The demo is a wonderful medium; it separates the good and the bad and enables new bands to find their audience on a grassroots level. Norway’s Rongeur have two such releases under their belts and here the band issue both together so that older fans and newcomers can begin to chart the evolution of the group.
Containing members from more established acts (Trollfest, Ampmandens Døtre and Exeloume) has already given Rongeur a better start than most yet this compilation doesn’t quite hit the mark.
The four As The Blind Strive tracks are more rounded and detailed than those from the earlier The Catastrophist, but the sludged-out, stoner vibrations have all been done before, and done better. Rongeur do find their momentum on the latter half of …Strive.
The music itself is interesting and at times quite beautiful, but the odd vocal choices do nothing for their cause./o:p