post punk / new wave / goth rock
Heading from Bristol, Naut decided to ignore all current trends and to look back to the dark eighties. Now, this five-piece comes with a baffling debut EP, containing five pitch black goth rock tunes. Influences from bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Killing Joke run rampant and come with the overwhelming energy of post punk acts like The Jesus and Mary Chain. Song like opener 'Disintegration' and 'I'm Here' are destined to fill dark dancefloors everywhere. My personal favorite here is closer 'XVI'. It makes me curious and hungry for more, but for now I'm sure that this EP will be an excellent addition to every post punk / goth rock collection.
doom / sludge
Sheffield doom mongers Kurokuma return with a two track EP, based on the Dope Rider strip from High Times in the 70s. The artwork comes from Paul Kirchner, the creator of the strip. The music is another slab of severe psychotic sludge doom, five and eight minutes long. Part 1 also showcases something industrial, reflected by repetitive, almost methodical drums. Part 2 simply continues to slow but brutal pummeling. Fans of bands like Conan, Dopethrone and Yob can easily trust Kurokuma to deliver the monolithic riffs and fierce vocals they crave so much. So if you want your sludge metal as destructive as a wrecking ball, this EP should do.
post-metal / doom / alternative rock
Several months after the release of 'Serrated', Dutch heavy rockers An Evening With Knives unleash three songs that did not make the album because of the limited space on the vinyl. Yet, these songs were to important for the band to be ignored. Opener and title track 'Fade Out' deals with the death of Marco’s father due to Alzheimer disease. It's a long, heavy and cathartic lamentation, showcasing the darkest side of this band. The other two songs follow that example, be it a bit shorter. They all walk a similar path as the songs on 'Serrated', and thus would also fit perfectly into every sludge, doom and grunge collection. These guys are growing steadily, that's for sure.
electronic / ambient / experimental
An alienating two track EP that will leave you confused and entangled, that is what Soho Rezanejad delivers. Subtle electronics, minimalist drones, gloomy soundscapes and her vocals come together in two lengthy modern day folk songs. I can't help but think about a mix between Zola Jesus and Diamanda Galas, be it a bit less creepy than the latter. Yet, there is emotion, there is fear, mourning, wonder and hope in these two tracks. There is a mystifying atmosphere, one that borrows elements from dark ambient. Yet, above all perhaps, this is a unique piece of work, reminding me of an act like Dark Ensemble. Recommended only for eternally wandering souls.
post rock / post metal / stoner / sludge
In today's post rock scene, new bands pop up like mushrooms. Würzburg residents The Man Within are one of those newcomers. Mostly, that first effort comes with a low production and a careful introduction in what the band really is capable of. Yet, here that results in a full-blown post metal album with seven outstanding tracks. Most of them, including 'Mount Santo', my favorite 'Institution' (that rolling bass is hot!!!) and the massive 'Limitless' can easily entertain audiences far and wide. Although firmly rooted in the post-scene, elements from sludge metal, psychedelic rock and stoner rock are never far away. A great introduction, now let's hope they can confirm this in the near future.
The new brainchild of Nachtzeit, the man behind ambient dark metal project Lustre, comes up with an interesting dark ambient album. Although playful at time, this album takes us back to the mysterious and dark age of the Norse gods. Early in 'Drömmarna' acts like Mortiis (on Cold Meat Industry) and Wongraven come to mind. Synths, soundscapes and dreamy melodies guide the listening on a musical tour of medieval Europe, so it seems, highlighting in 'Löftet' and 'Tårarn'. Strangely, the title track 'Hädanfärden' has an X-Files OST feeling about it, which isn't bad, on the contrary. Fans of old school medieval dark ambient can easily appreciate this album.
alternative rock / hard rock / grunge
Belgian hard rock duo Breakfast At Midnight proves that two is enough to create heaps of noise. On this debut EP they blast seven tracks through our speakers, beginning with the heavy rocking 'Kidi Coke'. From then on, the rock doesn't seem to stop. Inspired by anything between Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age and Stone Temple Pilots, these two feed an everlasting fire. Most tracks drive on sheer energy but in 'What I'm To Say' and in '1813', the band delves deeply into the Pearl Jam version of grunge rock. Here, the vocals are excellent and clean while the other tunes contain heaps of aggressive screams. Not that I mind, this is pure rock 'n roll: raw, rough and heavy.
