Mint Green – All Women Go to Heaven
It’s summertime, honey. There have been instances in my life when I didn’t like the summer heat. This year, somehow, something is different. Lately, it has felt like the status of the world is dull and frustrating. But, you know what? I am grateful to have the privilege of being able to enjoy the sun when I choose. I am grateful for All Women Go to Heaven, because it feels like summertime to me. Mint Green’s catchy, pop-oriented, enthusiastic alt-rock sound just works for me. It invokes a certain emotion in me that I love to feel; a daydreaming positivity, a fair sensibility, a vague nostalgia, a developed acceptance of the present. I need to feel those emotions. I need to feel vulnerable and tender at times. This album puts me in a mental space where I feel that I can be vulnerable and tender. It makes me want to get a tan for the first time in a long time. It makes me want to tell someone that I love them.
Artificial Brain – Artificial Brain
There’s a Facebook group, created by Simon Hawemann, called “Dissonant Network” (who runs the Total Dissonance Worship label, mind you, which boasts an incredible roster). I love this group because I never see bad music posted there. A couple months ago I saw a post there. I forget now who actually posted it, but the post said, “You guys check out that new Arti B?” No link, no further context provided. It was hours before I realized that he was talking about Artificial Brain, and now I can’t get it out of my fucking head. If that guy happens to read this, I love you, dude. Anyway…
After 10 years in the game, Artificial Brain has released a self-titled LP. Artificial Brain might somehow be the most beautiful disso-death metal album I’ve ever heard. Seriously. It is a gorgeous, somber record. It’s not trying to scare you. It doesn’t have horror movie soundscapes. It doesn’t even register as “angry” music to me. This album is so masterfully composed, and so well paced that I think it deserves to be listened to with undivided attention, perhaps with eyes closed, thinking of nothing but the music. I have no complaints with this record.
Knoll – Metempiric
If you haven’t listened to Knoll, you are behind. If you ever have the opportunity to see them perform live, you have to do it. Follow them on socials. Buy the merch. I cannot stress this enough. They are one of the hardest working bands I have ever seen. They’re completely humble, too, and really, they don’t even have to be, considering Metempiric is absolutely venomous, blood-spitting, and incandescent. It’s hot. It’s glowing. This album is on fucking fire from the moment it begins. Seething, shrieking vocals, riffs that stare at you with disappointed eyes from across the room. Drums and bass that carry your pummeled body to water. It sounds how blackened grind should sound: incessant, unforgiving, fuming. This is an instance where I don’t think that the music truly necessitates a flowery review. Do you like angry music? Ok, listen to 10 seconds of Metempiric. Yeah, I told you, it’s perfect. Don’t be foolish–listen to this as soon as possible.
Petrol Girls – Baby
Very solid punk / post-hardcore with a good message. Baby is a harmonious balance of catchy hooks, memorable choruses, and wonky noise rock riffs. The music is just ugly enough, while still maintaining a sort of anthemic, “classic” quality that will please even jaded listeners. It is unfortunate how emotionally resonant some of these songs are, and it is a bleak reality that these songs must be written in the first place, but they lift the spirits of the hurting, and for that, I am grateful to these musicians.
Bekor Qilish – Throes of Death from the Dreamed Nihilism
Bananas. Bizarre. Progressive, technical, experimental, riff-dense death metal with a glorious mixed bag of features including Colin Marston (Krallice, Gorguts), Eugene Ryabchenko (Fleshgod Apocalypse), and Romain Goulon (Necrophagist). Something pleasing about this album is that, though the compositions are meticulous and nontraditional, the songs are immediately gratifying. You will never find yourself waiting for “the cool part.” I appreciate an album that is satisfying upon first listen, and only gets sweeter with time. This is an example of that. Each track feels like a puzzle of time signatures and meter; intricate snares laid out to trap an attentive listener. Put on your thinking cap and check it out.