Mini-Reviews XXXI

Behold the Arctopus surreptitiously released Cognitive Emancipation when everyone was looking at the United States’ election results unfurl. Even though they claim it’s not an EP, it technically is, at twenty minutes long, but I agree that the segregation of EPs and LPs is arbitrary and should be stopped. The band’s trademark drummer change now brings Jason Bauers, of Psyopus. The music on Cognitive Emancipation is somewhere between Skullgrid and Horrorscension, but is at the same time something new and unique. It sounds like Behold the Arctopus, and fans on the band will relish it, but it sounds like a step back from the very avant-garde and controversial Horrorscension, towards the more accessible sound of Skullgrid, but not quite.
Tiberious is an instrumental progressive metal band, and they just released their debut, EP. These genre labels should not leave you to expect something like CHON or Plini, but maybe something more akin to Masiro. It’s a decent first release that’s a bit rough around the edges, both on composition and production, but its eleven minutes are rather charming. It’s a band that I’m curious to hear evolve, get more comfortable and, perhaps, more defiant of traditional rules.
Svengali is the newest release from Australians Siberian Hell Sounds. Nothing says blackened hardcore quite like the low dissonant chords and drums interchanging between blast beats and hardcore beats. It’s eighteen minutes of anguish pressed onto disc.
Second to Sun‘s transition from experimental/technical djent to blackened post-metal, throughout the years, is now complete with Blackbound. The middle part of it was a bit harsh, Three Fairy Tales and The First Chapter sounded unsure about their destiny, but the trying times are now behind. The album is based on seven legends of Russian and Scandinavian folklore that are represented by an image for each. It’s a really good album, especially if you read the booklet at the same time.
Kettlespider finished their eight-month ‘Building a Spider’ project, which gave us an eight-song, thirty-seven-minute instrumental progressive rock album straight from Australia. The djent-inspired prog rock is somewhat characteristic of the band, and is a promising new avenue for the genre. You can grab the eight songs individually on bandcamp; I don’t know if the band plans to release them in a single album format.
I’ve never been into the band Magma. Therefore, I never really looked into their own brand of music, zeuhl. Stumbling upon Corima‘s new album, 天照 (Amaterasu), revealed to me I was wrong. It’s still unclear to me what differentiates zeuhl from avant-garde jazz/rock fusion, but, however you may call it, the two-song, nine-track, fifty-minute third album of Corima is absolutely astonishing and beautiful. The interplay of complex and rapid time signature changes and frequent and often unforeseeable modulations in long song structures (or lack thereof) is just mind-boggling, mesmerizing, and hypnotizing. 天照 is mostly instrumental, while their previous album, Quetzalcoatl, was lush with unstoppable chanting and singing. This leaves more room to the music proper, and takes down one layer of complexity so that it might be appreciated by a greater number, but both styles are utterly fascinating. One hundred percent recommended.

Yes, it’s new Animals as Leaders time. The Madness of Many feels a lot less inspired, and thus inspiring, than its predecessor, The Joy of Motion. Sure, the riffs are tasty and impressive, the drumbeats are groovy and technical, but the general directions of the songs seem mindless. I was quite hopeful, after the release of ‘The Brain Dance’, because I naively thought that classical guitar would be an essential instrument of the new album, but it was alas only for one song. It just sounds like a pale copy of themselves…
Fuir la lumière is Sordide‘s sophomore album, which came out on October fifth on Avantgarde Music. The post-black metal/blackened hardcore band does pretty good songs. They’re nothing to confuse or grasp your interest, but they’re decent enough to provide good entertainment for at least fifty minutes.

On November 10 2016, this entry was posted.