Strange Loops is my first acquaintance with British death metal band Mithras. The experimental death metal duo’s newest release is almost an hour of fast and sometimes atmospheric music that never fully finds what it strives for. It’s unarguably a promising record, but it doesn’t get to maturity. It’s full of cool moments, but there’s just something missing, something that makes it so that it isn’t completely for me. Try it out, you might like it!
Bogotá, Colombia’s progressive black metal band Cóndor‘s previous album, Duin, has been highly praised by one my favourite reviewers, but I somehow could never really ‘get it’. With the coming of their latest album, Sangreal, my hope is that I will finally see the beauty in this raw ore. I think the improvement in their production helps me do just that. Even if it’s still aeons behind some black metal albums nowadays, it isn’t as offending as the one on Duin, and lets me appreciate the songs’ depth and brilliant composition. On top of that, they have been kind enough to include an English translation of their texts on bandcamp, which are very well written too. I definitely recommend listening to the album, and persisting through the choice of production.
Jardín de la croix is a band I like to call Spain’s Scale the Summit, but they’re much more than that. Their previous album, 187 Steps to Cross the Universe was among my favourite albums of that year, so its followup, Circadia, has some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, I’m not at all disappointed with how the album unfolds. There’s no epic, unforgettable tracks like ‘Talking with Planets’, but each track is in counterpart more thought-out and attentively written. On top of the usual instrumental prog/math rock and metal, ‘Flowers and Carrion’ provides a brief electro drum-n-bass glimpse, which is unexpected and delightful. Highly recommended listen.
Alternative post-hardcore band Night Verses has been somewhat of a péché mignon for me. Their compositions, although very presentable to the masses, harbour underlying quirks and peculiarities that make them utterly fascinating and enjoyable on multiple degrees. Their latest album, Into the Vanishing Light, only builds on top of that. Their compositions are varied and emotive, and the drums and guitars are two highlights of the album, besides the vocal department. The album came out in July, unbeknownst to me, but I wholeheartedly recommend you try it out!
Boreworm‘s EP, Entomophobia, hits on November 19. As for now, you can stream ‘Vile Husk’ on Metal Injection, or listen to the pre-production guitar play-through above. Their 22-minute, four-track record doesn’t do much for me, except scratch that brutal death metal itch that was already a bleeding open wound. It’s really not bad: the riffs are crushing and tempesting, the vocals are low and massive, the drummer is relentless, but these are all things we’ve grown accustomed to, which makes the album’s impact pretty much harmless. Give it a shot, maybe my cynicism is only mine and you will be charmed by this one!
Surprisingly, I’m new to Ion Dissonance. For a mathcore band coming straight out of my own backyard and playing for more than a decade… I guess I must’ve been sleeping very soundly. Cast the First Stone is their first album in six years, but I won’t make any comparison to their previous works, since I don’t know them. You can stream ‘Suffering: The Art of Letting Go’ on Metalsucks and do that yourself. It’s a dissonant (oh, I get it!) and technical form of mathcore with a heavy emphasis on minor second and rhythmic change. Today, this is nothing new, but few bands use these on the same level as they do. There’s also some sort of groove metal infrastructure, approaching their sound to djent, in a way. Overall, Cast the First Stone is a great and impressive album.
Maschine‘s sophomore progressive rock album, Naturalis, drops on November 18 through InsideOut Music. Even though it’s an unfamiliar name to me, I can say that they don’t sound too much unlike other modern prog acts with a bigger than usual (or practical) rearview mirror. The balancing act of male and female vocals is greatly appreciated, however, but most of the music on Naturalis is highly derivative of old and more modern prog acts: Spock’s Beard, mainstream Yes, Genesis… And that’s a gripe I have with a big chunk of the actual prog rock scene. Nevertheless, it’s not a disappointing album, and I really think prog lovers will fall under its undeniable charm.
And let’s end this with some experimental rock from Rivener. Their EP, Svengali Gaze, will be released on October 28, and showcases some really interesting improvised free rock with touches of psychedelia and jazz in it. The jams are mostly quite long and takes some time to get off the ground, but once they do, it’s actually less interesting than their wind-up part. It has its good parts, but also a lot of less tasty ones, leaving you with uncertain afterthoughts.