Mini-Reviews LXV

Freedom, by Monas, is an experimental free jazz album from the New Yorker trio. With merely two tracks, the album culminates at almost forty minutes of musical extravaganza. In ‘Visible Spirit’, Colin Fisher leads with the guitar, and he switches to the saxophone for ‘Invisible Nature’. That gives us two complementary sides, each rife with improvisation and musical prowesses.
E Gone is an indie folk music project from Sweden, and The Third Is a Mountain Which Holds a Dagger even takes some singer-songwriter turns, but sticks for the most part with acoustic experimentation, delivered via multiple instruments. At only twenty-two minutes long, the EP captures a breadth and quality rarely seen. ‘A Decoy for the Hunt’, for example, is a melancholic song with banjo and voice, while other instruments, some more exotic, are used in other tracks. The perfect example for this is ‘Rogue Diplomat’ and its Middle-East nature. It’s really an amazing EP!
Everybody’s favourite math jazz act Monobody just released two new compositions as part of a split with Pyramid Scheme, another band you’ll learn to enjoy. The first side is unarguably awesome and thoroughly interesting; many thoughts can be put into its musical description, and new, unnoticed aspects of it pop at every listen. Even if timbrally and numerically more limited, the second side is far from paltry. The lesser known – at least to me – Pyramid Scheme without a doubt prove they are a very capable band. That’s yet another split that completely fulfills its promise of making us discover new bands.
American progressive metal Deathwhite releases their debut album, For a Black Tomorrow, on March tenth. And, as I’m sure you’ll see by listening to the available single track ‘The Grace of the Dark’, the band gives some pretty high expectations. If you like this song, trust me, you’ll like the rest of the album as well. At the junction between progressive and alternative metal, it grossly sounds like Finnish band Oddland minus the djent, and with a substantially darker atmosphere. The album is great, and you should anticipate its release with some degree of eagerness!
There’s quite a lot of things with the name of Yugen, in music, and most of them I heard are astonishingly good! This one is no exception. The Australian technical progressive death metal quartet just released an EP, entitled Stillness Disturbed, that shows the colours of the band. Their sound features strong guitar chord staccati, a prominent and highly technical bass guitar, and raging drums. It does include vocals, but not in the traditional meaning. Martin and Sibbison’s vocal delivery resembles throat singing. In short, Yugen’s debut EP is amazing and very exciting for the future of the band! We want more!
Yes, Les pompiers is an experimental jazz quintet from France made entirely of firefighters. Whether this last detail is based in reality or in fiction is unimportant, for they have given us one of the best, most enjoyable albums of recent memory. Le maxi is a relatively short album of sometimes eccentric, sometimes more standard jazz with some electronica elements that is just baffling. The beginning of ‘Pompez les pompiers laids’, for example, is truly a memorable moment of the album, the song then turns on its head and goes into improvisation jazz dance mode. Then, there are the multi-part vocal unisoni, which add a ton of personality and credibility to the firefighter squad. As a final selling argument, you can make a sick paper firefighter truck by cutting and gluing together the album’s cover. Now, what’s stopping you?
Turkey’s top progressive rock act, Gevende, finally released their latest album, Kırınardı! The forty-minute release brings the dark, psychedelic prog the band has been known for in a new packaging. I’ll give you that the above teaser, ‘Vertigo’, is disappointing. That was the only single for the album’s release, and it made me quite suspicious about the album as a whole, but my doubts have been dismissed when I listened to the whole thing. It’s a very good album that continues the band’s legacy!
Tina Turner Fraiseur is France’s answer to the powerviolence grindcore movement. Fracture is their most recent album; six minutes and eight songs. As expected, it’s aggressive, fast-paced, and cathartically pissed off. In a strange turn of events, it’s actually less well-produced than their previous release, Moutons. Indeed, Fracture seems to lack in low end mix, but that doesn’t make it less decent. My tip: get both.
Symphonic deathgrind. Now that’s something you don’t hear often. Thanks to The Clockwork Deity, this is a dream I didn’t know I had until now come true. Spontaneous Abortion is a four-minute single – which is pretty short, yes -, but that serves as a sort of proof of concept for the band’s vision. The song is an outstanding interplay of beauty and violence. You thought Xerath was the shit? (It isn’t.) Well, pave the way for your new overlords. Let’s all collectively wish for an EP or full-length in the near future from these guys!

On February 18 2017, this entry was posted.