Thoughts from a Stone is a praise-worthy successor to the band’s debut album, and expands many ideas that were expressed there further. For example, what I like to call the “chromatic neighbourhood” – many consecutive chromatic notes – in chords and scales. Its traditional use is to bridge the perfect fourth and fifth with a tritone, especially in blues, but it can sound very unsettling when using it around the tonal centre and with more than three neighbouring notes.
Ariadne – Stabat Mater
On Stabat Mater, however, Christine and Benjamin take things to a whole new level. Here, songs are shorter, but there are a lot more of them: twenty, in total – but it could be argued that there is only one, a fifty-minute giant split into various movements, but meant to be listened in whole. The record is inspired by tales of visions of the Virgin Mary, and the audio effects are quasi-hallucinogenic indeed!
Brandon Seabrook – Needle Driver
The hard-to-describe EP seamlessly bridges contemporary classical music, experimental jazz, and mathcore into a nasty instrumental tapestry. The trio even includes some microtonal intervals, spotted in the song “Venwhorerisin’”. The five compositions are too quickly gone, but they provide an endless amount of entertainment while they last: uncommon time signatures, odd harmonies, complex and exhausting melodies, as well as a knack for deranged structures that somehow hold themselves together.
Seims – 3
Short in length, but not in ambition: even if it’s thirty minutes long and just containing four songs, this album will leave you out of breath easily. From chaotic jazz bursts, post-rock crescendi, and – oddly enough – vocals that work out as another instrument rather than leaving the instrumentation aside, Seims has gone full house with 3, and it will attract those missing a new Battles album or who have already listened to the new The Physics House Band.
Xanthochroid – Of Erthe and Axen, Act II
Wobbler – From Silence to Somewhere
Valtozash – Wizard-Bird
Hybrid Nightmares – Almagest
Kamancello – Kamancello
Moebius – Hybris
Redshift Pilots – Moonlight Synthesis
Altarage – Endinghent
Spires of the Lunar Sphere – Siren (Take the Fair Face of Woman and Gently Suspending with Butterflies Flowers and Jewels Attending Thus Your Fairy Be Made of Most Wondrous Things)
Naeramarth – The Innumerable Stars
Special Providence – Will