Jinjer – Macro
Their sound is state of the art, the drums energize the songs up to full max, the breaks for the clean parts are well-placed and the vocals easily change seamlessly from growling to immaculate singing. The band is able to incorporate some surprises like the piano-part in “Retrospection” or the jigging off-beat beginning of “Judgement (and Punishment)” hopping along to Tatiana’s lyrics. But the latter also present the one flaw in the Jinjer-puzzle, they are a bit too genre-like; for example the lyrics to the opener “On the Top” with its first glorification of the individual strife for greatness and success and the turn to a criticism of the same. “Retrospection” definitely has the most intriguing lyrics as the beginning is sung in Russian and English with the English parts talking about the wish to return to the family safe haven – the Russian parts make the English screaming much more believable. Nonetheless, genre fans will surely be very pleased with the first band they know from Donetsk, Ukraine.
Karyn Crisis’ Gospel of the Witches - Covenant
“From the darkness comes the light” - a programmatic sentence for Karyn Crisis and her project with husband/Ephel Duath-mastermind Davide Tiso, gloomy sunrises dominate this record. The voice of former NYHC band Crisis has been working with the Italian metal guitarists for several years having released an album in 2015. Now, four years later, they return with a new LP and its 12 songs show a lot of different sides of the duo accompanied by Fabian Vestod (Skinlab) on drums.
The songs have a certain groove and grow on the listener but they mostly feed off of the energy spread by Karyn’s voice. It is audible that she has been singing for nearly 30 years with a longer break after the end of Crisis in 2004. Since then she has discovered her spirituality and even taught people in order to get in touch with that side of themselves and in some strange ways that can be heard. Very often she uses her strong voice to seduce us, to connect with our third eye.
Listening to Karyn is like watching a black and white movie of a medicine woman with some blue flames flickering before an old Chevy standing at the top of a long canyon with the black gorge looming in the deep. An image one cannot take the eyes off just like one doesn’t want Karyn to stop from lullabyeing.
Her husband doesn’t overplay his musical abilities he rather uses all his prowess to sustain his wife’s magical abilities. You will find a wide range of dynamics and guitar work on “Covenant” – from doomy riffs to minuscule guitar pickings painting red moons over Karyn’s old Chevy and the black canyon.
Törzs – Tukör (a second opinion)
There is something about this record that resonates inside as much as outside. The reverb on the record is probably as much a derelict of the band’s roots in shoegaze as to the idea behind it. The songs follow a motif of clarity that is also reflected in the change to a purely instrumental band with this release letting go of vocals for better. The Hungarian outfit is able to paint a wholesome picture of deserts around huge mountains without snow-capped tops, of long and winding roads through the Hungarian vastness outside the metropolis. Sometimes the temperatures drop because of the chilling slowness of some riffs and licks (“Hamarlik”) and sometimes the heat rises by the minute because of the jazzy vibrato of the drums (“Ötodik”). Jazz, that is definitely a thing to connect “Tukör” with, the band sometimes sounds like the perfect mix between The Cinematic Orchestra and Bohren und der Club of Gore, and just those two there is one thing that Törzs definitely are really good at – giving their songs just the right amount of time to breathe. They have left all desperate haste and unnecessary hurry at the entrance to the cave in which they recorded this record; and that is no joke – this is real caveman-made music.
Hegy – We won’t Make it Home
Sometimes blackgaze doesn’t need vocals if the music is already pointing you in the right directions. Or turns you around to enjoy the right view before you just stare at a blank mountain wall for too long. Or plays a trick on you and you stare at a picture of a view before being pushed off the cliff but falling into an even more interesting scenario. It would be “Nefarious” not to listen to Hegy if you are into post-rock and shoegaze, blackgaze and post-metal. They have a lot to say wordlessly.
Arx Atrata – The Path Untravelled