Delivering the first real stinker of the year, today we have Spektr and their latest release “Cypher”. In this nine track waste of time, the band attempts to be very experimental and avant-garde with some shitty Black Metal lined up with Drone and Industrial elements and a production that will make you want to pierce your ear drums, making effectively the most extreme POS we have heard in quite a while.
The album opens with a boring Drone-like piece titled “Hermetism”, then they deliver the first ‘BM’ dose of the night with the totally horrible sounding “Teratology”. In this track and the next (“The Singularity”), we get to ‘enjoy’ craptastic BM riffing with even more horrible drumming all distorted by some weird studio magic effects that make it sound more kvlt and evil according to the band. While some people might enjoy getting their ears raped by some horrible sounds, we are not too keen to make our pets convulse by listening to this.
Delivering a punishing aural assault of 35 minutes, today we have Dacast and their sophomore release “Dédale”. This French experimental band combines almost everything you can imagine in a ‘heavy as fuck’ package that is truly genius and totally deranged at the same time. With parts of Deathcore to brilliant Math Metal and Progressive sections, this monolithic release has something for everybody.
With a very bizarre retro cover that pretty much describes how the music sounds, this release is totally unique and quite disturbing. The band’s in your face style is quite brutal, but what makes us even more uneasy is how amazing the band is a going from a proggy section to a balls-to-the-wall Deathcore passage and back into some Jazzy stuff. This release is split into two sides, each one as crazy and chaotic as the other, but with an underlying technical brilliance that is unrivaled.
With a very aggressive dosage of Instrumental Metal, today we have France’s Abysee and their debut full-length “EN(D)GRAVE”. Claiming to avoid the ‘romantic interludes’, this band does a fine job in crafting engaging instrumental music with very aggressive riffing and a high-level of intensity. The band can easily be compared with compatriots Aluk Todolo, but with their own signature style of crafting epic songs.
Opening with “Eagle Haast”, the band immediately comes out punching with their intricate powerful riffs and heavy sense for melody. This is one of those songs that you keep waiting for the singer to come out and ruin it, but it is awesome that the band decided to just go instrumental with such an elaborate song (and release). “Ten Thousand Changes” and “Mastodon” keep the momentum going with more powerful guitars and very well-crafted drumming. “Mastodon” has a nice Southern Rock/Sludgy vibe to it that fans of these genres will surely appreciate.
Delivering one of those releases that makes you wonder why did you actually wasted time listening to it, today we have Opium Warlords and unbelievably their second release “We Meditate Under The Pussy In The Sky”. In this total shit-factory, we have Sami Albert Hynninen of Reverend Bizzare fame, taking a totally dump on music and concocting one of the worst releases ever since Botanist’s “I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose From The Dead”.
After the super dull ‘minimalist’ intro “Sxi-Meru” we have the totally aimless “Slippy”. We know this ‘style’ of music is supposed to be this way, but it is just a random collection of thoughts and a few very nasty riffs put together. Sounding like a low quality rehearsal of something having a seizure while holding a pick to a guitar, “Lament For The Builders Of Khara Khoto” keeps the nonsense going.
After their impressive EP “White Bed Sheet”, we were thrilled to know that Closed Room signed with Sun & Moon Records to release their self-titled debut album. As many of the band’s in this label, Closed Room is a very unique ensemble that mixes Trip-Hop with Post-Metal and some Shoegaze elements brilliantly and in their previous work has delivered very interesting and engaging tracks drawing comparisons to Amesoeurs and such bands.
Setting the mood with the Post-Metal influenced “Behind the Locked Door”, the band nicely established very high expectations for a very unique sounding release. This track reminds us a bit of the experimental side of bands like Sigh and Ephel Duath. Things turn dark with the Blackgaze riffing of “Tempted to Illuminated”, then the ethereal vocals of Morena kick in and the whole atmosphere suddenly feels a bit different. This track is very well crafted and the contrast between the music and the vocals is just outstanding and works very well.
