Long Distance Calling – Long Distance Calling (Superball Music)

Wednesday, 20th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

No one’s really that infatuated with instrumental metal/rock/whatever these days, primarily because the style’s main bands (Pelican, Mono, Red Sparowes) have effectively peaked. All that means is that virtual re-writes of old records are going to take place, all in an effort to snag any amount credibility these bands had while on their upswing. Suffice it to say, Germany’s Long Distance Calling are on an upswing, folks.

Proggy, nerd-oriented instrumental music this is not, and it would be a total reach to say these guys are even a metal, but LDC (which when used as an acronym, sounds like a boy band) clearly have their finger on the pulse on their third, self-titled effort. It’s a much more robust album than 2009’s Avoid the Light which in essence, had only two good songs on it. This, however, is chalk-full of winners, songs that don’t fall into the regular trappings of wishy-washy instrumental rock.

LDC is quite privy to laying the melodic tarp, something done on a handful of occasions here, most notably on the flowing “Timbends,” a song that is probably the pick of the litter thanks to a nice spread of tender melodies and dynamics. The momentous “Beyond the Void” clammers and claws its way through a steady dosage of earthy tones, while the John Bush (Armored Saint, ex-Anthrax) sung “Middleville” provides a welcome reprieve from non-vocal territory. Considering the band once had the respective voices of the Haunted and Katatonia on their albums, this is quite the welcoming (and exciting) thing they’re doing for a one song per album basis.

There is no reason to think Long Distance Calling is going to turn heads the way Pelican did roughly seven years ago, yet this self-titled album is about as well-rounded and interesting of an instrumental rock album we’ll hear all year. And yeah, should they ever decide to take the plunge and lather an album with asinger on every song…that probably would be worthy, too.

www.myspace.com/longdistancecalling

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)