Karpackonaut – Light as a Particle (2022)

Irish post-sludge rockers Karpackonaut have just returned with their 5th album “Light as a Particle”. Five improvised tunes and a bonus track, all recorded “on the fly” as the band themselves say on Bandcamp, with no facelift mixes and fixes. The band chose the best cuts, putting together what seems to be their best work to date, hands down.

The first song of the album “Overtaking the Voyager” does exactly what the title says. A great post rock tune with a steady build-up, and a driving bass line that comes in waves in the background, dragging you in for what will follow.

Throughout the album, the performance and the recording process sound organic, which makes it sound as if you are actually in the studio with them. This is perhaps nowhere more audible than in songs like “Forty Two” and “Minimum Units”, where you can hear natural sounds, like a cough, or the distinct sound of drumsticks before the drummer kicks in in the song.

On “T-1600 Hours”, the band create a sonic landscape of post rock, allowing room for singer John Quill to deliver a great vocal performance that begins as a spoken prose and builds up like an incantation meant for a Neurosis album. The song culminates with a massive groove that paves the way for “Light as a Particle”. On the self-titled song, the band further explores their post rock side, creating the connection between fellow Irish men God Is An Astronaut. The “Bonus Track” in the end is a brief sonic assault that closes the album with a bang.

“Light as a Particle” captures a moment in time, where the band evolves its sound to a more atmospheric, more organic, and yet more complete outcome. Their sludgy post rock is honest and their sound is vibrantly raw. Lend them your ears today. Heavy stuff, great stuff!

Words by Ioannis Valiakos

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