Last updated on July 23, 2020
Violetera‘s A Landmark, Not a Beacon is high quality post-rock. The trio takes a tightly defined palette and works it to its maximum results: drums, electric guitar, and distorted bass guitar. They rip through gnarly, nearly post-metal tracks (“Callisto”) followed up with ambient, earthy interludes (“Not Nothing”); they deliver elegant moments of beauty (“Opaque”); they get mysterious (“Exchange Value”); they do the quiet-loud-quiet thing (“15”) or not (the quiet-quiet-quiet of “Vestiges”). They even have a track that’s kind of a dance-rock track (“Statistician”) before dropping down to a twee glockenspiel line.
If you like twinkly lead lines, there’s plenty to go around. If you’re into atmosphere, this whole album is one long atmosphere. If you’re into muscly, acrobatic work, they do that too. Basically everything you could want in a post-rock record is here to some degree. That level of diversity keeps the record strong, as they don’t overdose on any particular part of the post-rock palette. If you’re into guitar-based post-rock, you’ve got to listen to A Landmark, Not a Beacon.