Long Distance Calling – Stummfilm (live from Hamburg): Album Review

Release Date: 1st November 2019

Label: Inside Out Music

Formats: 2CD/bluray, DL, 3LP vinyl

Experimental instrumental prog/post rock giants Long Distance Calling go the whole hog on the souvenir record of an audio-visual live extravaganza.

You can never underestimate the importance of a double live album in a band’s catalogue. The number of classic, landmark ‘double lives’ that have been definitive documents in a band’s career are numerous. Stummfilm could be Long Distance Calling’s moment in the sun.

The Hamburg show on their ‘Seat & Sounds’ tour provides the material; one that also includes a performance of a special Avoid The Light set to commemorate the tenth anniversary of their second album – “playing it felt like time travel” they say. Ten years might seem like a long time in a band’s life, especially considering the career path that’s followed.

In a show of respect to some of the venues, the band made the decision to avoid some of their heavier and more aggressive numbers although that’s not to say that Stummfilm is a chill our fest. Absolutely no way. The starkness of the visuals is compelling and achieves their goal of creating a silent film effect. From the off, there’s a density and controlled energy about the delivery. Like A River soothes calmly while In The Clouds challenges those in their seats to remain in control while the band ramps things up.

Three selections from their most recent Boundless album from 2018 are included in the opening half and simply reading the setlist, many of the titles speak for themselves – In The Clouds, On The Verge, Out There. A hint at the musical journeys explored in their extended compositions; calms, storms, lulls and ferocious batterings all take their turns.

A sense of grandeur and serenity litter a dynamic performance that culminates in an almost half hour of Flux and Metulsky Curse Revisited that follows the Apparitions set to conclude an epic evening.

Long Distance Calling have achieved the close to impossible aim of delivering an engaging all-instrumental set with ease. In combination with the visual aspect, it highlights the cinematic capacity and qualities of the music in the clearest sense possible and may well be their definitive statement.

Watch the clip of Black Paper Planes  here:

Long Distance Calling online:  Website / Facebook / Instagram / Youtube

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