Like the music itself, the output of Euclidean has been unfolding at a measured and thoughtful pace but has thankfully been no less dramatic for it. I picked up the demo (and reviewed it here) when I remarked on its vast scope and tantalising brevity (two tracks and just under 16 minutes in total). We had to wait five years for the follow-up, which was previously only released on digital, and only now on physical format. I’ll skip the mathematics lesson (Euclid was the Greek ‘father of geometry’) but suffice to say Quod Erat Faciendum has lived up to the promise of the EP and then some. There’s no math metal here. But this is an ambitious piece of work which triangulates the likes of Isis and Amenra against driving doom, post-metal and a vast ambience that befits a work of such philosophical intent.
Progressive, space-filled hooks, rumbling bass lines and circular, dynamic rhythms build from the opening track which sets the cosmic, timeless tone of QEF. Given music like this is all about creating a massive gravity to draw you in, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when this album first grips you in its tractor-beam embrace – but, if you have any affinity towards this kind of stuff, grip you it will. By the end of second track Numbers Hold Sovereignty (and not far off the 20 minute mark) I think it’s fair to say that Euclidean have already worked their magic to the point that its becoming pretty hard to work out which way is up and which is down as you hurtle through the band’s incalculable void. The journey is both linear and full of immeasurable shifts – there is no question that the band’s purpose is as much to mesmerise and hold you in its grasp as it is to imperceptibly throw you off balance.
There is a post-hardcore flavour in this, to go with all the other ‘posts’ hurtling through the mix, but it stops short of the kind of intense aggression or offering Neurosis-style neck-breaking turns. Rather the overall feeling (at least for anyone used to listening to extreme music) is smooth, using the music is a vortex to draw you in and unfurl into your senses gradually. The odd numbered tracks – Increatus, Superstitio and so on – seem to work as extended intros that provide some exploratory breathing space. That’s before the lengthier, even-numbered tracks kick in with building pressure and screaming (although clearly audible) vocals that repeatedly give way to addictive, revolving melodies that unleash themselves without warning, as on the closing bars of As He Reached the Divine Yearning. What’s pretty incredible at that point is that Euclidean are only halfway through. In the final half the and pay things a little more openly, segueing from their now trademark post-black metal pile-driving, then breaking down the tension slowly before blasting it up again to even more exhilarating heights.
The album becomes more heavy, more progressive – and sometimes just more metal, even at times sounding like a band rather than sonic ambient machine – by turns as it advances towards its final eclipse. And, while each track stands alone, it’s the final four which most strongly encapsulate this ode to deep thought which apparently took three years to write. As ever with sonic ships of this size, it’s running time is just over 74 minutes, it’s difficult at first to take in the whole as passes into view and dominates the horizon, but there is barely a moment here that I didn’t savour in some way even if in the final analysis it’s difficult to select the exact points various fuses in my tiny mind were blown. That said, some of the shorter tracks like Increatus and Obstinatio kill just as much as the 10-15 minute lengthier tracks where there we some moments I was urging the band on to the next time shift, even if the aforementioned Numbers Hold Sovereignty 12-minuter is a monster of a track. But in the final analysis this is definitely recommended for fans of post-metal exploration and I wouldn’t be surprised if this crept into my end of year list somewhere or other.
(8/10 Reverend Darkstanley)