Album Review: albinobeach – The Ladder (Self Released)

The Ladder is albinobeach’s second full-length release after the improvisational, ensemble-driven Cacophonic (2015). The Ladder also marks the South African instrumental band’s return to a power-trio configuration, which lent itself to heavier compositions and a more daring sonic approach.

It will be released on November 6th 2020.

You’ll hear a fair amount of different musical elements throughout The Ladder that certainly suggests albinobeach are a bit of a sponge when it comes to musical influences. From progressive metal to psychedelia to hard rock groove and electronic ambience, it’s all soaked up. Only for this band to then squeeze it out and run it through a complex network that transforms the elements into something that sounds exclusively them.

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They have the imagination to boot too so most tracks feel like a wander through their own personal brand of madness. This is heightened by the lack of vocals and the varying lengths of the tracks. Some (the title track, Hiraeth, Reno, Triptych) are epic sprawls that spark like a fever dream whereas others (Afro Bogart, Make the Call) are trippy little numbers with plenty of pep and even more vim.

Variety but not the easiest of listens as you really need to give albinobeach your full attention to appreciate what they’re doing here. It’s worth doing so though, as the detail in The Ladder is where it’s at. Be it a progressive segment that requires an immediate replay, a thrilling bit of rhythm that gives goosebumps, a flash of unexpected flair or a chunky bit of heavier metal goodness.

albinobeach – The Ladder Full Track Listing:

1. The Ladder
2. Somersault
3. Afro Bogart
4. Glassy Glassy
5. Hiraeth
6. Jugga
7. Reno
8. Make The Call
9. Triptych


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  • Carl Fisher

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albinobeach - The Ladder (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 7.5/10
User Review
5.5/10 (1 vote)