Hills Like White Lions – Meander: Album Review

Austrian heavy prog trio release the second studio album which continues an emotion-drenched journey.

Release date:   2nd June 2023

Label:   Bandcamp

Format:   digital

We first encountered Hills Like White Lions on their eponymous debut album in 2020 and were impressed by this Austrian prog outfit.  That album took us on a  roller coaster journey of light and dark moods.  Meander continues this topsy-turvy exploration of emotions blending tense drama and then releasing us with tuneful melancholy.

The conceptual album Meander explores a dream world but grabs us with stark reality. Even if heavy prog isn’t your thing somehow Hills Like White Lions are an appealing listen possibly because they can combine thrashing pounding chords with placid music to relieve you from the deepest of gloom and despair.

Meander is presented in seven individually titled sections beginning with Coral which explores the confusion created after a peaceful dream into the turmoil of real life and correspondingly the music is frenzied. 

Maelstrom builds calmly to a thrashing crescendo as solace is sought in a return to the sanctuary of the dream world. Sonically respite comes in the melodic instrumental Acedia but danger is just around the corner in the menacing and thundering Black Tide, a multi-textured piece of music. The percussion is the highlight of Cataract as we are peppered with bullet-like staccato beats driving us ponderously towards oblivion. Nihau expresses the utter desperation of no signs of escape even though hope remains. However, the powerful concluding piece Mondgrau leaves us with the dilemma of whether will there be an end. there seems no light at the end of the tunnel..does that ring any bells with the current climate….perhaps the next part of the journey Hills Like White Lions will bring us to a happy ending. I look forward with bated breath to the next stage of the journey!

Their music is always a compelling experience dragging you in to share their emotions. An enthralling listen especially for those who like their prog a little louder!

Hills Like White Lions online: Facebook / Youtube / Instagram

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