“Baro ihlo” begins with a deep, ominous bass clarinet and a dark accompanying guitar. Shrouded in a static-filled haze, the song leads into “1922”, where poetry is spouted in front of guitar feedback and a blend of a consistent drum beat with bursts of percussive noise. 2010 by Sweden’s The Universe isn’t all like this, but it does maintain that ethereal post-rock noise with lengthy minimalist arenas of quietude and momentous epic fits of wild guitars and percussion. What you’ll find, mostly, are mesmerizing instrumental tracks.
“Left, by death” has a churning, consistent percussion and clanging chimes fronted by dreamy guitar riffs. This is the stuff that stands out, this is the stuff that signifies the band’s brilliance – outside of masters like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion, not many in the post rock scene (as far as I’m aware) were known for adding classically-based instruments like these.
And that’s what truly sets The Universe apart from their contemporaries: the use of clarinet, chimes, and coronet. Incorporating an instrument such as clarinet, whose essence can be tailored to this dark, brooding nature works in The Universe’s favor. Were they to expand on this while maintaining that Explosions In The Sky-like rock demeanor, the band would truly stand on its own. As it is, The Universe can be called significant for its classically-based agility. 2010 is an album based loosely around translating the nightmare to audio, but in such a way that you won’t want to ever wake up.