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
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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
In the world of progressive rock and metal, instrumental albums are pretty common so it’s a bit hard to stand out. Mammoth absolutely manage to do this with their new album Deviations. Impressive playing paired with amazing production quality and beautiful tones prove that these guys are at the top of their class.
The first song, ‘Entanglements’ sounds like an entanglement of instruments weaving wonderfully through each other. Impressive guitar arpeggios and solos are complemented by ambient keyboards and intense drums. The middle section of the song calms down with a bright clean section that builds back up into … Read more
Devin Townsend has gone many different musical places in his career, frequently doing something drastically different that what he’s done before, most notably on his first four albums in the Devin Townsend Project with Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction, and Ghost. Transcendence is no exception, as it takes his sound to a new level. On this album, Devin took input from the rest of the band, musicians he’s been working with for 10+ years, and relinquished some control to them. Because of this, the band sounds more united than on other recent DTP albums, like Epicloud and Sky Blue.
This was brought … Read more