Mini-Reviews VII: With Extra 33%

I’ve had a really busy week with very few free time, so new albums piled up more than usual. Here are twelve new pieces of work I wanted to talk about!
Coma Cluster Void is a band that, since its inception, mustered a lot of hype, and I’m glad to say that Mind Cemeteries all but fails to meet the expectations. It’s a slab of violent, technical, brutal, dissonant, mathematical, avant-garde death metal that will more than satisfy most of you here. The songs are constructed to near perfection and every person’s role in the band is played just right ?. ??? recommended to everyone!
Novena is a new progressive metal band from the UK in the same vein as Haken. This is only exacerbated by the fact that Ross Jennings is the main singer in both bands. However, while the Haken Ross stopped harsh singing after Aquarius, it seems like he needed to unclog his pipes in Novena, and the harsh singing is back. I can only assume that he is doing them because no other member is credited for vocals, but they do sound really different from those on Haken’s Aquarius. As for the music, the songs are quite long and intricate, with technically proficient passages, melodic choruses, and symphonic elements as well. It’s a good listen, even if the production could be significantly better – although note that it doesn’t detract from appreciating the music a lot. Check this one out, progheads.
Vorvaň will release their newest album, Once Love Was Lost, on October fourteen. They describe themselves as metal punk, which is not as far fetched as it might sound once you listen to their music, but it’s a really good blend of sludge, stoner metal and death metal with all the energy of a punk album. It sounds a lot like Mastodon at times, but it does have its own personal sound, which is nice. It’s an interesting and enjoyable album for sure!
The progressive technical death metal outfit Equipoise, from Québec, finally released Birthing Homunculi. With the recent addition of keyboard virtuoso Jimmy Pitts, the band has gained a lot of credibility. While the production on the EP is quite horrendous and painfully pushed, the songs are ridiculously good and technically impressive. There are neoclassical and flamenco elements to the guitars, absurd fretless bass by Dominic Lapointe’s replacement in Beyond Creation, Hugo Doyon-Karout, ethereal and whizzing keyboards by the incomparable Jimmy Pitts, blasting and tearing drumbeats, as well as a great vocal delivery. The only thing that could be better really is the production, but it should not hinder you from checking them out!

While Dream the Electric Sleep never really did anything for me, even in their good “Heretics” days, they really dropped a lot of stairs with Beneath the Dark Wide Sky. Forget prog, forget musicianship, revive 2000-era alt rock, which was, if you remember, really not the best time for alt rock music. I can’t fathom what went through their heads as they wrote and recorded this album, but I don’t even care anymore. Beneath the Dark Wide sky is bad, awful, and has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I couldn’t even keep listening after five or six songs in. Please, do yourself a favour and forget that this band ever existed.
Instrumental melodic progressive metal one-man band StarSystems has released III, their aptly-named third release. Borrowing from David Maxim Micic, Plini, and Sithu Aye, mostly, StarSystems’s third is its most interesting yet by quite a long shot – I’ve never been a fan of either of their former releases -, but still has trouble grasping my full attention. Sure, there are the expected odd-time signatures and guitar prowesses, but it all seems too tame, not surprising, and a sort of “fanservice” for fans of the genre. Anyways, you might like it so check it out.
The experimental technical noise mathcore from Plasticbag Facemask was insufflated new life with the band’s newest album, The Worst Of: Volume II – Beneath the Escape from the Conquest of the Battle for the Rise of the Dawn of the War of the Planet of the Thombie, a title which is a valiant successor to their 2015 album, “The Worst Of: Volume I – Peanut Butter Bears (The Beginnening)”. The music is of the same kind of abrasive mathcore with progressive death metal ancestry and experimental tendencies. Since I found out about the band, I’ve been amazed at their compositions: they are great and to the point, even if the point is often hard to define. Definitely check ’em out!
Punk Jazz is a melodic jazz album from the Alex Schrock Trio. It’s ripe with improvisation made within the constructed boundaries of their song composition. It’s not a groundbreaking release or really anything new, it’s just something that sounded fresh and enjoyable to me. It’s something of a summer jam with a few mishaps here and there, just enough to give that unpolished “punk” touch within the jazz setting. This one comes out on August twenty-second, so be sure to keep an eye on it until then!
Infinite Density is a melodic technical death metal project from the bassist of Australia’s progressive black metal phenomenon, Ne Obliviscaris. This instantly garnered lots of attention, but I find Recollapse of the Universe to be utterly disappointing. Even without mentioning the synthetic feel to the whole album – all the opposite of NeO -, the compositions just sound bland, uninspired, and uninteresting. It’s not bad per se, but I’m couldn’t be more indifferent to it. Be your own judge.
covertorridNext up is a split by Torrid Husk and End, from Grimoire Records. Entitled Swallow Matewan, the two-sided album begins with Torrid Husk’s fast-paced atmospheric black metal with plenty of blast beats, fretless bass, and vocal choirs. It’s really interesting and rewarding, switching back and forth between extreme metal and more atmospheric passages. Side two sees End playing a slower and deliberate type of atmospheric black metal with more progressive elements to it as well. The split is well-balanced and is a great opportunity to get to know both these bands a little better. It comes out on September twenty-third, but a single or two shall be expected in the days or weeks to come.
The Apex is a deathcore band from Ontario, and Underbelly is their upcoming EP, coming out on the seventeenth of the month. This only manages to be mildly interesting, and doesn’t really have any replay value at all simply because it feels like songs we already heard a thousand times. Their self-titled debut album was interesting – and also had better production value -, and had much more material than Underbelly. If you want some technical deathcore with a few mathcore elements to it, check out “Self-Titled” instead.
Finally, one of this blog’s favourite bands, Doom Salad, once again surprises us with an unannounced album, Further, Unafraid, into the Light. Unlike their latest, Sunscreens and Aerosols, this one holds music that was actually written instead of completely improvised. While I praised the band for doing so on their previous release, I also really like their on-purpose compositions. This one shows what they’re good at: avant-garde math rock. Their songs are all over the place, in all the good and wrong spots, often at the same time, which is something that really amazes me. Be kind to yourself and grab this album right now!

On August 5 2016, this entry was posted.