Originally called Purfect, ” How Comes The Constellations Shine ” was formed in Lisbon, Portugal in 2005. Constellations was founded by guitarist Gonçalo Pereira. Working by himself, he completed most of the Constellations future songs. By late 2005 Pereira began the search for band members. The first to join was fellow drummer and long time friend André Abreu. Soon afterwards the two musicians linked up with bassist Nuno Mendonça and guitarist Tito Silva. In 2007 the band announced the departure of Mendonça in January. In 2008 Nuno Fragoso was recruited for Mub Festival concert and stays in the band. The group disbanded in early 2010.
Currently How Comes The Constellations Shine returned to the original form just with Gonçalo Pereira. Pereira also has releases on Fluttery Records under the monniker Diamond Gloss. Diamond Gloss' debut album Bears received great reviews all around the world.
Belongs To Mafra brings some changes to How Comes The Constellations Shine’s sound. While song structures on this album are the same as the ones that can be found on previous works, the sound has been toned down a little bit, and the piano takes further action on the whole album, allowing the guitars to work like strings ensemble.
A Closer Listen / Richard Allen
It’s uncommon for a band to break up, then return stronger than ever ~ but this rarity has just occurred. Portuguese band How Comes the Constellations Shine (once known as Purfect) is now down to its original member, guitarist Gonçalo Pereira. Last year, Pereira introduced another solo project known as Diamond Gloss; Bears was one of the year’s best electronic entries, an album of mourning suffused with a quiet beauty and a childlike grace. Perhaps it was through this venture that Pereira decided to revisit How Comes the Constellations Shine, and to “tone it down”, as the press release indicates. This turns out to have been a very good idea, because this post-rock is tender and thoughtful, deeper in emotion than typically encountered in the field.
A leftover sadness – a muted melancholy – carries over from Bears, although few would pinpoint other comparisons. The music box timbres of that album are absent here; as expected, guitar is the primary instrument. Piano, drums, and light electronics are also present, and mesh well with their friends. It’s easy to play well with others when the others are alternate versions of one’s self. The multitracking creates such a convincing illusion that it’s unlikely Pereira will invite the other band members to return any time soon; in terms of the studio, they are simply not needed.
While many post-rock albums deal in crescendoes, Belongs to Mafra flourishes best in bursts - the moments in which the cymbals crash and complete the instrumentation. ”Untitled Three” contains a particularly nice set of these, each one a bit louder, snares establishing a military cadence while the bass booms in response. The percussion of the following track sounds like troops on the march; perhaps these are not good times in Portugal. Many of the other tracks – all untitled – eschew the drums in order to concentrate on mood. The best of these – “Untitled Eight” – makes use of flight communication in order to establish a dramatic base. But the album’s best piece is the tenderhearted “Untitled Nine”, the album’s closest link to Bears. This selection operates as a lullaby, with soft electronics and a soothing guitar melody, morphing gently each time it recurs.
Technically, a band with one member can never “break up”, so it’s safe to say that How Comes the Constellations Shine is here to stay, or at least is free to stick around as long as it (he) wants. Whatever guise Pereira chooses to take, we’re glad that he’s returned.
Mescaline Injection / Bastian
An instrument is worth a thousand words. Sure, one can say that about a lot of post-rock bands and the Portuguese aren’t an exception. Or are they? They don’t handle their instruments like most of the others. In the 10 nameless songs they play the guitars like a string section – without a bow, but even fingers seem to manage this change of character. These shimmering strings and reverbs nearly bath in virulent melancholy while the piano secretly takes over the dominant part within the songs.
They are accompanied by lost voice-samples and small sound-shenanigans, which give the album a pleasant electronical touch. And how does this feel? Nearly as good as the calm moments of ARCTIC PLATEAUs debutalbum. Like the Italian the Portuguese know about writing gentle and sensitive post-rock-pieces with a definitive shoegaze influence which create a enchanting atmosphere. Beautiful album! (Translated by Matthias Brinkmann)
Absolute Zero Media / Clint Listing
So I'm label mates with these fine gentlemen and what we have is a collection of very personal minimalist Post Rock/ Ambient Rock track with haunting guitars, piano , strings and very minimalist percussion. They almost remind me of the more primitive Sigor Ros or Hrsta.. I know there are those of you out there that call this style of music Dream pop but its far more then that. There is an epic side to How come the Constellations Shine. It becomes Orchestral and yes even at times sounds like the band Caspian to my ears. This band knows how to move the soul as well as mind. Though they do sound like over a dozen bands before them. Its a fantastic chronicle of the Post Rock sound and adventure all should take some time in the future.