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Album Reviews

Review: Heinali and Matt Finney – Conjoined EP

Heinali and Matt Finney – Conjoined EP

Released: November 20, 2010
Label: Self-released

2010 certainly has been a productive year for ambient post-rock and spoken word duo Heinali and Matt Finney. The Ukrainian composer – Alabaman spoken word poet combination is powerful and intriguing, always powerful and chill-inducing. Where Lemonade tried to be slightly catchier, Heinali and Matt Finney’s third EP release Conjoined, is ever more engrossing and ominous, packing 32 minutes of deep poetic contemplation and orchestration into a single EP.

Heinali’s composition has changed ever so slightly with each additional release, but it’s always for the better. This time around, the ambient-infused post rock style composition is darker than before, with droning synths and methodically-pounding drum lines. Many of the tracks on Conjoined feature menacing, heavy guitar wails with metal roots.

Conjoined is the most developed of the three Heinali and Matt Finney collaborations yet. The production and composition is at its best, complementing greatly with the ominous, angst-driven lyrics of Matt Finney. One of the main strengths of the duo is that the two feed off of one another, creating a final sound that is, if you’ll excuse the aphorism, “better than the sum of their parts.” This time around, the two have blended their styles more noticeably than on past releases, with Matt’s growls sinking into the rises and falls of the Heinali backing composition.

On title track “Conjoined” however, it is actually a bit hard to tell exactly what Matt Finney is muttering. The emotion is there, and it certainly always was, but the words are less clear and harder to make out. “Conjoined” makes up for the lack of clear vocals with some of the best composition on the record.

With that in mind, its important to note that the solo Heinali closer “The Sun Will Rise Yet We Won’t Be Here” feels uplifting and happy in a subtle manner, providing a nice change of sound from the pounding of the rest of the EP. The closer is a beautiful, uplifting piece that will certainly merit repeat listens and is the perfect way to close out the record – eight minutes and twenty four seconds of spiritual ambience.

Conjoined is an aptly chosen title for Heinali and Matt Finney’s third release. As the duo produce more and more music, they are certainly developing more noticeably as a group, evolving to create a fuller, more striking sound. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what direction the two will decide to take with their next EP, expected for a 2011 release.

7.4

Standout Tracks: “Conjoined” and “The Sun Will Rise Yet We Won’t Be Here”

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