San Fransisco post-rock duo Niō recently released their debut self-titled EP, which is full of climactic and triumphant instrumental songs. The band excels at building walls of sound and transitioning between crescendos and laid back beats, while the distorted, blown out riffs add feelings of dramatic dissonance.
Davide Tiso (of Ephel Duath) leads the band on guitar, and plays with a style that intriguingly blends metal and post-rock. There are quick, shrieking leads and slightly chuggy breakdowns, but his standout moments come when the music falls in between the two aforementioned genres. That happens throughout the EP, but especially on “The Wheel.” The track is centered around a bright, trudging riff and steadfast drums, which are played by Jef Pauly (of Vela Eyes), and the song’s end becomes a battle for space between the two enraged instruments. Other monumental moments come on “Grey Healer,” where the guitar progresses through a riff that sounds like a snake charmer. The track moves forward with clashing drums, and the guitar brings in more bright, resolute tones to give the hypnotizing riff a cutting edge. Ending the EP on a high and heavy note, the seven-minute “Cave Dweller” is a steady climb of shimmering, distorted guitars, alongside drums that boldly lead the track’s changes in time.
Niō’s music has a nice ebb and flow to it, with quiet, calm moments giving way to powerful explosions and tense build-ups. Their patient merger of metal and post-rock works by creating dark, trudging moments in an airy, dreamlike atmosphere, and ultimately keeps your attention with informed, heavy instrumental songs.
Stream Niō below or download/order a copy here.
Photo courtesy of the artist