White Ward – Futility Report

mulating our opinion of an album before diving back into the endless sea of new releases. Sometimes, however, a confluence of factors generates a scenario in which one album stays in rotation for an extended stay before pen gets put to paper. White Ward‘s Futility Report is an album I’ve been trying to write about since January, when I heard its first publicly released song. It took about 30 seconds of that track to convince me this was a band worth paying attention to. They were kind enough to send me a review copy, but shortly thereafter, the always-excellent … Read more

Schammasch – Triangle, an Analysis Of

covertriangle2The Swiss avant-garde black metal band Schammasch – name taken from Šamaš, the Mesopotamian God of Justice – will release their third full-length album, simply titled Triangle, on April 29th. As the name suggests, the concept of this highly ambitious work is tripartite, each side clocking in at 33:30. Yes, that makes for more than a hundred minutes of music! Inspired by Richard MacDonald‘s sculptures, the cover album portrays circus artist Sasha Krohn, falling into nothingness, photographed by Ester Segarra. Every side of the Triangle has its own identity, and feels very unique, they deal with various concepts, Read more

Slice the Cake – Odyssey to the Gallows, an Analysis Of

The release of the much-anticipated Odyssey to the West, from the progressive deathcore band Slice the Cake, has been somewhat obfuscated by some internal problems. I do not wish to delve into this, but rather write about the music itself, the lyrics, and the concept surrounding it all. Understand that I do not take any side there, but merely observe the fact that the music is out there for everyone to hear, and that I wish to express my opinions on it, as well as expose the underlying storyline. Today, I will cover the Gallows part. So without … Read more

Kurushimi – Kurushimi

Kurushimi album artKurushimi is a new collective of sorts including members of Serious Beak, Instrumental, adj. (bands we have covered here on CTEBCM!), Fat Guy Wears Wolf Shirt, as well as a few other members. They just dropped their self-titled debut on Art as Catharsis, and I’m going to be up front with you: there is no point trying to attach genres to this (so naturally we’re going to try it!). Like all great music, it defies easy attempts at description and categorization.

The first question that came to me upon hearing of this project: What does Kurushimi mean, anyway? Knowing nothing … Read more

Fire! – She Sleeps, She Sleeps

When one first hears of the band Fire!, one may be tempted to first imagine a hardcore punk act, brutally tearing down establishments one performance at a time; an in-your-face barrage of aggression which unleashes your adrenaline and demands your attention. Is this not how one would generally imagine “Fire!” after all? A cry shouted out in the wake of uncontrollable destruction which will shortly reduce all around it to ash? It is a powerful force to say the least.

Yet there is another, more subtle side to fire which many tend to overlook. The flames can emerge, small … Read more

Book of Sand – The Face of the Deep

RELEASE-distro-bookofsandBook of Sand is a black metal one-man band that has been around since 2009, and The Face of the Deep is their fifth full-length. It seems that, specifically for this release, they went out of their way and dove head first in experimental and avant-garde waters. However I feel they did so in the shallow and might have broken their neck…

Their previous catalogue comprises pretty traditional black metal with various external influences that almost go unnoticed if it were not for the addition of violin. Some songs are very decent, like “Arran Boat Song“, with its contemplative monotony, … Read more

Amogh Symphony release Aai, from their upcoming album IV

A song about mothers of this world, and of Onamika, which you’ll remember from previous Amogh songs. On IV, they’re ditching the whole “concept album” things, and rather go for an “album of concepts”. Each song is like a soundtrack to a short movie, and we can appreciate that with Aai. The song draws strong connections with world music, as well as jazz, and with a touch of metal too. I think it’s wildly successful at what it wants to be, and I honestly can’t wait to hear more from Amogh IV.… Read more

Sales de Baño – Horror Vacui

album art

The second release from Argentinian avant-garde jazz sextet Sales de Baño is Horror Vacui, an intriguing live performance. The ensemble is led by bassist and composer Carlos Quebrada, and also features flute, trumpet, keyboard, guitar, and drums. They definitely play “outside” a lot, but what I appreciate here is that it’s often difficult to tell what is composed and what is improvised. Quebrada has done an excellent job, at times approaching a sophisticated chamber music sound and at others harsh avant-noise.

At first, it may seem that the playing here is somewhat aimless in the way that avant-garde music … Read more

The Mire – Vice Regalia

a1848591908_16 (1)UK’s The Mire is a black metal band fond of experimentation, and not so much of preconceived ideas about the genre. They’ve been active since 2009 with a two-song demo, and Vice Regalia is their most recent release, which classifies as an EP, clocking in at just under 25 minutes. Unfortunately, the band has announced this release as their final one, and apparently won’t be making new music anymore.

The band blends clean singing with different styles of harsh vocals, which pulls them towards the side of avant-garde black metal just a little, sound-wise. To that is added their experimentation, … Read more