Cryptic Ruse had us all turning heads with their 2014 album, “Chains of Smoke”, because of its incorporation of microtonality in different styles of metal. This time, “Wasting & Thirsting” focuses on the slower genres and styles of metal – still with microtonality -, on three long composition, the dissonances of which will make your skin crawl. It’s very interesting to have an emphasis on dissonance set with different microtonal tuning systems. I’m guessing, by the title tracks, that they are written in 23-, 17-, and 14-EDO respectively, but I might be wrong. The songs are very slow and atmospheric, and given the very minimalistic nature of their instrumentation (guitars and keyboard only), they succeed exceptionally well at crafting utterly daunting and otherworldly ambiances. I definitely recommend this one to every one of you!
While “Unsean” is a questionable choice of title – I can’t help but pronounce it “Un-Shawn” -, Excellion’s most recent EP is a very decent work of progressive metalcore. It sounds a bit djent, not unlike Novållo’s debut EP in some places, with mid- to high-pitched clean vocals as well as a few guest vocalists. The EP showcases the band’s potential for certain, but a few small flaws make it so it’s far from perfect: production could be better as well as execution and original composition, but it’s all things that I feel might be much better next time as they already are quite good.
מזמור (Mizmor)’s “Yodh” is a strange and hairy beast. It’s a five-track, sixty-minute conceptual progressive doom metal album. Right from the start, you can taste the elements of atmosphere and intensity in their music. It’s heavy and surprisingly good, but it doesn’t succeed in maintaining the listener’s interest throughout. It just kind of fades into itself and becomes undifferentiated, same-ish, greyish.
I have to thank yet again the Heavy Blog Is Heavy crew for this wonderful discovery. A.M. Feelgood is a Texan post-rock outfit, and their latest release is the “Wisteria Trail” EP. It’s a great and very atmospheric post-rock album: it’s quiet and on the brink of minimalism, sometimes, and the song construction is delicate and thoughtful. The band is able to craft emotional melodies and compelling chord progressions. Truly something you want to check out!
Recommended by Obscure Music Daily, Fief’s “I” is a very high-quality dungeon synth album. Usually, the sounds used in the genre are lo-fi and outdated, but the samples used by Fief are almost lifelike and are pretty realistic. It sounds like a 1990’s-era isometric medieval fantasy RPG soundtrack of the village areas and inside buildings. Nothing epic, just something that gives off a middle age feel. It’s pretty interesting! Coupled with the earlier dungeon synth projects we covered, יצר הרע (Yetzer Hara) and Norkah, you have the almost perfect soundtrack to your geek D&D nights.
Tardive Dyskinesia is a Hellenic band from Athens and “Harmonic Confusion” is their upcoming album, out September ninth. It’s a very good progressive metal album with a bit of a djent edge to it. They don’t fear odd-time signatures and have quite a wide variety of soundscapes to work with, which makes listening to their album quite a delight. Recommended!
Finally, the last two albums on the list are from the band Talking Points: “Superposition” and “Leonard” respectively. They both are avant-garde fusion jazz albums that are incredibly intricate and interesting to listen to. The chords, progressions, themes and melodies… everything on record is just excellent. On top of that, “Leonard” is a 35-minute triptych written by Dan Ryan and played by the band. I assure you, if you have only one thing to spend your money on this week, don’t buy food, buy either one of these two albums. They are both impressively fantastic!