Weserbergland – Sacrae symphōniae, numerō 1
Sacrae symphōniae, numerō 1 is a one-track, forty-minute, progressive, atmospheric, psychedelic, , symphonic krautrock piece. Yeah, I bet I tickled your curiosity right there eh! This is the third album from Norwegian band Weserbergland, and it’s just as advertised. When you click play, you’re submerged in an aura that’ll only end two-thirds of an hour later. During that time, you’ll come across the mesmerizing repeated riffs of krautrock, only spiced up with a lot of keyboard ambiance, woodwinds, and piano. The whole thing sounds uncanny, like it shouldn’t exist, yet it does. And it’s quite a ride! One of the highlights of the album is definitely the drums, which are more akin to Hella than to, say, regular bands.
Yawn – Materialism
We stay in the same city, but here we’re in a totally other genre. I’m not sure what Yawn is, they’re like a djenty progressive metal band (the Meshuggah kind), but they’re definitely more than this. They love to experiment with electronics and post-production manipulations, they’ve got a good hold on atmosphere, and they’ve even got some of the more virtuosic kind of the genre in some places. On top of that, they’re definitely fond of multiple-track concept songs, kind of like how Meshuggah and Tesseract used to do it. In fact, on Materialism, there are only four compositions, spread out over sixteen tracks. Enjoy!
Ветви (Vetvi) – Глубина (Glubina)
Russia-based Ветви (Vetvi) released an astounding post-black metal album earlier this year. Глубина (Glubina) is a sprawling forty-minute album going from blackgaze to post-black and back to atmospheric black metal. This may look like going from black to blackish to dark gray, but the subtleties is what drives this album home for me. This is a one-man operation, and it’s bringing us some of the best post-black metal albums of the year.
Izthmi – Leaving This World, Leaving It All Behind
We stay in the same genre: atmospheric black metal, but we add one crucial element: progressive. Leaving This World, Leaving It All Behind is Izthmi’s sophomore album, a follow-up to 2020’s The Arrows of Our Ways, and it’s a worthy successor. Each song is a voyage, and each lyric is poignant and pertinent, which really add a lot to the experience, when you stop ten seconds to think about it. Music is all well and good even without an associated message or agenda, but it resonates so much more—positively or negatively—when such a message is an integral part of the musical experience. Neuter Izthmi’s political views, or turn them 180°, and I probably wouldn’t be writing about them right now.