British atmospheric progressive black metal trio Fen‘s fifth album, Winter, will be released on March tenth. The six parts, making up seventy-six minutes of runtime, can be thought of as one single and epic piece. Their compositions are varied and offer a real musical journey to experience. And, on top of that, the double LP and box set offer unique artworks that are totally amazing!
Benoît Lugué‘s Cycles is an outstanding experimental jazz album from the French bassist’s sextet. The thing crosses paths with the mathematically-inclined compositions and overall vibe of math rock, which is rather laid back but musically interesting. Of particular note is the song ‘Le cri des loups’, which features actress Sara Llorca, who delivers a really interesting text, somewhere between singing and reciting. I really hope for more music like that in the future!
Live au Petit faucheux is the first and only album of the French undectet Gran’ capsul. It’s a pretty awesome free jazz recording with all the hits and misses (generally more of the former than of the latter) of a live improvisation set. What’s even better is when you hear the conductor or band leader shout in order to announce a change in the piece to the musicians. I love it!
New Zealander and British duo Ruetz released Melanoma in December through Holy Roar Records. It’s a blackened hardcore project with only this sixteen-minute EP to its name. Even if it’s not much, it’s very good and they deal some massive blows in the six songs present. Be sure to give them a try!
Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche is a kraut rock band from Montréal leaning heavily on progressive rock, funk music, and even hardcore, at times. Their album, Pas pire pop [I ❤ You So Much], recalls at times the indie band Arcade Fire, but most of the time will sound unlike anything else entirely. The songs use a lot of motif repetition à la post rock, but can also bring out some very lo-fi harsh vocals that add a strange twist to the overall sound of the project. The ten-track full-length is in fact comprised of three longer songs, ending with the twenty-minute epic ‘Tourner incessamment dans l’éclatement euphorique de soi – Road Painting Ahead’. It’s a strange but very enjoyable ride!
Patrick Shiroishi, of Corima and Upsilon Acrux fame, recently made us aware of his solo works! His Black Sun Sutra quintet explores experimental and free jazz on Anfinsen’s Landmark, their first release. Although relatively short, at a little over thirty minutes, the album has more than enough interesting parts in it to warrant its listening. There’s also Patrick’s most recent solo work, Ima, an ambient and very atmospheric experience of longing and emotion. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a streamable link for it online.
Planet Namek is a pretty good deathcore band who just released their self-titled debut album. Their emphasis on technicality and more progressive aspects of music make me think immediately of Plasticbag Facemask, but with slightly improved production. Give them a shot even if deathcore isn’t your thing!
The one-man progressive death metal project Charon Eclipse just released Nadir, its demo, but I thought it was pretty good so I included it here. There’s only twelve minutes of material in there, but it’s quite convincing and promising for the future. Hopefully, Zach can find bandmates to fledge the project to its full potential!
The Art That Gives Us Strength to Face the Tyrant is an album that was just released, from American experimental guitarist Killick Hinds. This formula is a duo consisting of him and Beto Cacao on flute, with both of them contributing percussions. It’s quite minimalistic, but really exciting atmospheric world music; it could be called shamanic. It’s very meditative!