Experimental

  • Vuur & Zijde - Boezem (2024)

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    Dramatically moving away from their original Atmospheric Black/Post-Black Metal sound, today we have enigmatic Dutch outfit Vuur & Zijde and their debut full-length “Boezem”. Featuring members from bands like Laster, Terzij de Horde, and Grey Aura, there is no surprise that the music presented in this release is captivating and truly unique, with seven tracks and nearly 46 minutes of hypnotic music. This release is for fans of bands like Beastmilk/Grave Pleasures with some Wave influences and featuring sultry female vocals.

    Opening with the mysterious “Onbemind”, the band sets a very unique Post-Punk vibe that quickly escalates into fierce guitar riffing and pummeling drumming. One would think that the harsh vocals would follow, but they never really do, instead we get the dreamy clean voice of Famke. This gives the band’s sound a very unique proposition, with heavier passages with more restrained drumming and a very organic and catchy vibe, perfect examples of this are songs like “Zusterzon”, “Omheind”, and “Us”.

  • Nel Buio - Nel Buio (2024)

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    Unleashing a pretty nifty and weird Black Metal adjacent release, today we have Nel Buio and their eponymous EP. Led by Claudio De Rosa with members of Blasphemer and Electrocution, this outfit pushes the boundaries of the genre with their futuristic five tracks and 22-minutes long release. If you like electronic/darkwave elements in your music, you are in luck as this release perfectly blends them with a very aggressive BM core.

  • Ulcerate - Cutting the Throat of God (2024)

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    Abundantly delivering on one of the most awaited releases of 2024, Ulcerate returns with another incisive release titled “Cutting the Throat of God”. Featuring seven tracks and nearly one hour of punishing music, filled with raw brutality alongside crafty instrumentation and hypnotic melancholy. Slowly getting better and better over time, we thought it would be hard for the band to surpass “Stare into Death and Be Still”, but they managed to completely leapfrog it and set a whole new standard.

    Opening with the crushing “To Flow Through Ashen Hearts”, the band over the years has moved away from a more traditional Technical/Brutal Death Metal into more expansive and experimental Avant-garde territories and this track is one perfect example of that. The mysterious mood is perfectly flanked by textured guitars, pummeling drums, and harrowing harsh vocals, however, it's the crafty tempo changes and sinister melodies that make it interesting.

  • Botanist - Paleobotany (2024)

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    We always had a love and hate relationship with Botanist and their music since their earlier more ‘experimental’ release. While totally flamed them on their first albums, we have grown to actually like them as their later stuff has been more structured and genre-bending. In “Paleobotany”, the band unleashes ten tracks and nearly forty five minutes of quite interesting and complex music, ranging from Post-Metal/Rock elements to Progressive Metal/Rock passages, to darker and more experimental efforts.

    The release opens with the dreamy “Aristolochia”, a piece that has a certain Katatonia-esque sound, with proggy and Post Rock-ish elements, something we didn’t quite expect from the band, but we totally dig it. The dramatic clean vocal arrangements make tracks like “When Forest Turned to Coal” and its Black Metal riffs, “Magnolia” and its moody madness, have a very lively and engaging nature, as well as an interesting interplay with the growls and the melodic nature of the dulcimer.

  • Brume - Marten (2024)

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    Featuring a very sultry and jazzy sound, today we have Bay Area outfit Brume and their latest full-length release “Marten”. Featuring eight tracks and nearly 50 minutes of music, this release has a very hypnotic and enigmatic pace, nicely mixing Doom/Occult Rock with more experimental influences. If you are looking for something unique with a chill vibe, but with some heaviness to it, this is a very interesting release to check out.

    The release opens with the magical “Jimmy”, a six-minute piece filled with moody tempo changes and hypnotic doomy riffs. Susie McMullan’s vocals are quite sultry and perfectly fit the loungey nature of the music, with tracks like “New Sadder You” and its magical cellos, “Faux Savior” and its melancholy, or the dreaminess of “Otto's Song”, showcasing the bands versatility and uniqueness of their style.

