SURVIVING DEATH / ALIVE WHY?
Survivng Death / Alive Why? is Larval's fifth album and the two disc set showcases two side of the band's work. Disc one is their new studio recording, which is an amalgamation of styles and approaches to music, from quiet and limpidly beautiful passages to an aggressive onslaught of screaming horns, guitars and strings, moving from very controlled passages to almost complete chaos and back, all the while following a master plan of intent. The second disc is compiled from 7 years of potent live recordings; here, as anyone who has experienced Larval live knows, the band eschew some of the more quieter moments that are on the studio albums, and just rock loud and hard! "These live recordings reflect the efforts of all 45+ members that have passed through the Larval camp. There were several shows recorded, some on better equipment than others, and some great shows with lousy recording gear. Alive Why? is the result of repeated listening while trying to come up with pieces that had the best energy and were also recorded well enough to make it onto CD." - Bill Brovold.
"...powerful, emotional music that succeeds in establishing their own distinct creative niche. Highly recommended." - All Music Guide
"...it's plainly evident that Larval would rather lend a more human presence to experimental rock than dazzle.... [The] band completely eschews solos, or any other display of instrumental might.... Larval are willing to sacrifice the glory of the individual for a tightly wound whole." - Pitchfork
Surviving Death / Alive Why? press release
Larval is an avant/progressive rock ensemble led by composer Bill Brovold. Defined by driving guitars, saxes, multiple strings (violin, bass, cello, harp) and percussion, Larval’s sound is intense, relentless and savagely hypnotic. The music brings to mind a blending of aspects of Glenn Branca, Godspeed You Black Emperor! King Crimson and more, but all put together in a completely "Larval" fashion. Obedience is Larval's fourth album and their first on Cuneiform. Larval’s three previous CDs were all given 4 star reviews by the All Music Guide. Brovold formed the Detroit-based Larval in 1996, selecting that city’s best musicians to help realize his musical visions. The band caught the attention of John Zorn, who proclaimed: “Bill Brovold’s music blows me away… Larval is the shit.” Blistering in its intesity, relentless in its propulsive rhythms, the music on Obedience is nevertheless disciplined at its core. Brovold’s compositions here encompass a wide spectrum of mood, traveling from quiet, contemplative passages tinged with ominous expectations to driving, aggressive onslaughts of screaming guitars and assorted strings that threaten chaos.
“Bill Brovold crafts quiet think-hums that transform into bold, dense, almost assaulting compositions in his instrumental rock band, Larval.” - Detroit Metro Times
"When they begin to play, several things are immediately apparent. First, the music that the group plays is fairly rigorous in its construction - even its simplest pieces pit strings against guitars in sectional call-and-response punctuated by the horns. Second, the drummer is essentially playing straightforward rock rhythms, infused with that most indefinable of elements. And third, they're loud. Real loud.” - Music Box
Obedience press release