black metal / death metal
Grab onto something now because Ukrainian trio Goatsperm is about to unload a hellish, chaotic and vulgar EP, loaded with orthodox black/death metal. 'Voice In The Womb' contains three tracks, each one being a pummeling piece of extreme metal, as dark as Satan's butthole but with an ambient breather here and there. Somehow, this trio manages to combine atmospheric passages with sheer metallic terror, something that might indeed make a lot of banging heads turn their way in the near future. Besides, 'Into The Deep Waters Of Catacombs' is one of the fiercest black metal tunes I've heard this year. If you're a self-respecting extremist, you need this.
krautrock / shoegaze / punk
What would have happened if Ramones used My Bloody Valentine's guitar effects? What would a punk rock cover album of Neu! songs sound like? Well, Finnish six piece Teksti-TV 666 might have a decent answer for you. 'Aidattu Tulevaisuus' delivers six high-octane krautrock tunes with the raw energy of punk and the immersive nature of shoegaze. I admit, it is something different from the usual slabs of rock 'n roll that appear here but 'Turbo-Mondeo' and 'Aidattu tulevaisuus' can easily get your behind shaking. My favorite here is the somewhat slower 'Rauhankone', which might be described as a down-to-earth space rock track. Recommended? Hell yeah!
ambient / electronic / experimental
Hailing from Porto, Vitor Joaquim is a sound sculptor and visual artist, active around the strange borders between soothing ambient and otherworldly noise. This new album, 'Impermanence' contains seven tracks, revolving around repetitive soundscapes, almost subconscious loops and immersive musical textures. Here and there vocals samples have been added to increase the narrative nature of the music. That, along with the minimal soundscapes, makes the title track my favorite here but I'm sure that every fan of decent ambient music can appreciate these sounds. Obviously, this comes highly recommended.
ambient / drone / experimental / noise
An even more noisy and experimental variation on ambient sounds comes from Han, a project by Vitor Joaquim and Emidio Buchinho. This album revolves around live improvisation and real time processing, which results in something severely unusual and highly experimental. Yet, behind the gritty freestyle on the guitar, beautiful ambient loops lurk. These seven tracks are weird, immersive in one way, yet restrained and peculiar. Somehow this album feels like the early days of drone experimentation, when artists were exploring the other possibilities of their instruments. In all, this is an interesting release to dive into, but only for experienced avant gardists...
indie / alternative rock
Once upon a time, many summer festivals were small and filled with joy. Back then, pretty much every town had its own rock festival, sometimes with a few big names, sometimes with a local pop rock cover band trying to get some attention from the audience.
Quite often, those festivals featured sweet indie rock bands. They weren't big names but they did make people dance and smile. There was nothing complex, nothing unique and nothing overwhelming about those bands but still they easily managed to get the audience shake their behinds.
I like to compare American trio Dentist to some of those bands, playing on a Saturday afternoon on a sunlit meadow. Like them, the music that Dentist delivers is straightforward. The songs are short. The atmosphere is friendly. Fronted by Emily Bornemann, Dentist simply delivers pure joy, inspired by everything between indie pop, punk, alternative rock, shoegaze, surf rock and jangle pop. Opening with the uplifting 'Upset Words', this album is a nice collection of summery rock tunes, not too complex, not too clean either. Just rock 'n roll.
Of course, being a female fronted band clearly drives Dentist towards the "sweet" and somewhat innocent side of the rock spectrum. It will probably not be a surprise that bands like Belly or The Breeders come to mind. Another big influence must have been The Pixies. I recognize those gritty guitar lines and those intense outbursts here and there, especially on rockers like 'Tight Spot' or 'Remind Me'.
So, if you're nostalgic to those brilliant nineties, this album is your chance to relive the whole thing. Even the gloomy, grungy side is represented in the sad ballad 'All Is Well (In Hell'). I guess this is one of those albums to show to people who say "they don't make good rock music anymore". Dentist proves that sweet, simple pop rock is far from dead and I couldn't be happier about that. So check it out, you'll end up smiling from ear to ear...
October - Dark Hymns
A fifteen minutes EP with four tracks, Dark Hymns lives to the glory of its simple, but energetic and suggestive title. With a very dark, subtle and obscure sound, the sensitive premises of the style are afflictive to the fullest – despite being paradoxically peaceful and serene –, and seems to anticipate the imminence of a profoundly terrible doom. While the work presents to the audience a very simple and surreal sound, its nuances are dense, and the excellence of its atmosphere dissipates a graceful and somber fear over the boundaries of the melodies. There is nothing too exceptional or extraordinary about this work, but for dark ambient genre enthusiasts, the vivid, morbid intensity displayed by the artist behind the project is certainly vast, very meaningful, and spiritually consistent.
