Mini-Reviews LXXXIII

Others by No One is a new, flourishing American progressive death metal band, and they’re releasing their debut album, Book I: Dr. Breacher, on June eleventh. At first glance, it’s the band that resembles the most what Native Construct achieved: fast-paced, technical progressive metal that’s quirky and theatrical, and also deeply cast in musical theory. There’s more to it than that, obviously – there’s a rather strong Between the Buried and Me vibe, as well as hints of Haken and The Dear Hunter throughout -, but the general picture is that of a Native Construct 2.0. Is that a bad thing? Well, yes and no. On one hand, music like this is rather hard to come by, and is both harmonically pleasing and interesting for musicians, because of its technicality. That makes it quite approachable on a rather large scale, while also piquing the interest of a more precise and restricted group of people. The other side of this is that it can sound too similar to the bands aforementioned without being able to craft a personality or sound of their own. Now, Book I is a stunning debut, and I’m certain that the band has more ideas in their minds that will be able to improve their music to become more than the sum of its parts. Others by No One is a fresh band, and they are rock solid, but now they mustn’t be afraid to incorporate more peculiar, personal, and out-there ideas into their music in order to create a unique experience that no other band already offers. For now, however, Book I: Dr. Breacher is still a fantastic and surprising piece of work as it is, but it doesn’t offer more, or only little more, than what’s already been brought to the table by Native Construct and Between the Buried and Me.
The technical progressive death metal trio of Dark Matter Secret is unleashing a new album, Perfect World Creation, on June second. They adopt the now-widespread formula of guitar, drums, and fretless bass, mixing various influences, often including Cynic’s Focus, into a soup of riffs and technical display. In that sense, they sound almost identical to the new ‘Québec tech-death’ explosion of bands, except their bass guitar isn’t louder than all other instruments. Their upcoming album is great for the genre, but disappointing for someone looking for something new.
Lovely Little Girls is an avant-garde progressive rock nonet that’s as gloomy as it’s eccentric. Their upcoming album, Glistening Vivid Splash, comes out on July eighth via Skin Graft Records, but you can stream the whole thing right now on the label’s bandcamp page. Odd rhythmics are joined by equally odd harmonic structures and melodies, which gives the whole album a very mysterious aura that’s utmostly interesting for those who seek more complex creations. Really a good album that’ll give you a lot to digest at once!
India’s latest post-rock sensation, Aswekeepsearching, just released Zia, their sophomore album. The band’s relatively standard post-rock basis is enhanced by the strong influence of traditional Indian music. This is shown mostly by the tabla and sitar that accompany us through the record. There’s also the lyrics, which are in Hindi, that immediately makes me think of Paradigm Shift, another Indian band who left their mark, back in 2012. Aswekeepsearching are really comfortable in their music, and it shows. The tracks on Zia are poignant and introspective, and you should give the album a go!
Uncommon are the albums as rewarding to listen to as John Frum‘s upcoming one, A Stirring in the Noos. Out on May twelfth, the forty-five minute progressive death metal record will unleash its mathematic and dissonant riffs, and unreserved aggression onto the world, to our greatest pleasure. It’s of no surprise that this entity comprises members from The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cleric, John Zorn, and The Faceless! Surely, this one will be on many year’s-end reviews. Don’t miss it!

Cem Çatık Experimentals (pronounced /djem tshatek/) is a Turkish instrumental progressive metal band, and they released XIII at the end of April. The almost hour-long sophomore album plays with metal and jazz, mostly, but also includes other genres like blues and rock, to a lesser degree. While this album isn’t groundbreaking by any means, it does offer some fun time with some pretty good, if rather non-exploratory, progressive metal.
The Littlest Viking is a math rock duo from California, and Movie Music Vol. 3 is their latest release. The album consists of three new tracks, and the rest is a collection of previously-released songs. The band at times sounds like the legendary group Hella with their impressive drums and guitar eccentricities. Overall, it’s a pretty good album, if only for the three new songs. I’ll be looking out for more from this band!
Amnutseba‘s demo cassette tape showcases some pretty fantastic avant-garde dissonant black metal from the French band. The four tracks make up a twenty-minute trip into the depths of obsidian black metal that is sure to be remembered. Interestingly, the track ‘III’ is absent. It was possibly scrapped, but my secret hope is that it’s actually a 20-odd minute epic and nauseating composition that will see its own release as an EP or as part of an upcoming full-length. Anyways, with a demo like this one, Amnutseba are certain to not go down in silence.
It started out as a free jazz project, but Jaimie Branch‘s quartet turned it into Fly or Die, a thirty-six-minute avant-garde jazz album that’s as beautiful as it is puzzling. Though it retains a lot of the aspects of free jazz, this album includes definite themes and structures that help steer the pseudocompositions in the desired direction. The trumpet-and-cello-driven album is warm while being wild and unpredictable. Truly a great album!

On May 9 2017, this entry was posted.