Improvisation is the cauldron in which most great music is born, but for most musical acts it is just the beginning of the composing process. Some artists, though, are secure enough in their creative talents to make improvisation an integral component of their sound. The right musicians and framework can produce magic with this approach, and that’s precisely what a pair of internationally renowned string players have done on the self-titled debut album of Kamancello. If you like improvisation, chamber music, and portmanteaux, this is the album for you.
Kamancello juxtaposes the dynamic cello performance of Raphael Weinroth-Browne, whose … Read more
I first discovered Kaipa about a decade ago when I was really into The Flower Kings and was exploring their various side projects. The Flower Kings frontman Roine Stolt was a member of Kaipa during the late 70s (when he was only 17), and during their reformation in the early 2000s, but left after their 2005 album Mindrevolutions. Children of the Sounds, out on September 22nd, is now the eighth album since Kaipa’s return, and thirteenth overall.
The dynamic between Patrik Lundström’s and Aleena Gibson’s vocals is quite powerful and something that has always stood out to me … Read more
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
The Room Colored Charlatan guitarist Justin Seymour is about to release his first solo EP Ineffable on August 25th under the name Bodhi. This short but sweet offering of melodic instrumental prog is reminiscent of Plini and Animals as Leaders. The first track ‘Desire’ starts off with an atmospheric synth which is then joined by some pleasant melodic guitars, drums, and piano. The layered guitars sound amazing but the keyboard sounds great too and compliments the guitars well. For being completely a one-man operation, it is quite impressive. The title track ‘Ineffable’ is the longest on … Read more
Australian and British entities Lost Salt Blood Purges and Boring Bathtimes have collaborated on a release of massive proportions, elegantly titled Yellow Fog Sword. On this release, Michael Snoxall (Lost Salt Blood Purges) set out to create a novel and its accompanying soundtrack with Oliver Aldridge (Boring Bathtimes), whom he already had made some small collaborations in the past. The original story of Michael ended up as a forty-four-page novelette, illustrated by Ov Exvn Infërnvz. Then, the outline of the music was created, with directions for pacing and events, and the task of coming up with music was handled … Read more
Spring and Summer are the two first releases of the Wildflowers tetralogy, but, as I’ve just come across this project, I’ll write about both EPs at once. Nhor was a British atmospheric black metal band who released a transcendental album in 2013, Within the Darkness between the Starlight. Since then, however, the project seems to have remained focused on the softer side of things, with 2015’s Momenta quintae essentiae and following shorter releases. All of their catalogue displays the same high standards of quality despite the genre change. The newest comers are the first two parts of Wildflowers, … Read more
The Swiss avant-garde black metal quatuor, not satisfied from having released perhaps the best triple-album ever just last year, is already back with The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite. It’s sold as an EP, but crosses the thirty minutes threshold that is commonly used to distinguish EPs from full-lengths; it has seven tracks, but the whole thing feels like one continuous journey into the obscure places of our mind; it’s a work of art that goes above and beyond the traditional scope of black metal and the avant-garde… Indeed, the band themselves wrote that Hermaphrodite is an ‘artistic experiment’, and it’s … Read more
(ghost)‘s newest album, Everything We Touch Turns to Dust, was released on June second via n5MD. It’s my first experience with this project, and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised. The record delivers atmospheric IDM with some glitch aesthetics. At times, it sounds like qebrµs, but a million times less experimental and abstract, rather staying on the approachable and relatable side of things. Now, my knowledge of electronic music is quite limited, but Everything We Touch Turns to Dust is a record that I enjoyed a lot. At first glance minimalist, this façade covers some very interesting choices … Read more
Out on July twenty-eighth, Meditations on Insignificance is the latest experiment by noise metal artists The Blight. This full-length release explores the Lovecraftian themes of cosmic insignificance and the nihilistic views that nothing we will ever do will matter the slightest bit in the end. Their approach to music consists of improvised noise layered with atmospheric pads and supported by an impressive display of drumming skills, not too far from an actual drum solo. Thematically, the album goes from small scale, with ‘Self’, to a gigantic one, with ‘Galaxy’. Themes that are exploited without uttering a single word – … Read more
Gravetemple‘s newest barrage of sound, Áthatolhatatlan félelmek (English title: Impassable Fears), comes out on June second. This experimental, droning, and abstract death metal album consists of Hungarian chants screamed through a musical haze consisting of mostly low-register notes, uncertain rhythmics, and absent melodies. If you want a more imaged comparison, I’d say it’s like listening to Portal underwater. Áthatolhatatlan félelmek is really an odd but entrancing release. It’s relatively short, the meat of it being concentrated in three songs – ‘A szarka’, ‘Elavúlt földbolygó’, and ‘Áthatolhatatlan félelmek’ -, making up around twenty-seven minutes, and the three other tracks … Read more