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

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

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

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

Biesy – Noc lekkich obyczajów

Biesy – Polish for “Demons” – will release their debut album, Noc lekkich obyczajów – free translation: “Night of Weak Morals” –, a forty-three-minute slab of dissonant and unforgiving death metal in the vein of Ulcerate and Deathspell Omega, on September ninth. The band doesn’t hide their true intentions, as the album straight away starts with dissonant intervals – the minor second is used and abused, a recurring theme in this genre’s music –, unstoppable blast beats, slow but heavy riffing, and miasmic growls with texts all in Polish. The album is a blast, enshrouded in a toxic mist of … Read more

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre

Finisterre — or, the end of the Earth — is German atmospheric black metal band Der Weg einer Freiheit‘s sophomore album, following 2015’s widely-praised Stellar. While I personally wasn’t very fond of their prior material — I recently double-checked to make sure this was still the case —, Finisterre simply blew me away. I don’t really know what change happened that made me react differently, but I believe this has to do with tighter production and compositions. The atmospheric elements are more poignant, the heavy-hitting parts hit harder, and each song is a rewarding experience to get through, … Read more

Ehnahre – The Marrow

Ever since Douve came out, in 2016, I’ve held the Boston avant-garde doom metal quartet Ehnahre in the highest of regards. Earlier this month, they released their newest experimentation on The Marrow, a four-track, fifty-three-minute slab of slow, heavy, and unbridled contemporary music. Yes, Ehnahre swims pretty close to modern classical music with their compositional approach, a feeling reinforced by their use of contrabass and piano. 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 … Read more