Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire (Pelagic)
The Annex of Ire is Vancouver-based progressive death metalcore unit Neck of the Woods‘s upcoming release. The album is a dark new chapter of their career, and it’s a captivating one. On this album, the band merges multiple influences and many genres into a cohesive approach unique to them. At times it’s straight out of a melodeath text book, and others it’s metalcore or progressive death that shines instead. It’s a very rewarding album to listen to from end to end.
Kilter – Axiom (Alter-Nativ)
Jazz and metal have been fused together more than once, and in many forms, but such a fusion is always something to highlight. With Axiom, the Kilter trio releases its debut album and, with it, their vision to the world. Their approach stems more from the slower, heavier brands of metal, such as sludge and post-metal, but add typically jazz stereotypes, including a full-time saxophonist, spicy chords, and some free-form play. It’s a really fun album!
Anomalia – Anomalia (Multikulti)
Anomalia is a septet from Poland playing their very own, dark, atmospheric fusion jazz. Each composition is quite fascinating in its own right, thanks to the chemistry between everyone involved and the sense of purpose of the composers and improvisers. Anomalia is a great collection of pensive pieces!
Çub – Ouais (Vox Project)
Electro-math rock has seldom been as successful a blend as when French band Çub is behind the wheel. After their debut, Musique actuelle, the Ça side-project is back with a new dub rock EP: Ouais. Once again, the experimental quartet embraces the odd metres of math rock and recontextualizes them into polyrhythmic EDM. It’s truly a fantastic thing to behold.
Phonon – Alloy (Zoar Music)
What a lineup this is: Weasel Walter on drums, Colin Marston on bass, and Elliott Sharp and Álvaro Domene on guitars! It could hardly be a better match! With the Phonon project, the four madlads play hectic, dissonant metal improvisations. Alloy is the result: nine tracks for over an hour of maddening material. It’s such a ridiculously good and terrifying album it’s hard to believe it even exists!
Bolt Gun – Begotten (Art as Catharsis)
“Ambient noise black doom” is the tag that best describes what you’re about to hear. Although, not all at once. Begotten is a carefully constructed piece that ranges indeed from ambient music all the way to blackened doom metal and harsh noise, but the arrangement and choice of sounds on this album are downright otherworldly. It may take ages for a song to truly kick in, if it even does so, but all the buildup gives way to such a cathartic explosion it’s difficult to put words on! It’s a soundtrack to grief, an altar to pain. A stellar follow-up to Man Is Wolf to Man, be ready for it!