Mats Gustafsson is a giant in the world of free and avant-jazz. One of his latest works, on Fire! Orchestra’s Ritual, is just purely mind-blowing, as is the album in its entirety. Seeing his name alongside Chaos Echœs, one of the best contemporary forward-thinking black metal bands — their album Mouvement made it onto our February recommendations —, is just as much as a surprise as it is cause for excitement.
The collaboration, titled Sustain, is made of two parts of equal length that achieve a deranging, dense atmosphere that’s as far from … Read more
The debut from Copenhagen progressive metalcore outfit Everything Is Terrible is terribly good. The aptly-titled Intensely Distressed and on the Verge of Mental Collapse showcases a slow, heavy kind of metalcore, almost to the point of deathcore, well-infused with djent sonorities. The guitars sound thick and powerful, thanks to a precise mix and a present bass guitar. On this intense full-length, the band goes from straight-out djent, to the mellower atmodjent style somewhat reminiscent of Tesseract or Uneven Structure, and that’s a recurring theme here – atmosphere –, for as hard or tranquil as they decide to go, all … Read more
Silent Whale Becomes a Dream, along with a° random degree sign (°) as part of their style, is an anonymous French post-rock group – they just released their sophomore album, Requiem, and it’s a true statement of modern post-rock. Symphonic, methodical, mournful, deep, poignant, and heartfelt, this new full-length hosts four new tracks showing restraint and abandon. The newly-become quintet summons lush, echoing atmospheres, which they mollycoddle and raise gently, slowly, with care and patience, until they become their own, full-fledged being: not a human, not a song… but a living thing nonetheless. The symphonic elements, new to … Read more
Japanese-American saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi, whom we’ve come to spect and respect for his involvement with some of the best and craziest music acts out there – like Upsilon Acrux, Corima, Sewing Circle, and Nakata, to name a few –, is going to release new music under a his solo moniker with the album Tulean Dispatch. The project deals with the Tule Lake internment camp, where his Japanese grandparents were placed during World War II. The album not only reflects on these past events but draws parallels to what is happening today in the world and the USA. It’s a … Read more
Belgian post-metal band Charnia released their most recent work on 20 October: the forty-minute unbroken track “Het laatste licht”. Grossly, the album-length song is split in two vague sections. For the first half or so, it’s a chamber music session comprised of a violin and double bass duo where lazy and languid voices interweave to form a droning piece, between melancholy and despair. The second half starts past the twenty minutes mark with a drumbeat that is soon joined by the rest of the band. For the remaining time, strings and electrics join forces in a slow, heavy, and pounding … Read more
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