• Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen (2013)


    Being huge fans of Ihsahn, we finally made the pilgrimage this year to watch him play live at the Afterburner in the legendary Roadburn Festival. Having surrounded himself with the extremely talented musicians of Leprous as his ‘backing band’, he delivered quite an impressive performance by nailing almost all the songs with brilliant technical perfection. Anyways, on his latest release, “Das Seelenbrechen”, he pushes the envelope even further with a lot of experimentation and a few of his signature elements. If you are expecting another “After” or “Eremita”, you might find yourself scratching your head a bit with this one.

    Enlisting Leprous drummer-extraordinaire Tobias Ørnes Andersen for this release, Ihsahn as always handled everything else. Things seem to open in a very traditional way with the beginning of “Hilber”, a seemingly straightforward track that starts getting crazy as the odd keyboards come up. While this track is quite engaging, the weirdness is still manageable for all fans of Ihsahn. “Regen” takes a turn for the dramatic with clean vocals and a very dark vibe. The ballad-esque opening nicely builds up to some very epic moments as the song progresses. This track is one of our favorite ones thanks to the brilliant mood progression and dramatic climax.

  • Germ – Grief (2013)


    The multi-talented Tim Yatras returns with another crazy release from his latest project: Germ. In “Grief” we get 69 more minutes of the deranged world that Germ creates with their truly unique and very extreme musical style. Arriving just in time for Halloween (in North America), this is one hell of a release that if you liked the band’s previous albums, it will push you to further limits thanks to a bigger assortment of diverse influences.

    After a space-ish intro, the album really starts with the very catchy and unsettling “Butterfly”. Featuring Audrey Sylvain (Peste Noire) on this track, we definitely got an instant Amesoeurs vibe from the track until Tim laid his chaotic screams. Besides the catchy song structure, the piano section is quite cool and unique sounding in this track. In true Germ fashion, “The Stain of Past Regrets” immediately blows in your face with powerful screams. The catchy mixture of electronic elements is a staple of the band and it elevates this track to further levels of awesomeness when paired with the clean vocals.

  • Pryapisme – Hyperblast Super Collider (2013)


    Being ample connoisseurs of weird (and totally awesome) music, we are rarely surprised when it comes to the releases we get at Infernal Masquerade. However, today we are totally caught off-guard by Pryapisme and their grandiose “Hyperblast Super Collider”. Mixing 8-bit ‘nintendo’ music with an experimental blend of distorted guitars, jazzy interludes and extreme madness, the band manages to deliver one of the most unique albums of 2013.

    Immediately establishing their 8-bit worship with the totally odd cover art of a pixelated cat, the band starts very strong with the intense “Un druide est giboyeux losqu’ll se prend pour un neutrino”. Their combination of intricate drumming with crazy electronic effects works wonderfully to create an atmosphere of madness. With a Jazzy edge, “Boudin blanc et blanc boudin” keeps things very interesting with a chaotic pace.

  • Riitaoja – Mantereelle (2013)


    Keeping things very weird and confusing, today we have Finland’s Riitaoja and their mystical release “Mantereelle”. With each song being weirder than the previous one, this band mixes elements from Folk, Southern Rock, and Jazz creating a very dark and experimental mix that is quite puzzling, but at the end of the day it is quite enjoyable and unique. An extra layer of mystery is added by the Finish lyrics, making the music even more confusing since it sounds familiar but we have to clue what they are trying to say.

    “Vähän matkaa vielä” opens this release with a very solemn vibe thanks to the subtle bass guitar and desolate female vocals. This track reminded us a bit of earlier Hexvessel but with a darker and slower pace. The experimental Tenhi-esque “Ilmiliekki”, leads to the quite interesting “Hengitän”, a song that has a Southern Rock vibe to it. As the album progresses until “Allergiset oireet” the band starts making their Southern Rock/Americana influences more evident by introducing traditional rhythms and elements like the harmonica.

  • Thaw – Thaw (2013)


    Arriving today from Avantgarde Music we have Thaw and their self-titled debut full-length release. Jumping on the current wave of Experimental Black Metal, this Polish band does a pretty good job in delivering seven tracks of weird-but-brutal Black Metal. Combining trippy atmospheric passages with some Noise/Drone elements, the band greatly complements their relentless Black Metal with some nice flair.

    After the Noise/Drone intro “The Gate”, this release starts picking up with the crushing “Ancestors”. We particularly love the mixture of relentless BM with the creepy clean vocals. The band’s BM foundations are quite strong and deliver waves of powerful riffs and brutal drumming. The same could be said about “Divine Light”, another fine example of the band’s sheer power combined with some cool atmospheric passages.

  • The Ocean – Pelagial (2013)


    Robin Staps and company return with another impressive and monumental 53-minute concept album that is intended to be played as one whole piece. In “Pelagial”, the bands ambitions are high than ever with an album that nicely builds up in momentum, just as the layers of the ocean are entered in a voyage to the sea floor. The Ocean are famous for their highly complex and multi-layered releases and this one is not an exception, keeping things very intricate and beautifully arranged for all fans to be blown away since the opening song.

    “Pelagial” was also originally intended to be mainly an instrumental release, and it is provided as both in the regular version of the album, so we will go back and forth in how the tracks feel different and transmit different feelings both with lyrics and without them. Opening with the very relaxed and dreamy “Epipelagic”, one even feels a certain sense of relief with this lush and simple track. Things start getting a bit more ‘heavier’ as the voyage continues going deeper and with “Mesopelagic – The Uncanny” we get the first taste of heavy guitars and the combination of clean and harsh vocals. We do think this track works a lot better on the instrumental version since it sounds cleaner and sets the mood a bit better.

  • E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr – Kometenbahn (2013)


    Always having surprises for us, Svart Records presents the very unique and highly experimental release “Kometenbahn”, by Finish outfit E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr. Mixing all kinds of genres but mainly: Electronic, Ambient, Krautrock and Progressive elements from the 70’s, this is one very weird and totally different release to what we are used to… and we kind of dig it.

    Opening with an electronic intro “Prolog im Himmel”, the band slowly builds up with the futuristic and hypnotic “Nachtgeist”, a song that we picture to be playing in all the elevators of Sci-Fi movies like “Minority Report” and such. “Durch Den Komischen Dunst” is an 11 minute epic that is very rich in diverse elements and it is greatly put together to craft a very ethereal experience. We have to say that this is one of our favorite tracks of this release thanks to its very soothing and engaging pace.

  • Russkaja – Energia! (2013)


    In the same vein of truly unique and completely bizarre bands like Diablo Swing Orchestra and the Leningrad Cowboys, today we have Austria’s Russkaja and their latest release “Energia!”. Featuring 12 tracks of ‘Russian Turbo Polka’ music as the band describes it, any fan of truly experimental and very unique music will be creaming their pants with this bizarre musical output. Combining Polka, Metal, Ska, Rock, Jazz, and Funk, this release is anything but standard and predictable.

    Open the release wide open we have the catchy “Energia!” a track so engaging that we are sure some people will immediately start dancing. The band’s sound resembles some of the Ska we have listened to in the past, but with a higher intensity and heavier guitars. “Barada” sounds like old Russian Rock songs that we had the misfortune of listening to on the net, but the band adds the wind instruments to keep it interesting and very catchy.

  • Spektr – Cypher (2013)


    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.

  • Dacast – Dédale (2012)


    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.


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