Mini-Reviews XLIII

Travis Orbin is a musician I highly respect. From his role in many bands as a full-time member or a session drummer to his set of solo compositions, the result is always excellent! Finite is an artistic exercise in self-limitation. The six pieces here are written strictly for a quartet of drums, bass, viola, and violin. The end result is a highly engrossing and unique experimental math metal EP where the drum-and-bass foundation is embellished by organic and amplified strings. Yet another magnificent EP, signed Travis Orbin.
Guilt Noir is multi-instrumentist Michael Arthur Holloway‘s debut solo album. Labeled as doom jazz – which isn’t inappropriate -, the ten compositions on the album make me imagine a 1950s’ jazz club filled with blue cigarette smoke where the band on stage plays a multitude of gloomy, melancholic, and cathartic jazz songs. All that’s missing here is the jazz singer with an emotionally-charged voice and a troubled past. Without that, however, Guilt Noir is a perfect soundtrack.
British progressive blackened death sludge band Slugdge are releasing The Cosmic Cornucopia, a three-disc compilation including their three released albums: Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms, Gastronomicon, and Born of Slime. If you already own them, the only reason to get this new format is the physical merchandise that comes with it and a new cover art. If you don’t, well, it’s quicker to download one thing than three separate ones… The compilation is available to pre-order for $1, but my bet is that it will be available for unlimited voluntary contribution once it’s out, just like their previous albums.
Maladie released … Symptoms… in early December. Although labeled as an EP, the eight-part song on display – ‘Divinitas – A Journey’ – is forty-two minutes long. The album blends subtle and quiet atmospheric passages fronted by saxophone with many kinds of heavy metal, such as doom, black, and death metals. The aptly-named song really takes you on a voyage. Melodic and harsh vocals take turns as do the waxing and waning of the instrumentation in a truly symbiotic relationship. The song is full of surprises as well – just as an example, the more ethnic-sounding bit at around twenty-five minutes in, just before a new explosion of blast beats -, and it sure to keep you on your toes throughout. It’s really a great and interesting EP.
The Gloom in the Corner is an experimental nu-metalcore band from Australia, and they released Fear Me in September. They somewhat make me think of a less explorative version of Norwegian band Atena – the album of which I really liked -, or a less deathcore Villains. Overall, the album is really not bad! It’s a good headbanger, even if the ‘edge’ can become a bit overwhelming, at times. I guess it can’t get worse than Traitors.

auriUnfortunately, there’s no stream yet of Auri‘s debut EP, The Crown of Doubt, so you’ll have to trust me until a track comes out; the album is set to release on January first. Coming from the drummer of Musica Masonica, Sol Sinclair, this is less of a post-doom improvisation and more of a meticulously written atmospheric dissonant black metal. The twenty-eight-minute EP consists of four tracks, half of which are more atmospheric and eulogical in nature – the first and last tracks -, while the rest is straight up top-notch black metal. It’s already a serious contender for 2017’s album of the year. I’ll let you know when a song becomes available!
Again we find ourselves with a one-song album of more than thirty minutes. This time, it comes from the math post-rock band An Anderson. Very Machine is a thirty-six-minute experiment that is going to challenge you, but also take you by the hand, from time to time. Yes, it’s not your typical post or math rock jam, but this song blends the two in a strangely appealing manner. It’s not overly repetitive and building upon itself, and it’s not a simple showcase of musicianship either. Very Machine bridges the idiosyncrasies of Yowie with those of Tangled Thoughts of Leaving in a brand new packaging. That’s something to palate.
I have to admit having overlooked Sümεr‘s The Animal You Are when it came out, two years ago. I probably wasn’t in the right mindset for it, and the album didn’t occur to me since. This was until yesterday, when it appeared on some website, and I gave it a second try. Yes, it’s some very tasteful, melancholic progressive hard rock that I adore. It’s Tesseract without the djent, tool without the new age and polyrhythms, Radiohead without the crippling depression… Give it a shot!

On December 24 2016, this entry was posted.