Collapse Project - Crossing Lights
electronic / darksynth / dark electro / synthwave
Crossing Lights is an album released on June 22, by German electronica/ synthwave act Collapse Project. A wonderfully splendid album, with eleven tracks – Where everything began, Crossing Lights, Arise from the darkness, M.e.n.s.c.h., Pursuit,
Bloody Dancefloor, Cemetery Walk, Starfighter, Nightshift, Test Drive and Rewind – this marvelous and majestic state of the art work has colorful harmonies, a vibrant, lucid and energetic pace, an intense and cohesive style and a superb sense of rhythmic rapture. With softly pungent, dense and dynamic mordacious melodies that engraves its formidable intrinsic strength at the voracious pace of the music, the album is fulfilled with a tremendously aggrandizing and creative originality, displaying a talent that has everything to stand out as uniquely authentic in the contemporary underground scene. Showcasing a sensational musical grandeur whose artistry is effectively sidelined with the most vivid and hallucinating melodies, the genuine musical abilities of Collapse Project is a gigantic cosmic evolutionary step in what concerns the general development of the genre. With some of the most beautiful songs that I’ve ever heard, Crossing Lights is an unprecedented milestone in the history of electronica. Certainly, deserves not only to be fully appreciated, but highly highlighted as one of the most beautiful, sensational and singular albums ever conceived.
Extremity - Coffin Birth
Coffin Birth is an album released on July 20, by Californian death metal group Extremity. With eight songs – Coffin Birth / A Million Witches, Where Evil Dwells, Grave Mistake, Umbilicus, For Want Of A Nail, Occision, Like Father Like Son and Misbegotten / Coffin Death – the record is a satisfactory, lucid and efficient, but hallucinatory and hazardous death metal album, that works decently the most traditional elements of the genre. With heavy, fast rhythms that exposes the voracity of their style, Extremity showcases a peculiar, brutal, direct style, atrocious to the core of its corrosive nature. Despite the fact that the album at some rare passages becomes a little predictable and monotonous, this does not affect the general layout of the sound, nor does any damage to the competent and precise style of the band. Their aggressive strength is somewhat inherent to the most brutal and extreme ramification of the genre, and the name of the band certainly stands for it. While you can’t expect too much of innovative features on this record, Coffin Birth displays a decent amount of virtuosity, talent and definition, and certainly honors the genre with a virulent and passionate degree of astounding sonorous hostility, that will entertain avidly the most dedicated enthusiasts of extreme death metal.
Khemmis - Desolation
grunge / stoner rock/ power metal / black metal / alternative rock
Released on June 22, Desolation is an album by alternative post grunge/ power metal rock group Khemmis. With six tracks – Bloodletting, Isolation, Flesh To Nothing, The Seer, Maw Of Time and From Ruin – this gracefully peculiar, audacious and cohesive record showcases the splendid abilities of a band that does an amazingly superb and exceedingly sophisticated work in their amalgamation of several different genres and styles of music. With a power metal core heavily infused by a post grunge alternative rock density, the music of Khemmis has its own singular and energetic creative groundwork, fuelled by an outstandingly voracious and rude nitroglycerine spontaneous synergy, that explodes directly in the brain of the listener. A little reminiscent of more classic and mainstream acts like Manowar, Creed and Blind Guardian – although exposing a formidable degree of uniqueness – the band does a surprisingly splendorous and excellent work on Desolation, that reveals itself as a marvelous, profoundly genuine and sensational album, all the way through. Undoubtedly, Desolation deserves to be classified as one of the greatest masterpieces of the year.
Lossy - Gated Soul
A beautiful, outstanding, lancinating and colorful EP, Gated Soul has four tracks: Blues For Jekyll, Last Raver, Hocus Pocus and To The Woods. With beautiful melodies, and very sensible, delightfully plausible harmonies, there is a genius spontaneity coming out from these songs that actually make you feel quite enthusiastic about it. With an exceedingly serene, but at the same time ostensibly sensational and mandatory vibe, the artist reveals a subtle, but formidable sense of originality on the framework of the sound that is the embodiment of this work. From within, the melodies gradually expand from a synergy that relocates the rhythm directly to the point of its graciously moving syncope. Exposing lucidity and showcasing an extraordinary degree of creativity, this electronic music artist from Great Britain has no fear in demonstrating his superb, masterful and singular talent, that easily reinvigorates in a more sophisticated sonorous artistry the greatest elements of electronica. Here you have four amazingly wonderful songs, that you will be pleased to hear over and over again.
