If there is one thing that you need to now about Ukrainian experimentalists 5R6 is that they know how to captivate sound and take a full control out of it. Consisting of Igor (vocals, guitars), Eugene (bass), Cyril (guitar) and Dmitry (drums), Islands is their debut full-length album released two years after their previous release—an EP titled +6.5 and Brighter. This album will give you a new appreciation for autumn and winter, as its sound like a soundtrack written specifically for these seasons.
The opening “The Ledge” is an intro that sounds like the beginning of a drama epic and are you about to go on a fantastic journey with the destination being both outer and inner space. This short piece leads into “Potion” which grabs attention with its riff-y structure and sparse lyrics that make it stands out more. During its almost 7 and a half minutes, this is a song that never gets stale. “This River” begins with bass solo that connects with a clean guitar solo and shifts further with ominous guitar work that really get going when the drums kick in.
“TV Snow” is the shortest piece on the album after the opening song, and it’s fast paced with crunchy guitar sound reminiscent the bands that fall under the “between-stoner-and-classic-rock” category. It hits you right away with its direct guitar work and Igor’s determined singing. The sound is heavy and brooding for the most of part of its playtime, with exception in the middle which sounds like a spoken mantra.
“Gasping for Breath” feels like being lost in a vast wilderness with its diverse nature. Igor’s vocals in this track are focused on melody rather that aggressiveness that is shown in previous songs. Speaking of the sound of this one, they are influences of Alice in Chains ringing throughout the track accompanied with progressive rock.
“From the City of X” opens in a furious way and keeps an interchange between slow and fast tempo parts. Finally, the title song “Islands” closes the record. It is the longest song on the album and is by far the most diverse piece when it comes to the creative flow and progress as the song comes closer to the end.
Islands by 5R6 is the type of album that grows on you with each listen. Full of wonder and eeriness, it is quite the experience to behold and one worth taking. Turn off the lights, close your eyes, and let the music take you away to another world.