Besides – Bystanders

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Although post rock has lost lot of its popularity lately but it is a genre that still keeps offering some great works and one of them is “Bystanders”, the new album of BESIDES. It is the third album of the polish band and most probably their best one as it offers everything that someone can ask from a post rock album and that is good compositions and some trippy melodies, ideal for some night listening sessions. After the two minute long intro there are eight beautiful compositions (with durations from 4 to 8 minutes) that put place on the scale good portions of lyricalness and epicness.

There is a nice cinematic mood all over the album that not only cause strong emotions but also bring multiple images/scenes and all that without the help of some lyrics that usually show the way. However, it is worth mentioning that, even the titles are not randomly placed. Each track is a reference to a tragic story from Auschwitz concentration camp, from people that lived (in or near) it during WWII.

“Ich Bin Wieder Da!” is the ideal start, the track that puts you into their magic through the piano melody and the strings that follow while, the title («I came back here») is a reference to the humiliating inscription written on a board that the prisoners that tried to escape had to carry around the camp until their execution.

“For Hanna” runs in bit heavier soundscapes while “Miners” keeps looking after hope, the song is a simulation of a dig for an escape tunnel. “Touch Of Red Widow” is more compact (just 4 minutes long) but sufficiently powerful while its title is a reference to the guillotine in Katowice, Poland (operated from 1940 to 1945) on which over 550 Poles involved in anti-German activities were executed.

“Kids” is more joyful and shrewdly adds sounds of toys and voices of little kids while “Last Lullaby” has become one of my favorite compositions. It also carries a tragic story behind: a mother of six, that lived near the camp was helping prisoners by providing food. When she was caught she faced death in a camp near her house. The song resembles the last lullaby that she wanted to sing to her children. The last two tracks on the album close beautifully a beautiful album that offer us so many harmonies, dark, deep but also lyrical and epic.