Chasing Swans is the debut full-length studio album by Belgian post metal act Sensual Noise. The album was released in 2010. There are 5 tracks on the 30:28 minute long album, so this is not the longest album release you´ll ever find, but personally I don´t mind. I prefer quality over quantity any day.
The music on the album is post metal with what I would call atmospheric post rock parts. Isis could be a valid reference and I hear a bit of early Mogwai in the more mellow parts of the album too. The music is mostly instrumental but there are vocal parts too. The vocals are for the most part really aggressive but there are cleaner sung vocal parts too. What characterizes the music on the album is that there´s a deliberate and refreshing disregard of conventional structure. As such nothing new when we´re talking post metal but this is something that really speaks to me. The songs develop nicely and there´s a good dynamic in the songs between the loud and heavy aggressive parts and the more subtle and mellow parts.
The sound is raw yet very enjoyable. I like the fact that this sounds a bit like it´s recorded live in the studio ( banging the drumsticks together counting into the song Red Pelican Black Cat further enhances this image in my mind). These are real live musicians playing and fortunately it´s audible. There are no triggered drums here or unneccessary polish. Just five guys playing atmospheric post metal with an authentic raw sound. That´s not to say this is a lo-fi production, because that´s certainly not the case.
Chasing Swans is an album full of innovative and creative ideas and while that doesn´t always equal being original, it´s still something that get most acts far. Fans of atmospheric post metal should love this one. A 3.5 - 4 star rating is deserved.