Steny Lda, or Walls of Ice to those of us who don't reside in Siberian slush, is a post-(insert genre here) band hailing from Russia. Part post-metal, part post-rock, but fortunately not post-good.
The band's oddly titled songs (seemingly random combination of numbers or letters) are woven together, largely based upon clean mellow pieces that swell as the song progresses. For sake of comparison, the starting point is akin to Explosions In The Sky (some of you might be familiar with their music via Friday Night Lights. They hold the distinction of being the only band in 25 years of music shopping that I've heard playing at the store and purchased on the spot), with clean guitar melodies hooking the listener in, while the drum, bass, and rhythm guitar are comfortable to sit in the background and support the 'voice' of the melodic guitar.
As the songs progress, the intensity picks up and the formerly background instruments slowly gain in volume and, uh, intensity. The support instruments push from the background to share the spotlight in a beautiful cacophony.
The structure is the sonic equivalent of watching a nice summer shower build up into a raging torrent of rain.
There are some vocals as well. They are less than stellar, but it really doesn't matter as they are (very) sparsely used and left largely in the background, making them unobtrusive.
Their self-titled release isn't particularly original (a claim I seem to be making about a lot of bands), but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the music. I loved Explosions In The Sky so much back when that I bought it on the spot. I imagine my enjoyment of Steny Lda will be longer lasting based upon the relative same common starting point, but greater intensity during the build-up.
What that means is I liked it, and I think I'll still like to pop it in for a spin a couple years from now. I think enduring enjoyment is just as good a thing as innovation.
I didn't look at the liner notes but after a few listens this album seems to sound like a couple of different recording sessions...a few songs recorded here a few songs recorded there. A couple of EP's spiced together - listen closely you can tell the difference, especially towards the end of the album. Too bad because I like this type of music (They remind me of my favorite Russian "post" band Fading Waves). 7/10