Best of Avant-Garde Black Metal 2021

Avant-garde black metal is when expectations are defied, challenged. The listener is a gladiator fighting an arena full of wolves, bears, and lions. So, let’s see which albums managed to kill me this year.


Number Five: Issolei – Devouring Current



Devouring Current was released in two parts, but I’ll take it whole. The album is filled with intricate, banger riffs that are only at home on the fringes. While the album is more in line with the norms of the genre than the others on this list, it does such a good job of it that I could not let … Read more

EXCLUSIVE STREAM: The Mercury Tree and Cryptic Ruse – Cryptic Tree

The Music

The Words

It’s here! It’s finally here! Listen to the Cryptic Tree EP in full right now, 24 hours before its official release! Let’s bask in the glory of heptadecaphonic music, and the occasional polyharmonic passage with icositritonic tuning, crafted in collaboration by Portland, Oregon’s The Mercury Tree and Seattle, Washington’s Igliashon Jones of Cryptic Ruse.

I shan’t say more! Let the music speak for itself. This record is mind-blowing, so check it out!


The Links

Bandcamp – The Mercury Tree
Facebook – The Mercury Tree

Bandcamp – Cryptic Ruse
Facebook – Cryptic Ruse

The Recs

Cryptic Read more

EXCLUSIVE SONG PREMIERE:
The Mercury Tree & Cryptic Ruse –
“The Cold Flame Burns”

The Music

The Words

Ever since their inception, The Mercury Tree has moved from an alternative metal band towards more and more obscure progressive rock and genre fusion. This progression has reached a new apex, thanks to the collaboration with xenharmonic prog solo band Cryptic Ruse on their upcoming EP, Cryptic Tree. For a few albums already, The Mercury Tree has experimented with multiple different tonal systems at once on their few latest albums, but this EP aims at pushing that experimentation to its limit.

By joining forces with a … Read more

EXCLUSIVE SONG PREMIERE: uSSSy – “Western” and Review of Voyage

The Music

The Words

Moscow’s uSSSy is a long-time favourite of yours truly. Here’s a cringy post from 2013 as proof. Since their last album, Unsharp Mask, released now about five years ago, we weren’t certain that the ball was still rolling or if the group had decided to quit. A recent release of the band’s unreleased demos was an ominous sight, almost like the last nail in the coffin for uSSSy. I couldn’t have been more wrong, however, as they soon after announced the release of their newest work: Voyage.

Voyage takes off where Unsharp Mask left, … Read more

Ouzo Bazooka – Songs from 1001 Nights

The Music

The Thoughts

This sound is not brand new, not anymore. Last year, Aussie psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard treated us with the first of five albums in a year: Flying Microtonal Banana. The album used quarter-tone instruments in the band’s own blend of surf, psych, and prog rock. Although the effort was a bit hit and miss, it was interesting and showed great potential for this sort of “desert surf” rock sound.

Enter Ouzo Bazooka, and their latest album, Songs from 1001 Nights. While not their first release, it seems to … Read more