Yes. I’m away for a week, and what do I get? A shitload of stuff to listen to. Here’s a collection of it, some good, some okay, some bad!
Let’s start this off with something pretty good, shall we? Unfathomable Ruination is as brutal as the name suggests. Finitude is a progressive brutal death metal album that’s like Between the Buried and Me with all the heavy and none of that softer side of theirs, with a bit of Viraemia thrown in for good measure. I guess it’s the dawn of a new era for brutal death metal, the time where it finally becomes worth listening to.
Magic Machine is the new upcoming album from An Endless Sporadic. Out on September 16, it’s a perspective-changing experience! All their orchestral works, mixed with electronic elements and acoustic instruments, coupled with their intuition and proficiency on musicality and theory makes for an unspeakably good album. A definite must-get!
Source‘s debut album, Return to Nothing, comes out on September 23. It’s an alternative progressive metal band a bit reminiscent of the genre’s deities, Tool, but with much of what made them relevant stripped away, making them sound like more straightforward substitutes. It’s definitely not bad, but it’s not as interesting as it sounds like it’s going to be at first.
The Worst Of is the conjoint release of the two precedent releases: “Peanut Butter Bears (The Beginnening)” and “Beneath the Escape from the Conquest of the Battle for the Rise of the Dawn of the War of the Planet of the Thombie”, from Plasticbag Facemask. It’s a pretty hefty double-album with over two hours of progressive experimental deathcore. This is one of many projects from Patrick D. Hogan, and it’s most likely my favourite one. This is tight shit!
Next up is Archea, from Andrew Scott. Unfortunately, the record has both uninteresting ideas to showcase, and poor execution and production, therefore making it a real chore to listen to. The drums are abysmal in composition and sample quality, so they somewhat cover up the amateurish guitar playing. The riff ideas aren’t great to start with, but they’re okay nonetheless. However, there often are missing notes – and a few false ones -, and some excerpts have blatantly been recorded only once and duplicated so the same take (with a missing note!) can be heard multiple times throughout. Andrew: next time, ask someone else to record you.
Syndrome‘s Forever and a Day is an ambient post-rock album, comprising only one thirty-four-minute song. It’s very calm, only rarely upwelling into something with a tad more grandeur to it. It’s a great soundtrack to a rainy evening, but I don’t feel like I will go back to it.
Hannes Grossmann just released his second full-length album, The Crypts of Sleep. I didn’t really like the first one, “The Radial Covenant”, and there’s nothing here to make me change my mind. On the contrary, it only reinforces my disliking it. The barely-progressive melodic death metal songs are as unsurprising as those on the debut album, but there is an undeniable polish to the composition and production of them. If you’re into that style of music, you’ll most probably like it, but it’s not for me.
Skull Incision is a black sludge metal band from California, and Vemödalen is their latest release, if you put aside their split with ELI. It’s a three-song EP with a very raw finish to it. The vocals are aerial and atmospheric, and the riffs are mainly tremolo-blast – my short form for tremolo picking and blast beats. It’s pretty neat overall, but I’m not connecting with it very much, right now.
Innate is an upcoming album from blackened post-hardcore band Dwell. It’s a pretty harsh and hectic release that you’ll probably dig, fans of No Omega and Meek Is Murder.
Ukrainian blackened hardcore band The Nietzsche just released Welcome to Poetry 201, their second release in admiration of great writers. It’s a pretty fun take on hardcore music but it sounds like every other similar band, too. Eh, it’s a cool listen, and it’s pay what you want, so give it a try!
French are great for concisely-named bands that make great music: ni, PoiL, and now Ça (literally “It”). Their song titles are almost as eloquent as the band’s name, and consist only of a single number. The music is definitely interesting, however, and even though it’s not as awe-inspiring as ni nor as whacky as PoiL, it’s a bunch of talented folks making challenging music, and that’s all we ask for. Check out 24615 and 378 for now, and the band will be recording a new album soon!
Kansas have long achieved legendary status in the progressive rock scene. Coinciding with their fortieth anniversary tour, the band will release The Prelude Implicit on September 23. If you like Kansas, you will most probably enjoy this album, as it sounds exactly like an 80s’ prog album, but if you bear disdain for derivative prog, like I do, it’ll most likely go right past you. I just don’t know if “derivative” is a term that can be applied here since the band is only derivative of themselves, but the result’s the same…
Derek Sherinian, Planet X… Virgil Donati has surely crafted a name for himself throughout the years as one of the best progressive drummers out there. The Dawn of Time, his latest album, brings classical music to his own brand of progressive fusion metal in the form of a drums-centric orchestra, which is pretty new to me. The whole album is variably orchestrated, but is very good from start to finish.
It seems like it was only yesterday when Doom Salad released an album… Oh, look, it was exactly a month ago, and here they go again, with the self-titled Doom Salad. I like it, yes, but the novelty of their unique songwriting and musicianship that was found on their prior albums, as early as on “What’s for Dunch?”, is starting to wear off. So, yes it’s good, but I’d like to see them move out of their comfort zone a bit.
Russian progressive atmospheric blackened death metal Colorless just released their debut album, Silent Gods. As soon as the play button is pressed comes all the intensity and beauty of it with “Piece of Mirror”. The melodic singing atop tremolo-blasts is surprisingly appropriate. The whole album goes a lot of places, and it’s a very rewarding experience. It’s just different enough that it’s its own thing while being captivating and still sound accessible. Look out!
Sioum is a band I didn’t know I needed until now. Yet Further has been released in May, but, if you haven’t listened to it yet, you should get it right now! Everyone knows I’m no post-rock fan, but the craft of this Chicago band has a really characteristic taste. The quiet and emotional buildups are well worth the wait. The only thing I’d like to see improved is the drums sound, they would work so much more efficiently if it was more organic…