subtly without such synthetic instrumentation being overpowering or oppressive. Tides From Nebula interweave such layered textures with skill, finesse and sophisticated consideration. In relation, whilst the record is self-produced, it's utterly pristine in quality. Whilst the notion of such polish may be deterring to listeners wishing for grit and a sense of primal rawness on the album, From Voodoo From Zen is one of the few post-rock records that benefit from such mastered gloss. It’s a sweeping and atmospheric collection of invigorating soundscapes that are gleaming with celestial charm.

However, the crowing jewel of this record is undoubtedly the title track itself. Introducing itself with distant elysian synths that usher in a sprawling cyberspace of electronic majesty, it’s a radiant jewel of emotional jubilance, a track that disproves the myth that synths have no distinct place within the realm of post-rock or it’s relative genres. As the record closes with the warm summery disposition of ‘Nothing To Fear And Nothing To Doubt’, a track that just radiates clear mindfulness and tender joviality and the somewhat post-apocalyptic nature of ‘Eve White, Eve Black, Jane’, it’s clear that Tides From Nebula have truly outdone themselves with it’s record. Not only have the Polish group triumphed in the face of change, they’ve successfully and magically evolved with their sound in order to reach new heights. Whilst the term 'epic' may be used too loosely in this day and age, truly, such a term may be accurately used to label From Voodoo To Zen. A fantastic slab of electronic soaked soundscapes from one of the most criminally overlooked bands in the post-rock genre.

Score: 8/10

From Voodoo To Zen is released 20th September via Longbranch / SPV


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