Kaipa – Children of the Sounds

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

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre

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

Down I Go – Mortals

Hovering between Iceland and the United Kingdom like the plume of ash of the Eyjafjallajökull, the progressive hardcore trio Down I Go recently released an EP by the title of Mortals. Their 2015 full-length, You’re Lucky God, That I Cannot Reach You struck my imagination – and I’m sure many of yours – with just how near perfection and unique it was. I still have shivers when the “Mother in the Pen” theme gets brought back at the end of “The Sending”, it wraps this masterpiece beautifully. Mortals is more akin to one of the band’s other thematic EPs, … Read more

Namby-Pamby Boy – Namby-Pamby Boy

Out in September but available for streaming now, Austrian Namby-Pamby Boy‘s self-titled third album aims at the no small task of transcending genres and categories. While not being outside of any pre-existing box, Namby-Pamby Boy is an album that breeds jazz, electronica, hip-hop, and rock together in a buffet of compositions. The ten-track, one-hour album goes from moody to energetic and offers plenty of interesting and powerful moments, thanks to the lush keyboards and meandering saxophone rocking the songs. The album will be out on September first through Babel Label.

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Palmless – The Nine Exits

Sweden’s band Palmless just released their debut album, The Nine Exits, on bandcamp. If I were to be bold, I’d say they play post-blackgaze, but this wouldn’t paint the whole picture. Indeed, they seem to pour post-rock tendencies into their blackgaze compositions, or perhaps it’s the other way around, and, on top of that, there is a bit of noise rock and dark pop all wrapped in an indie vibe that permeates throughout the album’s half-hour runtime. The guitars are barely distorted, mostly receiving the overdrive treatment, and the bass guitar is almost totally dry, too. The drums don’t … Read more

Schammasch – The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite

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

Sheen Marina – Travel Lightly

Sheen Marina describe themselves as a ‘surf-noise’ band. However, I think that’s doing their music a disfavour, as it cannot be completely covered by this umbrella term. In their upcoming album, Travel Lightly, there are also strong flavours of math rock and avant-prog, which can hardly be foreseen with the ‘surf noise’ label. This thirty-minute album consists of nine tracks with varying degrees of interbreeding with the other aforementioned genres, all over a pretty clear, reverb-drenched surf rock basis. ‘WYSC’, for example, is almost a straight-up math rock song, with complex rhythms and odd time signatures, while ‘Nose Ring … Read more

Asylon Terra – Blind Man Running

French quartet Asylon Terra recently released Blind Man Running, their first, full-length release. Between contemporary jazz, ambient music, and progressive rock, the compositions of Pierre Lordet, clarinetist of the group, take shape on this entrancing album. Anne Quillier, about whose sextet we already wrote, takes seat behind the omnipresent keyboards – the Rhodes and Moog -, while Lucas Hercberg takes bass duties, and Clément Black takes care of the drums. The whole is an astounding result. Blind Man Running will take your breath away. The vast soundscapes played here will submerge you, and even the harder-hitting compositions – … Read more

Grizzly – Reaper

Ontario’s Grizzly band just released their second publication, Reaper, and it rips. Don’t get fooled by the opener, ‘Grave’, this is not horror ambient, but rather some crushing and technical experimental grindcore. You can see this right on the second track, but they keep on providing extra crunchy riffs with weird timings and rapid successions of notes. Though it is barely more than ten minutes long, excluding the Pantera cover at the end, this EP shreds mountains. I guess mathgrind wouldn’t be too far-fetched a description, as it certainly has aspects of both mathcore and grindcore working together. Reaper … Read more

The Clockwork Deity – An Anthology of Human Sickness

An Anthology of Human Sickness is the debut EP of UK-based solo symphonic deathgrind project The Clockwork Deity. At under ten minutes long, it’s quite a short EP, but the three songs plus introduction are more than good enough to warrant a good time. While the symphonic elements were more upfront on ‘Spontaneous Abortion.’, the other songs integrate them fully and naturally to the grinding compositions. It’s quick, it’s aggressive, full of blast beats and technical riffs, and with a touch of classical music in the orchestration. The Clockwork Deity manages to craft something rather unique and entirely good. … Read more