Every time I think I'm finally, completely fed up with the trendy post-rock/doom/sludge scene and don't want to hear another goddamn record, some band has to come along and ruin it for me, releasing an album that I get lost in and enjoy.
Vaalbara is no perfect record, mind you, but once I relaxed and let it carry me I found myself enthralled. In particular I noticed I could find little hints of genius in many of the songs. The beautiful little melodic metal guitar flourishes in "Earthrise", and that melodic groove riff which comes in about 2/3rds of the way through the track. The ambient instrumental percussion and psychedelia of "Rain Gives Rise". The spacious acoustics alternating with the droning sludge "In Rust". The hard grooves of "The Monolith". It's all well and good, and Supercontinent pulls it off as good if not better than many other bands in this scene.
Do you like the recent albums by Isis? Mouth of the Architect? Rosetta? The Ocean? Callisto? Cult of Luna? Pelican? Well then it's a pretty safe bet you'll find a lot here to admire. It's a solid debut effort from a young American band with a good grasp of their style and the imagination to captivate you through it, rather than just bore the piss out of you.
Verdict: Win [7/10]