Mord’a’stigmata—not a name that is easily forgotten—has been a name on the periphery of my radar for years. The Polish group’s brand of bleak metal never captivated me enough to warrant much attention, but on fifth full-length Dreams of Quiet Places they have refined their sound into something impossible to ignore. Both composition and production have taken a substantial step up from 2017’s Hope, with nods to purveyors of blackened sludge like Rorcal and older Altar of Plagues, alongside psychedelic elements reminiscent of Entropia and older A Forest of Stars (or their lesser-known reincarnation, The Water Witch… Read more
Angel Marcloid does not quit. From the experimental vaporwave of Fire-Toolz to the longform atmospherics of Mindspring Memories, along with myriad other boundary-pushing projects, the Chicago artist has uploaded enough complex and challenging auditory and visual material to crash the kind of ancient computer on which it seems appropriate to engage it. Under the new moniker Nonlocal Forecast, Angel quite literally synthesizes some of her biggest influences from the eighties’ and nineties’ prog rock, smooth jazz, and new age scenes using almost entirely digital instrumentation and programming. The result, Bubble Universe!, is an … Read more
Here’s the generic opening sentence where I mention that 2018 was another fantastic year for music and that I listened to more new stuff than ever before.
That’s technically true.
Here’s a more honest opening: 2018 was both a little bit underwhelming for new music (2017 was a lot better) and a scattered year for my listening habits. My hierarchy of audio consumption over the past calendar year was something like: 1) sports podcasts; 2) old jazz, as two friends and I sought to explore the 52 [now 54] sub-genres listed on Wikipedia in 52 weeks; 3) extended loops … Read more
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. The priest is actually a huge Oranssi Pazuzu fan. The rabbi is wearing a Thy Catafalque shirt. The minister was blasting Neurosis in his car when he pulled up. The bar is actually a jazz club. There’s a swing band playing.
That’s as far as I feel like pushing the ridiculous setup, but here’s the punchline: Entropia‘s शूत्य स्थान (Shoony sthaan) / Vacuum is psychedelic blackened sludge metal with a twist—not a gimmick, mind you, but a … Read more
Five years after tantalizing the death metal world with their MMXIII demo and three years removed from another promising EP, Below the Hengiform, Ireland’s quasi-supergroup Malthusian has finally delivered a full-length that lives up to their monstrous potential. Members of the quartet have roots in Altar of Plagues, Mourning Beloveth, and Wreck of the Hesperus, among other acts. Malthusian’s musical mission, as their moniker suggests, is to spread a prophetic warning of overpopulation: the idea that human growth is unsustainable and will lead to a global catastrophe as our resource usage exceeds … Read more