August 2015 National Music Reviews

Review: Hælos – Earth Not Above

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Hælos – Earth Not AboveHælos
Earth Not Above

Matador
Street: 05.29
Hælos = Kindness / Barbarossa

Hælos’ melodramatic synth-pop has been compared to iconic ’90s bands like Portishead, but Earth Not Above feels more like the soundtrack to a cheesy, sci-fi movie. Where bands like Portishead and Massive Attack defined the trip-hop genre with dreamy melodies and trippy beats, Hælos synth-pop reminds me more of a modern synth group like The XX. The difference, for me, is in the mid-tempo and underwhelming sound produced by Haelos versus a more melodic, downtempo sound created on “Paradise Circus” by Massive Attack, which ultimately feels more ominous than dramatic. Simply put, Hælos music doesn’t produce any kind of emotional response from me. Although, I feel that’s exactly what they’re aiming for. – Justin Gallegos