Mini-Reviews I

Since the OSR pretty much lost its meaning because I used more than one sentence, I think we should celebrate the series’s new name. Click here to celebrate. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

First in line, Patrick Healy put his upcoming album, Set Course for Tomorrow, available to pre-order on his bandcamp page. His last album, Crux, was already sweet and tasty, but this new one – as you can taste with the single “The Villi People” – is on a whole new level. All throughout the rather contemplative album, you’re thrown music in the styles of classical, jazz, and progressive rock. It’s an astonishing atmospheric progressive rock album that I totally recommend!

Secondly, Plethora is a donation-based avant-grind album from French band Michel Anoia. Trust me, once you hit the play button, you’ll know what avant-grind is. It’s whacky, technical, filthy, experimental and absurdly listenable. Grab it for free, but if you can, get the CD or vinyl version because they look really good!

This bandcamp stream is for their latest album. The new one has no streamable single yet. Marshall Art are a chiptune post-rock band. Using retro video game sounds and effects, as well as two electric guitars, they create a homage to older video game compositions – along with a few original ones – on their next album, Gallery. On the list are Ecco the Dolphin, Undertale, Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country 3, and others. The album comprises three original compositions which are on the same level of quality, but more representative of the band’s sound. Overall, it’s a very good album for fans of chiptune music, rock, and post-rock!

Hellenic band The Ape Collective just released Second Tongue: B-Sides and Oddities, an experimental progressive rock/electronica album made of unreleased tracks written from 2013 to 2016. Jacobin, released in 2012, was a great album, if you want to hear what the band is really about. As for Second Tongue, it’s a collection of rather eclectic tracks in the spirit of the band, but lacking the immense cohesion that their usual releases have, and that makes them truly unique. It’s still a really good album, but it’s not as special as a fully-fledged one could be.

Made from Colour are a British alternative rock band heavily influenced by math and post rock, as well as J-pop and jazz to a lesser extent. It’s a real summer jam: sweet and delicious. It’s not very complicated, but there’s definitely some competent musicianship and song-crafting skills. Be sure to try this lemonade EP; it’s pay what you want!

Here’s a big letdown. Astronoid is recently on the lips of everybody, it seems, because of their new album: Air. As such, I expected them to be actually good, what I got is a watered down Deafheaven (if that’s possible). The same kind of blackgaze here has even more emphasis on the major or uplifting scales, and gets totally rid of the harsh vocals, in favour of catchy melodies drenched in autotune and various effects (overuse of reverb is a thing). The autotune is most noticeable in the song “Violence”, but I believe it’s present during all the album. I really cannot get behind this one, while I could understand and enjoy some of Deafheaven’s music. The mix of blast beats, major chords tremolo picking and over-joyous vocal melodies and harmonies just sound to me like someone who is really happy and energetic; we all know that guy or girl who won’t stop talking and that’s just sucking all the energy out of you. That’s Astronoid.

Ahh… Much better! Colored Moth is a German experimental post-hardcore noise band, and they released Fragmenting Tensions back in May of this year. It’s a really cool album that’s pretty varied in its song content. Some tracks lean more towards noise, while others are models of post-hardcore, some tracks feature guest female voices, too. It’s a pretty interesting, if a bit rough, album, and I suggest you take a listen to forge your own opinion. It has no pricing limit, too!

And, finally, here’s Karnak Seti‘s The Distance That Made Us Cold – another donation-based album (you’re in luck!) -, from Portugal. It’s a melodic death metal album with thrash metal influences. This means that it sounds almost exactly like In Flames and every other similar band. I’m not a huge fan of this band to start with, and Karnak Seti do nothing to change my mind on the matter. It’s a decent and well-crafted album, but does nothing of interest to me.

On June 30 2016, this entry was posted.