Mini-Reviews LXI

Faces Turn Away is the newest release of post-black metal one-man band Kassad. As you can hear with the featured track, ‘Madness’, this release packs quite a punch! Such acerbic sections are often interspersed with others that sometimes even recall post-rock with their delicateness. That makes for a pretty good, forty-six minutes album that keeps itself interesting.
Germany’s Pygmalion is a post-metal quartet, and they just released their debut album, titled Supersymmetry. Accompanying the beautiful and eye-crossing artwork is three quarters of an hour of ingenious instrumental post-metal. What I like about this band is that they go where you don’t necessarily expect them to, so that makes for a few surprises along the way.
Traversing in All Directions is Redshift Void‘s debut album. It acquaints us with the technical, instrumental progressive metal of the Floridan duo. Bringing in strong influences of math metal and djent, this release shows us the potential within the project, but lacks in terms of polish. The drum programming is mechanical and the bass is almost inexistent, but the guitars sound pretty good, and the orchestral arrangements are nice, even though they sound like MIDI samples. Let’s hope the band looks to improving these aspects of their genuinely interesting music for the future!
Arigarnon Friends is a Japanese math rock borrowing from other genres, such as pop and punk, for their memorable vocal melodies and energetic delivery, respectively. Boy to Man came out in last November and stayed rather low profile, but the songs on this EP are highly enjoyable. I have to say that the price of $8 is more than twice as much as I’d like to pay for a fifteen-minute digital EP, however.
Construct is a progressive metal from the United Kingdom using djent sparingly, to great effect. The quartet recently released their debut album, The Deity, an eleven-track album spanning almost an hour of material. It’s not perfect, but, given the low budgets of most small bands, it’s pretty damn tight. Be sure to give it a chance!
French post-hardcore newcomers Yurodivy just unleashed Aphos, a cathartic debut featuring some healthy diversity and dissonant atmospheres. The band could draw some comparisons with compatriots As We Draw, but they still bake their own cakes. It’s a very promising first release that’s instantly enjoyable.
Yeah, perhaps post-rock is underrepresented, here. I’ll try to remedy that, but it’s not my fault if most post-rock consists of bland and unoriginal buildups that are frustratingly slow to develop and often far less rewarding than what they should be. However, I don’t feel it’s the case of Heron‘s debut, You Are Here Now. The instrumental band from the States show tenderness and intelligence in their creations, which even includes some bluesy passages, to my great surprise. If you’re even slightly into the genre – even if you are reticent to it -, I recommend you check this one out!
The Polish entity known as Sekta Denta is a jazz octet somewhere between fusion and math jazz, and their EP Mars Zero was recorded live, in 2015, but only now released. The five songs on it are criminally short, and too few in number. That’s not as much a rant as it is an ode to the band’s amazing music! The regular trio is joined by a brass section and a flutist, giving full form to their compositions. It’s a really fun EP!
Let’s move to a decidedly less ‘fun’ band. Tante Yvonne‘s self-titled massive debut album is a collection of nine pieces of avant-garde jazz from the French decet. As serialist as it is free, the songs go from one end of the spectrum to the other, all the while massaging your brain with an egg beater. The ten players give an almost big band feel to the compositions, but they don’t go soft on their dynamic range, sometimes quieting most players, the time of a musical parenthesis. It’s a truly awesome album that deserves praise and recognition!

On February 8 2017, this entry was posted.