Mini-Reviews LXXIII

Nakata‘s upcoming full-length, Bokanovsky’s Process, is a marvellously challenging musical experiment and improvisation that’s a little over half an hour long. The restless saxophone shreds its way on top of a heavily distorted piano and sets the tone between avant-garde jazz and Middle-Eastern vibes. Although quite punishing for most, the album is very rewarding to those who stay until the end. It’s truly a great, somewhat minimalistic experimental free jazz record! It comes out on April third!
Severance is the upcoming album from progressive post-rock group Glaswegians, from British Columbia, which comes out on April seventh. The album is pretty massive, with four tracks averaging at over fifteen minutes in length. As you can hear with ‘Orwellian’, Glaswegians’ music isn’t your ordinary post-rock, but recalls more of Mike Oldfield than anything else. The album is highly orchestrated and develops ostinati over extended periods of time, which are often in odd times. Overall, it’s really an interesting album, so watch out for it in early April!
Encenathrakh‘s self-titled has been around for almost three years, now. I haven’t talked about it because I thought it would ‘officially’ come out soon, and then just kind of forgot about it, but, seeing as the price is still $701.26 and the release date still in the year 2037, I guess that day is nowhere near. However, this album deserves a strong recommendation, for it is one of the most brutal, excessive, and technical albums I’ve ever beheld. It’s hard to tell if these songs stem from completely disorganized improvisations or if they were painstakingly written as such, but the end result is nothing short of mind-melting. Be sure to check this out.
Azure is a progressive rock project from the UK. I was far from impressed by their debut, (Dreaming of) Azure, but their sophomore release, Wish for Spring has got me. At first, the synth bass and use of pitch correction on the vocals somewhat put me off, but after a few songs I saw their music in a different light. The project is almost like progressive synthwave because of the heavy reliance on synthetic instruments and use of keyboards throughout. This electro-prog aesthetic takes some getting used to, but the compositions on here are positively amazing, with an astounding eighteen-minute epic closer! Each song is a joy to listen. Congratulations for the impressive compositional skills on display!
Who ordered four hours of atmospheric black metal? Because Florida one-man project Lumen et tenebrae just delivered the five-disc Oceans of Blood, with enough material to make you sick twice over. The point of the album, according to [redacted] himself, was not to create an absurdly lengthy release, but rather to offer a wide variety of compositions. So, it’s not long for the sake of being long, and that saves it from being dreadfully monotonous. Some songs are closer to doom metal, others to ambient music, but the main thread is atmosphere and metal. This impressive album is quite well produced, even with the use of programmed drums, and it doesn’t feel tiring to go through, thanks to the song diversity. Be sure to give this a listen and consider supporting the project!
British free jazz entity Human recently released Fractured Lands for streaming, although the album is set for a June second release date. The forty-minute album serves us with potent soundscapes, hopping from free-form to structured themes, and assaulting us with intertwining piano, violin, and brass. There’s also a healthy variety in the tracks, here, with some more lively and some more contemplative. It’s a really good album!
Polish avant-prog project MRW (Emerwu) released yet another album, this time called Paradontoza Band. It’s less hectic than their February release, but it showcases a different perspective on the genre, where songs have more time to breathe and develop, which is far from being a bad thing! The less numerous compositions on this album are, on the other hand, more perfected, and are at least as enjoyable as those found on Gwarectwo “Hrabia Renard” rok 1934! Definitely, MRW is carving a solid place for themselves in my list of esteemed musicians!
Israeli and American progressive jazz trio Shalosh released Rules of Oppression in early March. The band’s style is very slightly reminiscent of Տիգրան Համասյան’s (Tigran Hamasyan), but this band sets out to craft more cinematic atmospheres and nice grooves rather than go in full-out ‘djazz’ mode. The album certainly still succeeds in captivating your attention with its carefully elaborate tunes!
Vacuums is the newest EP from British electro-jazz trio Zeitgeist. This EP brings in pretty heavy stuff, like the opener ‘The Brightest Stars Leave the Blackest Holes’, and some nasty grooves like those in ‘Thantos’. Although rather short – at around ten minutes -, the EP is highly addictive and a necessary addition to your prog/jazz collection!

On March 20 2017, this entry was posted.