  • Anatomy of Habit - Black Openings (2023)

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    Immediately doing a double take to figure out if Garm from Ulver was singing on this one, Anatomy of Habit unleashes their latest release “Black Openings”. Creating a very unique and intricate atmosphere, this release delivers over 38 minutes of an experimental amalgamation of Doom, Post-Punk, Drone, and a few other genres. If you like hypnotic music with singular vocals and crafty instrumentation, you can’t miss out on this one.

    Opening with the engaging “Black Openings”, the band quickly sets a very mellow mood that slowly progresses as it hooks the listener with its mystery. As Mark Solotroff vocals come on, the listener will immediately think of Ulver as he sounds just like Garm. However, this is not the only stand-out element from the music as it brilliantly layers tons of elements like a vibraphone, lap steel, and analog synths to create a nice and warm loungey vibe.

  • The Lovecraft Sextet - Black†White (2023)

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    Creating a truly unique and somewhat demented release, today we have the enigmatic The Lovecraft Sextet and their latest EP “Black†White”. Featuring two tracks of pure jazzy madness, this EP delivers a digestible entry into the highly mysterious and chaotic world of Jason Köhnen. Filled with atmospheric weirdness, this release is certainly not for the close minded, as it embarks the listener on an aural journey.

  • Project 34 - Project 34 (2022)

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    Unleashing a whole musical experience on its own, Project 34 is set to release their eponymous third release in December of 2022. Led by Chris & Renee Lahoud from Australia, this project combines over 30 musicians from over 13 countries, creating one of the most distributed collaborations we have heard in the dark corners of Metal music. Clocking in at 64 minutes, this album is composed of three different chapters divided in 19 songs that cover many genres of Metal and non-Metal styles.

    Instead of reviewing track by track, we will focus more on each of the three chapters, the first one is comprised of tracks 1 to 5 and it kicks off with Middle-Eastern instrumentation and it quickly leads into heavy distorted guitars and a certain Ihshan-esque proggy vibe as the saxophone comes into play. The guitar leads are quite intoxicating and perfectly blended between moments of aggression and great melody, particularly in the third song of this chapter which sounds a bit like if Opeth would play both their old stuff with some of their groovier newer elements.

  • Maulén - El Miedo de Amar (Part 1) (2022)

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    Hailing from Sweden, Maulén is a music collective with a very unique and engaging sound. We like weird and atmospheric stuff and this EP perfectly fits into both categories. With three tracks and nearly 20 minutes of music, Carlos Ibarra (Age of Woe) and company take listeners through desolate soundscapes that are both exotic and quite melancholic. Not for the close minded, this release has a certain magic that will find you listening to it over and over without even noticing.

    Opening with the dreamy “Rostro” and its droney core, nicely adorned by minimalistic guitars and haunting vocal arrangements. This track immediately drew our attention and hooked us on this musical journey. On “Sirjatan” we have Lea Alazam unleashing her hypnotic vocals, reminding us a bit of bands like Wolvennest and Jex Thoth, this track nicely sets a very somber tone that slowly gains momentum until reaching its climax.

  • Kathaaria - To Be Shunned by All​.​.​.​ As Centres of Pestilence (2022)

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    Finally catching up with some of the September releases we flagged to review but didn’t get to, today we have Kathaaria’s sophomore release, after 14 years, title “To Be Shunned by All​.​.​.​ As Centres of Pestilence”. Playing a weird and decadent interpretation of Black Metal, this duo crafts six very interesting songs that have influences from the Scandinavian Avant-garde Black Metal scene.

    Opening with the piercing “Agenda Nihil”, the band immediately makes their pitch of uncompromising madness with the intricate riffing and drummer of this sinister song. Things are just getting warmed up as “The Last Act of Rebellion” keeps the madness going with some playful tempo changes and very crafty arrangements, delivering a tricky and yet very enjoyable song that goes beyond your typical BM piece.

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