Gian Slater – Grey Is Ground (Biophilia)
The experienced singer-songwriter Gian Slater just released her new opus: Grey Is Ground. On this album, Gian brings complex and atmospheric synth pop songs that hit a certain balance between complexity, with its odd-time grooves, metric modulations, and harmonic progressions, and relatability, thanks to Gian’s soaring melodies and general sense of composition, which turns emotion into music, which is in turn switched back to emotion in our brain. It’s an elegant and brilliantly written album that will appeal to all avant-garde pop fans.
Yautja – The Lurch (Relapse)
You know Yautja. They’ve recently been on a split with the incredible Nepalese deathgrind band Chepang! You remember, right? Well, the Tennessee trio are about to release a new full-length under Relapse records (congratulations!) The Lurch is another kind of deathgrind, low on the “grind” scale, but it’s definitely there for climactic passages, and with that there’s a certain amount of mathcore and avant-death thrown in. The result is a truly incredible record that’s as ugly as its cover art: twisted and convoluted and confusing and decidedly unfamiliar. It’s a sizeable album as well, with nine meaty tracks that will give you all that you ask for and more!
Ensemble 1 – Guitar, Bass, and Drums
I love when metal bands take inspiration from musical concepts. No, more than inspiration, fascination. Ensemble 1 shows us just that, and they’re fascinated with, as they put it, “geometrical principles, rhythmic complexity, and auditory hallucinations”. So, what they’ve given us as a result is Guitar, Bass, and Drums, a rather self-explanatory title for an album consisting of compositions of intertwining voices for guitar, bass, and drums. And it’s amazing! Ensemble 1 also mentions “minimalism” and, while it may be difficult to see at first, given the complexity and intensity of the music, it’s staring right at you. Most of the themes played are very short, a series of four or five notes, but this minimalistic approach is bolstered by placing the notes in a polymetric context, which immediately gives the small theme an immense amount of flavour while lengthening it at the same time. It’s a marvellous album that’s coming out May 14.
Hail the Sun – New Age Filth (Equal Vision)
OK, Hail the Sun bring little new to the table, I’ll grant you this, but New Age Filth is an incredibly well-made post-hardcore album that’s certain to remain a staple of the genre. HTS’s riffs are fast-paced and pack a lot of momentum, supported by punchy and relentless drums, and fronted by what must be one of the most fitting voice for the genre. Well, I guess there isn’t much else to say. It’s just a really good album, check it out!