Battlestations

Battlestations“one of those bands that is doing amazing things despite the fact that no one seems to have heard of them… drop whatever it is you are doing and go listen” Scene Point Blank

Battlestations interweave the subtle with the dramatic, the intimate with the cinematic, the introverted with the bombastic. Across their eclectic and atmospheric instrumental rock, industrial ambience is counterbalanced by beautiful piano melodies, eerie samples and lyrical guitar lines. The result is incredibly evocative music, complex in both its narratives and textural composition.

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Discography

 

Vixit


June 2017

While 2015’s The Extent of Damage felt like a high-definition camera roving across a ruined world, listening to Vixit feels like witnessing an intimidating new dawn, barely comprehensible from a merely human perspective. Massive and awe-inspiring, this three-part composition is breathtaking in scope and stunning in execution. Synthesizers, orchestra and choirs interweave into a billowing tapestry of glorious sound that completely envelopes the listener.

Brief centrepiece ‘II’ is the calm at the eye of the storm, a ruminative piano piece that brings a sense of intimacy to a suite of music that is all about challenging the listener’s sense of scale. To either side, massive tracks ‘I’ and ‘III’ stretch out into multi-part compositions that are as deep and wide as any orchestral piece, tempered with a sensibility akin to ‘70s kosmische music and the most progressive neo-classical ambient.

 

 

The Extent of Damage


October 2015

Like a high-definition camera roving across a ruined world, The Extent of Damage is both unflinchingly bleak and stirringly beautiful. Akin to Ennio Morricone at his most dark and doleful, and Portishead’s majestic self-titled second record, this music’s atmosphere of urban oppression is leavened with passages of sublime, redemptive beauty. Battlestations interweave the subtle with the dramatic, the intimate with the cinematic, the introverted with the bombastic. Across their eclectic and atmospheric instrumental rock, industrial ambience is counterbalanced by beautiful piano melodies, eerie samples and lyrical guitar lines. The result is incredibly evocative music, complex in both its narratives and textural composition.

 

The Death Of The Day


August 2013

Melding elements of post-rock, ambient, industrial and prog, The Death Of The Day further refines Battlestations’ incredibly atmospheric and affecting musical output. The often dramatic shifts in mood are deftly handled, wielding enviable emotional weight.

 

In a Cold Embrace


April 2012

Battlestations’ second full-length is a masterfully crafted tableau, its scale and flow only fully apparent when the last note has faded. In A Cold Embrace is narratively rich music, realising the potential of the album format in a way that so much music misses. This is film as sound.

 

Return / Mr. Abject


December 2011

This 11-minute opus is an exercise in urgency and restraint. Layers of guitars slowly thicken over an insistent beat as an atmosphere of paranoia takes over. As with every Battlestations song ‘Return / Mr. Abject’ has striking narrative detours that add another level of depth to the listening experience.

 

Battlestations


June 2011

Battlestations’ self-titled debut album is such a wonderfully sprawling and complex piece of work that distinguishing individual songs within the whole soon becomes meaningless. Comprising three tracks, two of which are over 18 minutes long, Battlestations presents a shifting instrumental narrative that effortlessly moves between dystopia and hope.

Biography

Little is known about Battlestations other than the basic facts: formed in Brussels, Belgium in 2009; released two albums (Battlestations and In A Cold Embrace) and two EPs (Return/Mr. Abject and The Death Of The Day); collaboration with Joe Dorsey on the Involved project. However, this shroud of anonymity feels fitting when listening to their enigmatic music. It often feels too big to attach to singular identities, and the atmosphere and mystique surrounding the songs suspends them, weightless, into a listening space unmoored from conventional reference points.

News

Reviews

  • Battlestations “Vixit” Reviewed at A Closer Listen

    Is it live, or is it Memorex?  The tagline comes to mind when listening to the third album from the purposely elusive Battlestations.  If the first album was the prog album and the second the ambient album, the third is the neoclassical, marked by the choir and orchestra.  Are they live?  The band isn’t telling, and neither is Hidden Shoal.  We’re guessing it’s a little bit of both.

    The choir is fantastic, and we’d love to see them given credit.  If these are samples, one hopes they have been cleared, as the extended choral passages dominate the album.  Their power is only enhanced by the music.  At the 10-minute mark of the 24-minute opener, piano and orchestra take over for a short period, as if sending signals from a valley to the choir in the mountains above.  Another dip occurs at the 13-minute mark, signaling a shift in choral timbre from the light to the dark.  Four minutes later, the tones thicken, descending into the catacombs.  Something heavy is going on here, indicated by the repetitions of “Holy” and chants reminiscent of Medieval monks.  If there are clues to be gleaned, they rest in the translation of vixit (“he or she has lived”,) the dedication (“for R., in loving memory”) and the cover, which appears to be a prayer flag.  Is this project an elegy, a work composed for a loved one to bear them across the great divide?

    The clouds clear at the conclusion of the first piece, allowing the sun to shine directly on the piano ~ positions maintained for the brief middle piece.  As they gather again for the closer, they do so with muted power, having ceded impact to the angelic voices, against which few could stand.  Combining the aforementioned clues with the name of the Belgian act, a passage from Ephesians comes to mind:  So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground (6:13, TEV).  When the drums arrive in the closing minutes, the overall tone is one of spiritual struggle and triumph, the securing of a victory.  If music can be lovely enough to salvage such a soul from the ravages of hell, then this is it.  Orpheus would be proud.”

    A Closer Listen

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  • Battlestations “The Extent of Damage” Reviewed at Luna Kafe

    “The Extent of Damage is Battlestations’ third album and it was launched a few months ago (in October of last year). As ‘better late than never’ still is a nice motto, here’s Battlestations to you. All hands man your battle stations!

    The Extent of Damage holds five tracks of atmospheric, instrumental music. Except the title track, “The Extent of Damage” (3:55) the rest of the songs are long-stretched compositions. The opening “Necro” is a slow-floating, cinematic piece with several crescendos and decrescendos in it. The music of Battlestations increase and decrease, it builds up and falls down. The dramatic, cinematic themes keeps coming through “The Lies We Share”, “The Great Divide” and “They Sleep While We Burn”, before the more calming, soothing closing track, “The Extent of Damage”. This is highly doom-dramatic soundscapes, and to quote Hidden Shoal: ‘Battlestations interweave the subtle with the dramatic, the intimate with the cinematic, the introverted with the bombastic.’ True words. To tell you the truth, listening through The Extent of Damage is almost too much of the big, soft-flowing drama, but I guess that I’ll return to this music when in need of some deep, dark cinedrama.”

    Luna Kafe

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Licensing

Battlestations music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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