Belly of the Whale

1. Empress
2. Ledges
3. Sea of Galilee
4. Diorama
5. Belly of the Whale
6. Profiteer
7. Feral As They Were
8. Return/Castaway
9. Whitewash
10. Shadows + Seams (bonus)

Dustin Borne - guitar
Jeremy Pourcy - bass
Jason Ourso - guitar, backing vocals
Gabe Vicknair - vocals
Ean Savoy - drums



All songs written and performed by Ambassador
Mixed by John Tyler O’Neal at O’Neal Audio Services
Mastered by Alan Douches, West West Side Music
Artwork by Gabe Vicknair

Released 2018-09-28
Reviewed 2018-09-17



Into the belly we go, the belly of the whale is our destination when we are looking at the upcoming debut album of American band Ambassador from the town of Baton Rogue in Louisiana. And it is an album with a stunning artwork, perhaps a good choice for the collection of vinyl records – I could get that for the looks alone. The album is described in the promo mail as dark post-punk and they are compared to bands like Pink Floyd, A Perfect Circle and Tool, and I would say that it isn’t such a bad reference for this and this album. And then, if you are more curious about the band I will have an article about them up before the album release, but what about the music then?

Shoegazy is one way to describe it, dark post-punk and compare them with those similar bands that has been listed in the review. You can of course use many different ways and genre descriptions to narrow it down more but these guys do encompass several different musical styles in their debut album all made into an exciting musical journey. A cavernous musical quest fusing heart-rending doom, shoe-gazing aesthetics, and a deep-set pop sensibility. Or like being swallowed by a flying whale and listening to the music that comes through the whale’s headphones while flying through the soundscapes – something like that. I like the vocals and the production is really good, the variation and depth is really good as well.

I like it when bands go their own way and dare to risk being fresh and more exciting than most of the bands today, I like that they don’t want to regurgitate the same sounds and ideas over and over again, too bad that most bands do that. I also like that they build this album like an album and not like a collection of songs, the album as a whole is stronger than the individual parts and those parts are really good. The weakness of the album might be that it could require you to play it a few times before you really find out all its secrets and qualities. And I think that the songs are all very good and powerful, and by a narrow margin I would say that the title track is my favourite of the album.

So, to end it all I can just point out that this is a highly recommended album, it is fresh and it is exciting – it is great. I think you ought to check it out and not only because of the great music but also because it has a great cover art that would look really nice in the vinyl record collection. Great stuff!





Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Tool/Pink Floyd/A Perfect Circle
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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