The Black Heart Rebellion (Post-Rock / Alternative, BE)
The Black Heart Rebellion started out deeply embedded in the punk scene back in 2004. Never a band to dwell on well-trodden paths, TBHR started to experiment and push its own boundaries, leaving those punk roots quickly behind. In sound, that is. To this very day, the band embraces a DIY mentality, reflecting for example in a very unique visual language and overall aesthetics. 2009 brought "Monologue”, the first full album by this enigmatic sextet. Inspired by the moment and by their own approach to music, the album sounded very postrock/metal. An exciting new band emerged from the Belgian underground. And as it turned out, they hadn’t even started yet. As a companion to the winter of 2012, "Har Nevo” was unleashed upon an unsuspecting audience. The sound of TBHR matured drastically over those few years. Not longer only pushing the boundaries of their own capabilities, they started pushing the boundaries of music itself. "Har Nevo” brought something completely unheard before. Not completely losing touch with their postrock past, Belgian producer Koen Gisen upped the ante dramatically. Again, the well-trodden paths were left behind, bringing in brooding sounds, oriental themes and adventurous visions. Impossible to pigeonhole the band or to classify the music, "Har Nevo” brought a very fresh sounding genre-defying album. From Swans to Low, from Nick Cave to Current 93… It left the critics and fans unable to get a grip on the band, but the band firmly held its audience in its grip. The first pressing of the vinyl edition sold out in no time, and TBHR became a band you had to see live. And did they deliver. The band toured relentlessly all over the world, with a much acclaimed Japanese leg and some fantastic shows together with the Church of Ra — the Ghent based artist collective TBHR is affiliated with.
After that, what followed was silence. A brooding silence, that is. The band started working on new material, and once again called on Koen Gisen to produce the album. The result, "People, if you see the smoke do not think it is fields they’re burning”, was released in October 2015 through 9000 Records (by Consouling Sounds) and immediately met with critical acclaim. TBHR isolated themes and sounds off the "Har Nevo” album, and fully explored those in depth. That resulted in a sound that is not a million miles away from "Har Nevo”, but does feel tremendously different yet again. The album sounds like a fever dream, setting its claws in the listener from the opening track, ever tightening the grip throughout the album. "People, if you see the smoke do not think it is fields they’re burning” is a purified TBHR, a deeply introspective album that deepens the band’s sound and vision. It’s an elusive album, baffling fans and critics alike. People just gave up on trying to put a genre-tag on it. The music somehow seems to transcend it, making TBHR a genre of its own.is in it for the long journey and they will leave their marks. That much is certain. Wherever that journey may lead is less certain, although knowing TBHR by now it will be an adventurous one full of surprises.