The Mercury Tree – Permutations

The Mercury Tree is one of the rare bands that has managed to constantly grow and improve with every record they put out. On their fifth record, Permutations, they are barely recognizable as the same band that created their radio-friendly alt-rock debut nearly a decade earlier. Permutations is an extremely dense and challenging listen that demands and rewards multiple listens; it is one of the rare records which combines technicality and innovation with a strong emotional core.

Bandleader Ben Spees has been the only constant throughout the band’s discography, and he manages to be the lead vocalist, guitarist and … Read more

Forced Fusion

Mute the Saint is the latest example of what I will call forced fusion, but they are certainly not the only one, and definitely not the first or last one we’ll have to endure. Forced fusion is the merger of two musical genres, or the addition of a gimmick to an already existing genre, in a rushed or shallow manner.

The first other band I can think of is M.A.N, later known as Massive Audio Nerve. They claim to be the first microtonal metal band, and I am very highly doubtful on that, with their first album released … Read more

Ilevens have released a video for their single Drowns

Microtonal rock band Ilevens, led by the mind of Brendan Byrnes, is one of the only examples I know of of a microtonal band ready for live performances. They use 22 notes per octave instruments and have released a bunch of demos that were sung in a made-up language that I’ll refer to as ilevian from now on, but they seem to have gone back to good ol’ English for this song.

The 2-track Live in Studio mini-album is available on their bandcamp page for “name your price”!
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Review: Sevish – Rhythm And Xen

Sevish has been known in the microtonal music circles for some time now, mostly due to his 2010 effort “Golden Hour”. 2015 marks the return of the man, with Rhythm And Xen, a xenharmonic effort leaning heavily on drum & bass and electronic music, as well as breakbeat and ambient music. For the uninitiated, xenharmonic is “music that does not sound like 12-tone equal temperament”, according to Ivor Darreg, who coined the term.

Therefore, the music in there might be quite hard to grasp for somebody who’s only heard 12-tone equal temperament (12-TET) all their life, taking up practically … Read more

Review: ZIA – Drum’N’Space

[Click here to stream the album]

ZIA is, for the most part, a one-woman microtonal pop band, with Elaine Walker behind the wheel. Releasing albums since 1998 under the monicker ZIA, and experimenting since the very beginning with xenharmonic tunings, Drum’N’Space is the first all-microtonal album. On top of it all, this album is said to be only part of an epic space rock opera that is in the works! If that doesn’t scratch your weird music itch…

Drum’N’Space is written in multiple tunings. The first song is in 17 notes per octave (or EDO, for equal divisions of the … Read more

Cryptic Ruse – Chains Of Smoke

Microtonal music artist Jason Yerger’s project Cryptic Ruse (formerly City of the Asleep) – now with actual microtonal guitars! – returns to show us his new and masterfully crafted work: Chains of Smoke.

Using three different exotic tuning systems – 13 EDO, 15 EDO, and 23 EDO (EDO stands for Equal Divisions of the Octave) – and a wide palette of musical genres, Jason makes us travel to never-before heard sonic landscapes. By using “oriental” and “middle-oriental”-sounding tunings with a more standard (for us, westerners!) metal band quatuor instrumentation, with due distortion, riffs, … Read more

Jute Gyte – Ressentiment

Missouri’s marginal quarter-tone experimental black metal one-man-band Jute Gyte returns with a new album that is like the previous ones: worth your time.

Black metal can be a tough thing to approach if you’re not into the genre already: the purposefully bad production, the vocal style, the often fast and relentless drumming, and the tremolo picking all support this. On top of that, Adam Kalmbach, the mind behind the music, adds microtonality, in the form of a 24-EDO (24 equal divisions of the octave) musical setting. Compare this to your usual 12 notes per octave guitar, … Read more

Recap of awesome music I’ve heard lately!

Hey! I’ve posted quite a few great music on the blog’s facebook page, but didn’t make any official post about them. Here is my chance to make them shine, and make you discover them, and hopefully like them as I do 🙂

FIRST OF ALL! The never disappointing Plini released the second part of his EP trilogy, called Sweet Nothings… and man, how sweet it is! Plini is a real modern-day guitar genius! Just listen to it for yourself!

Plini on facebook

Lightning Bolt‘s 20 one-track EP was released quite some time ago, but it came to … Read more

Recap of the week!

This week has been amazing! Loads of amazing new music! A few older stuff that came to my ears, and some stuff still to come!

Let’s start with this week’s favourites!
Peculate‘s new album Fiscal Cliffs, is really a great listen for anyone who likes metal to be out of the ordinary. Avant-garde and experimental, like we love it! Read our whole review here and listen to the album below!

Rejectionary Art has released their second album entitled Exocoetidae: Flying Fish. It’s so eclectic and musically varied! Each song takes you to a different venue somewhere in … Read more

Brendan Byrnes’ Micropangaea

Micropangaea is a unique thing. So unique I can’t even find any appropriate comparison or metaphor…

The use of microtonality in music has long been kept to advanced and underground acts, be it of metal, ambient or ethnic music. Jute Gyte has recently released an astonishing microtonal album, Discontinuities, which was written in 24-EDO. Basically, that means that a 24-EDO guitar will have twice as many frets as a normal one, bringing the possibility to play quarter-tones without having to always bend a string. The black metal-vibe of the album is given by the great use of dissonant intervals … Read more