Just Mustard – Heart Under (Partisan)
Irish post-punk five-piece Just Mustard released their amazing new album earlier this year, back in May. Heart Under is their second album, and it really captures the ideal of the band: dark moody atmospheres, hypnotic rhythms, repeating structures, melancholic vocals, droning bass… With these ingredients, the band is able to do a lot of mileage: the album is just over 45 minutes long, and I wouldn’t like it any shorter! Between shoegaze and industrial, noise rock and trip-hop, that album is going to pull you in, that’s for sure!
Aronious – Irkalla (The Artisan Era)
We had to wait six years between Truth in Perception and Perspicacity. Hopefully, however, it seems the band is now working full-time on actually being a band, and a mere two years after their second album, we can already feast on a third opus: Irkalla. For those of you who don’t know Aronious, they were really the top of the crop of tech-death, back when their debut album was released. Since then, Archspire and others cranked expectations to 11, but Aronious don’t really play that game. Instead, they stay somewhere between Cryptopsy and Ulcerate, staying technical, brutal, and dissonant, without the futile quest for Guinness World Record speeds that other bands endeavour towards. As such, Irkalla is easily one of the finest tech-death albums of the year so far!
Mmulreso – Fate Wave (Fever Souvenir)
Math rock, progressive metal, jazz fusion, contemporary classical. If those are your four cardinal directions, Mmulreso lies at the centre of this rose of the winds. Written by Ryan Albert Miller (check out this review of his previous album) and partly improvised, the album features an impressive cast of musicians who played in bands like Ahleuchatistas, Terms, Julia Holter Band, and Thumpasaurus! If you want an intricate, vibrant, and lively progressive music album, look no further!
Íkarus – Plasma (Ronin Rhythm)
Ever since Íkarus released Echo in 2015, I’ve been entranced by their formula: two scat singers, atmospheric harmonies, and a lot of polytiming (polyrhythms, polymetres, and so on) coming off of their instrumental jazz trio. It never ceases to amaze me! Even though the band has been doing essentially the same thing for four albums now, I’m always very excited when a new one is announced, and I’ll gladly put it at the front of my listening queue as soon as I have my hands on it! As all others before it, Plasma features the band at its best, and is a must-listen for all of you jazz nerds out there.