Mini-Reviews XXXVIII

I wrote, not so long ago, about Vectrexcentricity, my favourite project from guitarist Killick Hinds. And, here they are, releasing a new album, a live one, this time: Livelike Boy Android. It consists of the same trio, but here playing new improvised pieces. It’s a quality fifty-four minutes of free, ambient jazz, and, while there is no chiptune to be had, the use of both fretted and fretless guitar (and bass) proves to be quite interesting and fascinating to behear.
A quick look on Art as Catharsis’ bandcamp page revealed an album I somehow missed: No Haven‘s Colours of Nothing. Their blend of grindcore, black metal, and post-hardcore is very rewarding. At sixteen minutes long, the EP is quite short, and leaves the listener craving for more. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, since the desire for it to have no end speaks volumes about its quality.

Canadian tech-death metallers Brought by Pain just released Crafted by Society, a three-song, seventeen-minute EP of precise brutality. Surprisingly – or not -, they borrowed the services of Hugo Doyon-Karout, on fretless bass, which seems to be in about every progressive and technical metal band of North-East America. Following in Dominic ‘Forest’ Lapointe’s footsteps, I fear he will face the same saturation as him. Indeed, one musician always has their own idiosyncrasies and singularities, which make them who they are, and having the same musician across so many different bands is simply detrimental to the variety and diversity of the musical world. On to the music, the EP is a concise but powerful and well-written technical death metal release. It’s perhaps a bit underwhelming, since their last release dates back to 2011, but quality precedes quantity, and this is a good EP.
Full disclaimer: Mechanical Hound is the project of a friend. I believe I can criticize it fairly, but that’s for you to judge.
Fascination is the second release of the Leeds-based room project, and is quite different from Sleep Soundly (In Comfort of Anonymity). Here, instead of going for the proggier vibe, the band puts the spotlight on piano. Jekabs Jursins, who is behind the project, has crafted beautiful piano compositions – three in total, accompanied by a cover song -, that are not complex per se, but contemplative and melancholic. I think the EP’s title is well-reflected in its music. The biggest flaw is the use of synthesized drums – and not the best kind, but rather those who sound explicitly fake -, which detract my accustomed ears. Overall, it’s a good, short release that bodes well for the future of the project.

かつてLADYBABYと呼ばれたアイドル (The Idol Formerly Known as Ladybaby) just released their first single, post-Ladybeard, 参拝! 御朱印girl☆ (Sanpai! Goshuin Girl☆! (?)). It consists of three new original tracks that are impressively good, as far as idol J-metal. I have no problem putting them on the same pedestal as Babymetal, from now on, even though they haven’t really released a full-length album yet. Track 2, ‘上々上湯’ (Jōjō shantan), is very energetic and fast-paced, while track 3, ‘オニギリック・リヴァイヴァー’ (Onigirikku rivuaivuā), is much more anthemic while staying uplifting. Definitely one of the best, if not the best single from the Japanese formation, which truly dispels the doubts I had about their former singer leaving. It’s great!
Mute the Saint‘s debut, eponymous album just came out. I’m happy to tell you that it is, finally, a very good album! While I still stand by what I said on the earlier singles from the project, they seem to have tweaked the machinery enough so that it runs perfectly well for the day of the big reveal. The problems I previously had with the sitar sounding very out of place in the sound have evaporated, and that’s, I guess, thanks to mixing engineer and guitarist Josh Seguin. The lush overtones of the Indian instrument no longer interfere with the rest of the music, and the sitar is now adequately integrated into the progressive metal band. I still think that ‘The Fall of Sirius’ is the weakest song from the record, but that might be because I’ve grown to hate its previous form. In conclusion, I’m happy to say that the band has achieved their goal and made a very good metal album including sitar! Good job, guys!

French black metal band Diktatur have released L’agonie d’un monde in late November. It’s a rather traditional black metal sound, of which I’m not really fond, but it has enough modernity to it, such as a slight emphasis on dissonance and atmosphere, that I can get behind it. At twenty minutes long, it’s a bit short, but it’s labeled as a ‘bonus EP’, so… I guess there is a full-length somewhere else. Anyways, it’s a pretty good addition to any black metal shelf, especially for those who fetishize the French scene.
And a little something from Hungary: Silent Island‘s Equator EP. Yes, this is post-rock you hear – my antagonist -, but I find these compositions, by Csarnogurszky István, to be relaxing, and, quite simply, beautiful, just like a slowly rotating night light, projecting coloured impressions onto the wall of your unlit room. I don’t know if this is the kind of post-rock I like, or if I was just in the right mood at the right time, but I absolutely love this. Go and listen to it!

On December 7 2016, this entry was posted.
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