Monthly Recommendations: March 2019

Asymmetric Universe – When Reality Disarticulates

The world is seemingly an inexhaustible well of mind-blowing metal fusion artists, the latest of which on my list are part of the Italian Asymmetric Universe band. The musicianship on display is on par or better than the best in the genre, with a Breweresque bassist, a Pliniish guitarist, and a Garstkan drummer, you’ve certainly got a recipe for success. Their EP is merely three songs long, with an additional introduction that brings the number of tracks to four, but these tracks are all highly potent and incredibly satisfying to listen to. These guys have a bright future ahead of them!

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E.A.R. – A æ u å æ ø i æ å, æ i å u å æ ø i æ å?

You really can’t forget an album with a name like this one. The E.A.R. trio consists of Adrián Perales on drums, Raül Bonell on Warr guitar, and led by composer and multi-instrumentalist Efrén López, who plays so many different instruments here that it is no use enumerating them. Know that he specializes in ancient instruments, like the hurdy-gurdy, and those from the Mediterranean and Middle East. There are also a host of guest musicians sprinkled throughout this huge, hour-and-a-half release. Even if it might appear onomatopoeic, A æ u å æ ø i æ å, æ i å u å æ ø i æ å? is a real sentence in Danish—which sounds like gibberish most of the time anyways—made of vowels only. Musically, the album is rather incredible: a mix of progressive metal with a strong influence of Balkan rhythms and oriental melodies… This definitely gives a cutting edge to the band’s sound. It’s marvellous!

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Ni – Pantophobie (Dur et doux)

It is without surprise that you read my words about Ni‘s upcoming release. One of my favourite bands has concocted their next musical onslaught, and it’s truly outstanding. While darker in tones than their latest—Les insurgés de Romilly—Pantophobie keeps the core of what makes Ni Ni: complex rhythmic ideas—from odd-time metres to multiple polyrhythms—a forward-thinking view of structure and melody, and a certain propensity for harsh sounds. Out on the first of March via Dur et doux, Pantophobie is sure to derail more than one train of thought. If you can’t wait for it, be sure to listen to their last album and their collaborative effort, Piniol.

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Ultra Zook – L’album (Dur et doux)

With their previous albums, Epuz, Epuzz, and Epuzzz, the French avant-garde madmen Ultra Zook showed great promise, even if some aspects of their music were in need of improvement. I’m glad to say that, with their debut full-length, L’album—or, eponymously, Ultra Zook—most or all the improvements I advocated for have been fulfilled. As a short descriptor, I’d say they are like a more psychedelic Ni, playing music for a kids’ show of the future. I highly recommend grabbing this incredibly good album if you have the chance. It’s coming out on March 22.

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Honourable Mentions

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Ancestral Recall (Ropeadope)

Colunia – Zéphyr (Collectif Spatule)

Deathcrush – Megazone (Apollon)

Elder Ones – From Untruth (Northern Spy)

Eli Wallace – Barriers (Eschatology)

Identikit – Mind’s Eye Meteorology

Kouma – Aibohphobia (Dur et doux)

Mopcut – Accelerated Frames of Reference (Trost)

Oli Steidle and the Killing Popes – Ego Pills (Shhpuma)

Paracelze – Ptérodactyle

Patchwork Jazz Orchestra – The Adventures of Mr. Pottercakes (Spark)

Rïga – Totem

Sándor Valy & Júlia Heéger – Sacred Songs (Ektro)

Serpents of Pakhangba – Serpents of Pakhangba (Vmbrella)

Splinter Reeds – Hypothetical Islands (New Focus)

Steph Richards – Take the Neon Lights (Birdwatcher)

Whiim Ensemble – Pre-Fall (Actuellecd)

White Pulse – The Fast and the Furious 9

On April 1 2019, this entry was posted.