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Album Reviews : All is Violent – Cartographers of Human Purpose

By on August 10, 2019

Don’t let the fact that this EP is only three tracks put you off, Cartographers of Human Purpose is 25 minutes plus of highly enjoyable music from a very promising Aussie band.

This is instrumental post-rock, straying into post-metal territory on occasion, so people familiar with the style have somewhat of an inkling as to what they’re going to get: long, evocative, conceptual pieces of music with no vocals, minimal in the way of instantly gratifying hooks, delivered with a subtle power and a strong dose of musical dynamics. And yep, that’s exactly what you get from All is Violent.

It’s a style of music that you have to be in a certain frame of mind to truly enjoy (although this writer seems to be in that frame of mind on a regular basis). Like many bands of their ilk, AIV take the listener on a real journey across transcendent soundscapes and into a different headspace. If you give yourself to this music, it becomes like being happily adrift on an ocean, wherein it can soothe you into a sweet reverie with its calm ambience one minute, and shower you with cascading and turbulent sound the next. You must be willing to go where it takes you, even though it isn’t really giving you what the mind craves, that is, hooky stuff for it to latch onto. You must let your mind go.

This is where this style of music is an ‘acquired taste’. And once you’ve acquired that taste, it changes you for ever.

All is Violent do all this particularly well, especially for a newer band. In fact, COHP provide an excellent example of the wonders of post rock instrumental music. In fact, they would be a good place to start if you are a new fan looking to explore this style. Their sound is no too obscure or esoteric, by post rock standards anyway, and their transitions/ebb and flow are actually not too violent or jarring.

If you dig on the likes of sleepmakewaves, Russian Circles, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving and so on, Melbourne’s All is Violent come highly recommended. Cartographers of Human Purpose is an excellent debut.

Band: All is Violent
Album:  Cartographers of Human Purpose
Year: 2019
Genre: Post Rock/Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.