Bart M. : The Belgium quartet 'Last Of Us' decided, after an unsuccessful quest of finding a singer, to continue as an instrumental band. I can imagine that leaving out vocals somehow forces a band to be a lot more creative with the instruments, because without words it is harder to paint landscapes and tell stories. These gentlemen show they are more than adept at doing this. 'Swarm', their debut album, starts off sounding like some kind of horror movie, the kind that gives you mysterious itches in odd places. The kind of movie that makes you think it is a little too farfetched, and then all of a sudden, when you turn up the volume, it is right there at the door, creeping into your living room like some kind of evil, black slime.
Throughout the instrumental songs the story develops further and further and it does not take long before we are taken from one wondrous scene into the next. Sometimes gradually by a slow and compassionate build-up of multiple layers, other times abruptly by being confronted with a wall of sound that is put together so well that even at first listen the various melodies and harmonies can be heard. Even though post metal would be the easiest way of describing the music, Last Of Us is not a band that can be defined by just a genre. They combine different styles, black, prog, doom and even industrial, into their own sound, which will hold a level of appeal for fans of any of those listed.
Even though each of the songs is an entity all by itself, including surprising plot twists, foreboding passages and very powerful saturnalias, the best thing to do is see 'Swarm' as one integral being. Everything fits and is blended together seamlessly and with precision, and thus forms, in a convincing and decisive way, the story about an invasion (by "the swarm"). Calling this a soundtrack would not do this album justice; calling it an experience is a far better choice of words. An experience that you can live through time and time again, each time being more beautiful and exciting. 'Swarm' is an album of outstanding quality.