Organ: – Everything Is Pared Down. Minimal Expectations

The Music

The Words

Everything Is Pared Down. Minimal Expectations is the Norwegian-Italian trio Organ:‘s third release, nine years after their 2009 self-titled EP. This album has taunted me for so long, sitting there as a pre-order on Duplicate Records’ Bandcamp page without any official release date… And then, without warning, it came out! Well, to be exact, the album became streamable in full, while the official release date was set to October 30. Let’s see what this beast is made of.

Save for the blast beats and clashing notes, everything reeks of retro prog: the guitar and bass’ … Read more

明日の叙景 – わたしと私だったもの

The Music

The Words

It never fails to warm my heart when I come across a nominally “black metal” band that is willing to shed all vestiges of trve kvltitude and incorporate taboo elements of hardcore, metalcore, screamo, world music, pop, or any other style that results in a synthesis of musical ideas that stretches the boundaries of black metal’s comfort zone. On their debut full-length わたしと私だったもの (Watashi to watashidatta mono) – or, by its English title, Awakening –, Japanese quartet 明日の叙景 – read “Asu no jokei” – mingles their blackened approach with the post-hardcore intensity of fellow countrymen Envy … Read more

Außerwelt – Transitions

Germany’s post-black metal outfit Außerwelt recently released their debut full-length album, Transitions. The album starts without hesitation and into the soaring riffs of “Isolate the Sun”. Their intention is clear: Transitions is about crafting an atmospheric aura not too far from the mellower post-rock scene, but with added tremolo riffs, and other crushing chords and pounding drums. As far as post-black metal goes, this is quite on the soft side, acting as a bridge or gateway from and to post-rock and black metal. This is a really well crafted album, as each song on it thoroughly explores a theme … Read more

Botanist – Collective: The Shape of He to Come

I was a proponent of Californian experimental black metal project Botanist, when their debut double album, I: The Suicide Tree/II: A Rose from the Dead was released, back in 2011. At the time, it was new and pretty much unheard of, at least not widely so. The following albums, however, felt like mere reiterations on the same themes and a simple reorganization of the same core sounds and ideas; no matter how long you shuffle your salad, it’s still going to be the same salad. That’s why I was [cautiously] optimistic for Botanist’s new project: there was no roman … Read more