Mini-Reviews VIII

“Dead Ringers” is Horseback’s new and ablazin’ album. Coming out tomorrow, August twelfth, their special blend of psychedelic stoner doom is quite simply on point! Eighties-inspired synthesizers, eery clean vocals, atmospheric chorus-y guitars and minimal beats together create a strange new beast with its own volition, not unlike the horselike decapodal creature on the beautiful cover art of the album. I can’t underline this enough: you need this album in your life!
Coming out on the twenty-first of August, “Sonance” is Contemplator’s new album. If you don’t remember them, their 2013 self-titled release was delicious and surprising. With “Sonance”, the band incorporates much more orchestral elements to their soundscape, and Colin Marston’s mixing talents insufflates life into the music. You can listen to “Art of Nothing” now, on Bandcamp, and I recommend you seriously consider buying this great piece of art.

British alt-prog band Age of Atlas will release “Of Tongue and Tide of Flame and Honey” on September thirtieth. Elements of math rock and electronica bring some interest to the release, but they don’t succeed in helping them stand out amidst the ocean of similar-sounding bands, nowadays. Maybe if the production was a bit clearer, their compositions and skills would’ve shone brighter – the singer and all musicians are clearly talented and know what they’re doing, they only need to be either more highlighted or more focused in composition. Either way, it’s a cool album that unfortunately isn’t able to pierce the surface.
Cryptovolans is one of the weirdest music projects out there. Their MIDI jazz is forward-thinking, avant-garde, unpredictable, and jazzy. Oh, and also completely spazztastic. “Global Understanding” is, technically speaking, a single release, bundled with sixteen bonus tracks, bringing the total length to almost fifty minutes. As a bonus, the whole album comes with the MIDI files for every song, so you can try your hand at producing them with different VSTs, and modifying them all you want, which is totally awesome. The title track sounds like the opening music to an American TV soap opera during its main theme, but quickly evolves into various uncanny movements that are more than fitting despite their out-of-place-ness. It’s honestly one of the best and most bizarre releases of the year; you don’t want to miss that one!
Yvette Young and Natalie Evans joined forces on their conjoined split release. Both are singer-songwriters on their respective side: Yvette plays a re-recorded and improved version of “A Map a String a Light”, which is great and now features at least two guitar tracks and a violin. Natalie Evans is a new name to me, but it will certainly stay in my head because her song, although much shorter and simpler, is frankly good. Her juvenile voice makes it sound like a child’s daydream, and the accompanying instruments only reinforce that feeling. It’s a great song on the pop side of math rock. That’s what splits are for: discovering new artists.
Now, from Michigan, comes Cascadia with their eponymous post-math rock EP. I have to thank Kyle Gaddo from Heavy Blog Is Heavy for the discovery, I owe you one! Their sound is like post-rock with math rock elements to it; it’s very contemplative and generally just chill. It’s a pretty good EP that you might like, you postheads.
Mare Cognitum and Aureole went forth on an atmospheric black metal assault with “Resonance: Crimson Void”. Its four tracks are in fact two songs, one from each band, totalling more than forty minutes of music centred around the Rosette Nebula, a molecular cloud of the Milky Way. Both sides are equally great, and showcase the sound of each band. You can never have enough of quality atmospheric black metal, so just go and download this split!
Pénitence onirique is a French black metal band, and “V.I.T.R.I.O.L” is set to be released on September sixteenth through the label Les acteurs de l’ombre. It’s a fairly standard yet quite interesting progressive black metal album with an aggressive nature and long songs, two of them breaking the seventeen minutes barrier. Their vitriolic compositions are sung in French and are relentless and unforgiving. Keep an eye on upcoming singles they might release before the official release.

On August 11 2016, this entry was posted.