Album Review: Long Distance Calling – Boundless

The German four-piece Long Distance Calling adds their latest studio album ‘Boundless’ to their already impressive discography. While it’s easy to call the band a quartet of rockers, the truth is far more complicated. At the surface it may seem like your standard metal affair, war-like drums and a blaring bass set off the initial mood of ‘Boundless’. “Initial” is the best word for this situation, because the moods and feelings throughout this record are constantly shifting throughout different spectrums of emotion to bring forth an incredibly diverse piece of instrumental, atmospheric rock/metal.

The record opens with the easily digestible metal piece ‘Out There’; although it initially hits you with standard metal work, about 4 minutes into the 9-minute track you’ll notice the elements shifting into a more atmospheric based rock. It’s a very smooth transition, which sets the foundation for ‘Boundless’, a record which relies on the apt transition of tonalities to invigorate emotional investment. Despite the usage of metal elements which create the overall tones of Long Distance Calling, simply calling them a metal band would be a disservice.

There’s so much going on, in the most organized way possible, that it becomes near impossible to pin an exact definition on them. Are they ambiance? Are they modern prog? Are they metal? Are they mood-rock? I couldn’t tell you to be honest, because Long Distance Calling is all of that as one form. A form called Boundless.

This is one of those records that rides on a gentle flow, a flow that requires you to slow down and allow the music to overcome you senses. Of course this is to be expected of all good music, yet ‘Boundless’ invigorates an intellectual observation of its contents. It’s a great record, that’s to be sure, a record that requires patience and understanding to fully enjoy the music.

‘Boundless’ is a difficult record to pin any exact sentiments onto; when you have indie-melodies and keyboard-ambiance flowing into straightforward metal riffage it becomes hard to pin your finger on the exact elements that make this music so successful. Is it that inherent, quiet chaos borne from the intense amalgamation of the genres that form what is ‘Boundless’? One cannot be sure, except hear what Long Distance Calling has birthed, and upon this you will realize what makes this so good is its ability to transcend definable genre-work.

Like a grand river flowing gently across miles and miles of nature, you cannot point to any specific part of the river and claim that is what makes it flow so powerful. Instead you can only look to the entire body and realize it is great not because of the parts, but the whole. I realize this may sound stuffy and slightly pretentious, yet if you find yourself engaged within ‘Boundless’ you’ll realize this understanding.

‘Boundless’ by Long Distance Calling does what is often undone in music; it touches not only your soul, but your mind as well. Listening to this record becomes more than listening; it becomes exploring, contemplating, and understanding.

Long Distance Calling does an incredible job of presenting an intellectually stimulating piece of work in ‘Boundless’ while still tickling the common fancies of rock. However, this record goes far beyond what one expects from rock or metal; ‘Boundless’ is as its title claims. A fantastic album that flows without boundaries throughout the various worlds of rock, metal, prog, and indie, to create a body of work that is equally immersive and thought-provoking.

– by Ryan Falla

Rating: 8.5/10

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Record Label: InsideOut
Release Date: February 2 2018

Track Listing:
1. Out There (9:13)
2. Ascending (4:59)
3. In The Clouds (6:00)
4. Like A River (4:56)
5. The Far Side (5:45)
6. On The Verge (6:02)
7. Weightless (6:56)
8. Skydivers (5:32)

Total duration: 49:23

Long Distance Calling links: website | facebook | instagram