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
Soldat Hans is an outlier in their musical setting, lilting tranquilly somewhere in a liminal dimension between post-rock and post-metal. They are an outlier because they do not demand your attention in an immediate way, as most bands in the modern era of streaming and accessibility have to do. If a listener is bored of your track within fifteen seconds, they’re not coming back, so you have to compose songs that hook people with a certain urgency. Soldat Hans are not interested in appealing to those casual listeners; their songs are enormous, expansive, patient meditations on minimal themes. … Read more
French quintet Eryn Non Dae. are back with a massive slab of math-minded sludge. Abandon of the Self follows a six-year absence after 2012’s Meliora, and finds the band settling into a more reserved, contemplative approach. Whereas previous material spent more time punishing the listener with breakneck tempos and eardrum-battering percussive rhythms, the new album is characterized by expansive introductions, simplified riffs, and moody drumming. There are peaks that almost rival the intensity of their prior catalogue, but they certainly wander through the valleys a lot more along the way.
Opening triad of tracks “Astral”, … Read more