Coma Cluster Void – Thoughts from a Stone



Thoughts from a Stone was actually the first ever teaser released for the Coma Cluster Void experiment, all the way back in 2014. Back then, I suppose it was going to end up on their upcoming full-length, with the slogan “Aural Representation of Pain and Suffering” – Mind Cemeteries –, but the composition probably expanded or reiterated to what it is now: a twenty-two-minute, six-part suite of contemporary death metal. Contemporary? Yeah, I feel that this adjective better suits their sound than the rather narrow definition of “tech-death” or the vague “experimental” and “avant-garde” tags. “Math metal” is a good … Read more

Squalus – The Great Fish

Bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals. Those are the building blocks of California experimental death metal band Squalus. Their debut album, The Great Fish, walks the line between death and doom metal, with a lot of atmospheric tendencies, some sludge, and synthwave, I guess, into a somehow cohesive whole. Bass-driven metal acts are not a new thing by any means, but there are many pitfalls on the way to make them interesting and appealing, into which many of the contenders inadvertently get trapped. Two of the most obvious ones are the frequency range and the timbral diversity. Squalus hopefully … Read more

Art the Band – Snacks

I’ve written a line or two about Toronto’s Art the Band, last year, when I found out about their full-length, Boost Unavailable. I was impressed and awed by it, so it’s with great anticipation and matching expectations that I’ve approached their most recent release, the Snacks EP. I wasn’t aware that it was coming, so I was surprised, and, upon listening to it, was once again surprised. I have to say that I didn’t exactly recall what Art the Band was about, but Snacks quickly corrected this. The first and “Big Track” is a pretty standard jazz … Read more

Wobbler – From Silence to Somewhere

Wobbler is a Norwegian progressive rock band that’s younger than it sounds. On October 20, they will release their fourth full-length album, From Silence to Somewhere, and it seems lifted straight out of the golden age of progressive rock. The Canterbury sound is quite apparent in this there eclectic, there symphonic monument of an album. The eponymous megalith opening this four-track record covers a wide range of the progressive rock of the late sixties and seventies. Rarely – if ever – do we smell the faintest fragrance of modernism in this musical anachronism. Organs, flutes, – did I hear … Read more

II II II – Frequency Illusion



Leeds-based mathcore one-man band [reference needed] II II II (read “two two two”) released their debut album, A Conundrum on My Coffee Table, which we adored, back in 2012. Fast forward four or five years, and they share some work-in-progress demos on their facebook page, stating that they were looking for a new vocalist. Without it being announced officially, they found one! The name hasn’t leaked yet, but the voice remains in the same vein as before. Well, here we are now: we received an advanced digital copy of Frequency Illusion, coming out on September 22. What is … Read more

Instar – The Ex nihilo Cycle

Instar is a narration-driven progressive metal band based in Austin, Texas. Their debut album, the self-titled Instar EP, came out in January of last year, and was a pretty interesting insight into what the project could become. With their debut full-length coming right around the corner, we get a better glimpse into the promising future of their formula. As for what they currently offer, I’ll be reviewing that right here.

First of all, narration-driven music can’t be good if the narration itself isn’t. In a day and age where the posh British accent is revered amongst many media – just … Read more

Logan Strosahl Team – Book I of Arthur

Classical music and jazz are opposite and unreconcilable ends of the musical spectrum. Clearly, Logan Strosahl and his Team have never heard such words of warning, or, if they have, they foolishly ignored them and ventured forth. To the wise man’s surprise, however, they have returned victorious! Holding in his hands three tomes and chanting in a mighty parade, Logan handed one of the books to the old man and he looked at it with much confusion, assaulted by the unorthodox fanfare. Unfortunately, as is most common in the sixteenth century, the man was illiterate. There is no moral to … Read more

Botanist – Collective: The Shape of He to Come

I was a proponent of Californian experimental black metal project Botanist, when their debut double album, I: The Suicide Tree/II: A Rose from the Dead was released, back in 2011. At the time, it was new and pretty much unheard of, at least not widely so. The following albums, however, felt like mere reiterations on the same themes and a simple reorganization of the same core sounds and ideas; no matter how long you shuffle your salad, it’s still going to be the same salad. That’s why I was [cautiously] optimistic for Botanist’s new project: there was no roman … Read more

Rivener – Rivener

The Connecticut free rock duo Rivener sent me a message about their 2016 album, Svengali Gaze, about which I had mixed feelings – a sentiment I still hold. On September first, they released its successor in this self-titled package of about one dodrant-hour long. Here, I feel a stronger sense of vision and unity within the duo, which translates into semi-improvisations serving much more convincing purposes. The songs on Rivener are oddly reminiscent of Omniataxia‘s “Scatterwhite” in their construct and in their final forms. The band definitely borrows a lot from free jazz, but they apply their knowledge … Read more

Monthly Recommendations: August 2017


XanthochroidOf Erthe and Axen, Act I

[Matt has shown interest in reviewing the whole of Of Erthe and Axen, once the second act is released. Therefore, I can’t link to nor quote our review, but the sole fact that the album figures in our list of recommendations is telling.]

EhnahreThe Marrow

The band’s long, drawn-out pieces are very atmospheric and even entrancing, often relying on slow, repeated motives and spoken word passages to build a ritualistic summoning of heartfelt and mystic music. The outstanding compositions on The Marrow go from the angry to the hopelessly

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