Ken Mode, Dongyang Gozupa, Labyrinth of Stars, and Down I Go

Ken Mode – Null (Art of Fact)

OK, we’ve got to talk about the new Ken Mode. The Canadian sludgecore act if well renowned, and for good reasons. If their sound seemed desperate and dreadful, be ready for these knobs to be cranked to 11 on Null. Distorted, discordant, uneasy, the atmosphere of the album is oppressive and that’s what you love about them. This is a masterful album from Ken Mode, be sure to check it out.

동양고주파 (Dong-yang-gozupa) – 결 (Gyeol / Kyul)

I’ve covered the Korean band Dong-yang-gozupa in the past, so I’ll be brief, but the project’s whole identity appeals to me as strongly as ever. The idea is to mix progressive rock with Korean folk music, with the help of a Korean dulcimer. This formula has worked brilliantly for their previous albums, and here it continues to shine. Check it out!

Labyrinth of Stars – Spectrum Xenomorph (Translation Loss)

What do you get when you put Lantlôs and Valborg in a room? The answer might surprise you! Labyrinth of Stars is heavy and brutal death metal, which reminds me at times of Wormed, and at times of Gigan. The most important, though, is that I had a terribly good time headbanging to these tracks. Stellar riffs make for awesome songs. The album is a bit on the short side: if you remove the twelve-minute postlude, it’s only twenty minutes long, but you’re only asking for more at the end.

Down I Go – オウム真理教 (Oumu shinrikyō / Aum Shinrikyo)

You know I’m always down for a new Down I Go release! Their melodic, progressive mathcore is made with thought and care and it’s always such a blast! I mean, their album You’re Lucky, God, that I Cannot Reach You left a deep scar on my heart that still bleeds open every time I mention it (yes, it did reopen just now and I need to listen to that album right now)! It’s still too early to know if オウム真理教 will leave a mark that’s as long-lasting, but all the ingredients are there, so be wary my poor little heart.