Kutu – Guramayle
The Ceccaldi name is a promise of great music. On this album, both brothers collaborate with two Ethiopian singers from Addis Ababa to make a modern fusion of Ethiopian pop and jazz fusion. Everything is solidly backed up by drummer Cyril Atef, who’s previously played on other incredible albums, as with Bumcello. It’s an album made to groove, dance, and have a terribly fun time. The drums feel aptly Afrobeatish in essence most of the time, while the harmonization is walking the thin line between authentic and experimental. It’s a truly superb album!
Aeternam – Heir of the Rising Sun
Aeternam is one of the top metal bands coming out of Québec. And, at this point, one of the best symphonic death metal bands out there, period. On Heir of the Rising Sun, the folkloric flavourings that make the band’s identity are taken from the period surrounding the fall of Constantinople, or the Palaiologan Era in modern-day Turkey, before the Ottoman Empire seized the city. These elements are brought to life with the use of “exotic” scales and instruments, such as the bağlama, bouzouki, and oud. Heir of the Rising Sun is an album filled with amazing riffs and beautiful musical sceneries.
Kolínga – Legacy (Underdog)
So, I’ve been waiting for this album for a while now. It was first announced on a crowdfunding campaign, so I had to bide my time, but finally Legacy is out! And that’s one of the best Afrobeat albums of 2022 for sure! With a wide array of influences, from pop to rumba to hip-hop, the album has plenty of material to keep its sound fresh and exciting. Yes, that’s two Afrobeat-adjacent albums in one mini-reviews set!
I, Parasite – Österlanden (Dark Vision)
How to present this one? Somewhere between post-rock, black metal and doom metal, Österlanden is I, Parasite’s fourth full-length album—also stated as their final full-length album. Drawing influences from rock, folk, doom, electronic music and more, the album is mostly made up of acoustic elements, as well as some electronic sounds, but all of this combines to make something like post-post-black metal. Either way, the album is a fantastic slow burner, evocative.