After Germ’s impressive debut “Wish”, released earlier in March 2012 by Eisenwald as well, we are totally blown away at how much a band’s sound can mature and such a short time and with “Loss”, this one-man project delivers 36-minutes of lush and deranged Black Metal with countless influences and a huge atmospheric component. Lead by the Aussie Tim Yatras, better known for his work in Austere, Grey Waters and Woods of Desolation, this new project brings forth an amazing musical proposal that countless bands have danced around, but never quite got it this perfect.
Moving a bit away from the psycho-sexual electronics of “Wish”, “Loss” takes things to a whole new dimension and produces some of the best atmospheric passages we have ever heard, with some brilliantly introduced electronic splashes. Opening with the heartfelt “My Only Hope”, we get very solemn vocals and excellent mixture of piano with atmospheric elements that nicely culminates very dramatically, lush, and brutal.
Falling into the dreaded ‘what the fuck is this’ category, today we have Poland’s Echoes of Yul and their sophomore release “Cold Ground”. In this release we have a duo creating ‘very disturbing’ and dissonant music, but not in the right direction since this release point-blank: SUCKS. While there are tons of people wishing to get distribution of their music, it baffles us when bands like this one have a reputable label such as Avantgarde Music.
Starting with the dull atmospheric “Octagon”, this release has pretty much nothing really happening until you hit “Libra”, the ninth track out of thirteen. The band delivers short ramblings of incoherent sounds and some very sparse riffs with OK drumming (considering …. well, any other band). Making noise and stringing a few riffs together and having a creepy atmosphere does not really constitute making music in our book, but seems like this band has managed to make this even more annoying, kind of like having a monkey punching your balls every 10 seconds.
Running the birthday of one of our staff members, the Psychedelic Doom duo of Taurus has chosen July 5th to release their very weird and not quite cohesive debut release. “Life” presents us with two tracks that spawn 35 minutes into a downward spiral trip into total chaotic weirdness. Just picture two people getting high out of their mind and banging at some instruments trying to play Doom Metal, once you have that idea in your head, make it a bit worse and you have “Life”.
We are huge fans of experimental music and there are quite a few bands that are pushing the boundaries of Doom Metal (one of our favorite styles of Metal), but Taurus seems to set that back like 10 years with their childish and amateurish release. We are quite frankly shocked that they managed to tour with Agalloch, maybe they have some super awesome live show, because musically we can’t really hear why.
The always riveting A Forest of Stars returns with yet another brilliant album that defies the limits of conventional music and mixes a very diverse spectrum of sounds and genres. In “A Shadowplay for Yesterdays”, the band features ten excellent tracks that will surely expand your horizons with a truly rich musical experience unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.
Described as a concept album, this new release features the typical mixture of genres by the band, but it also sounds very cohesive and dark. The atmospheric elements are one of the biggest staples of the band and they delivers excellent sections that set the mood just right, like on the opener “Directionless Resurrectionist”. The spoken passages give that deranged vibe that we love about the band’s music. Not breaking character, the tempo of “Prey Tell of the Church Fate” is quite slow and nicely builds up to the faster Black Metal-ish sections. The drums are very good, but the atmospheric elements are the ones that shine the most.
If Moonsorrow, Primordial, and Ulver had a genetically engineered (and somewhat defective) son, it would most likely sound like Memoria from Australia. In their latest release “Death Calls The Islands”, the band delivers a few well-crafted tracks that will surely grab your attention, and a few others that will make you scratch your head. The band’s interesting combination of influences also does them in, since the songs get a bit repetitive and dull after a while, something that in our opinion also happens to Moonsorrow.
In the opener “The Dogs Smell Blood”, the band immediately lifts a wall of distorted guitars that reminds us of a mixture of Moonsorrow and Primordial, but it does get a bit dull after the sixth track. The production also allows this element to overshadow the vocals in particular, frustrating us after a while. The clean vocal are and excellent hybrid between Garm and Vortex, but they are not exploited correctly. The Emperor-esque “Claw At The Pine” keeps things interesting, but it also sounds a little too much like Emperor from their Anthems-era.