Moloch Letalis - Krwawy Sztorm
black metal / death metal
A very impressive, hostile and energetic album – although widely using exceedingly crude and conventional elements by some standards – Krwawy Sztorm, by Polish extreme metal group Moloch Letalis, is an aggressive, furious and bloodthirsty album. Only thirty minutes long, the record has nine tracks: Wielka Egzekucja, Sztorm, Krwawa Ziemia, Zatańczysz Ze Mną Kurwa W Piekle ?, Przysięga, Zdychaj Psie, Palownik, Gotowy Na Piekło and Żar. With ostensive and abrupt rhythmic grievances, the style of the group is simple and direct, a little reminiscent of punk rock, given the atrocious voracity, objectivity and rudeness of its style. With a solid fidelity to the most brutal aspects of the genre, the work is amazingly competent and full of acid rage. Although there is nothing too aggrandizing nor original about the work, certainly this album is a pearl for avid enthusiasts of the genre, since Moloch Letalis literally practices closely the most ardent, extreme, raw and violent aspects of death and black metal, executing a refined breed of these marvelous genres. If you like astoundingly heavy material, Krwawy Sztorm is something you would like to hear.
McClane - The Cavern of Noise
electronic / techno / industrial
With six tracks – Entrance of Gargoyles, Dance or Die, The Order, Mechanical Vampire, The Cavern of Noise and Theunderdogme 2018hardrem1x – The Cavern of Noise, by techno industrial French artist McClane is a formidable, very intuitive and lancinating work. With abrasive and disruptive rhythms, increasingly grotesque and infuriating harmonies, cohesive dilapidation of sound and very unpredictable, dense musical compasses, The Cavern of Noise is an interesting work of art, astoundingly engraved at forefront of the best tradition of techno music. With elements that plays on the fundamental axis of the noise and industrial genres, the artist evokes at the colorful blast of the music an atmospheric vitality that rejuvenates the harmonies and the anatomy of the music. With a lucid, compulsory and graceful creativity that is exponential to the ardent mordacity of the melodies, on this album, you certainly get the best the genre will ever offer you. The title track – The Cavern of Noise – is absolutely the best, and will leave you with the dense exposition of what electro techno music should really sound like.
Blutvial - Mysteries of Earth
Mysteries of Earth, released by British black metal group Blutvial on July 5th, is a formidable, lucid and splendorous album. Fully energized, mortally intense and with sordidly aggressive, rapturous and impulsive, but lugubrious and poetic guitar lines, Mysteries of Earth is better described as a marvelous state of the art work. With ten amazingly placid and cohesive tracks – beneath the moon, black silence, existential rite, vault of unrest, carving nihil, midwinter's halls, urnacht, doomed to eternal night, in praise of noctula and where graves spring open – this fantastic work, besides its subtle originality, extraordinary grandiosity and proverbial musical audacity, consolidates firmly and brings about intrinsically the best qualities of the genre: hostile mordacity, somber harmonies, an aggressive stylish impetus, creative melodies, a rapid pace and an exceedingly volatile density. With the organic virtue of a profoundly vital and conscious musical dynamic, you can certainly highlight this record as one of the best black metal pieces released this year. Mysteries of Earth is a punctuating device and a majestic work of art in the history of the genre.
Cosmic Autumn - Cosmic Autumn
Cosmic Autumn is the debut album of an eponymous black metal project from Germany. Released on July 13, the record has five tracks: The Last Deception, Event Horizon, Indistinct Visions, Realms Of Eternal Light and Solitude (Instrumental). With a beautiful and very original musical layer, very sober and proficient, the sound is definitely strong, sensitive, dynamic and fundamentally cohesive. Although the record retains the fury typical of the genre, Cosmic Autumn is also a lesson on sincere and poetic artistry, as the music revolves itself around a shroud of mortifying serenity, like a twilight that dies in the agony of an everlasting moment of unspeakable affliction. Since the music translates into sound these imponderable passages of pervasive anger, the overall loyalty of the project’s style to the genre is emphasized, but without compromising the ability of the artist in showcasing his own peculiarities. A very good work, that certainly exposes the mordacious talent of an exponentially promising black metal artist, Cosmic Autumn is the opening gate for a musician that has everything to aggregate into the genre a whole new conjuncture of possibilities, with his audacious and ostensibly brilliant creativity.
Stone Age Mammoth - Earthborn
stoner rock/ psychedelic rock
Earthborn is an album released by Greek stoner rock group Stone Age Mammoth. Forty minutes long, the record has seven tracks: Fearless, The Dark, Whispers, The Mysterious Life Of Mr Krips, The Secret, Earthborn and My Darkest Hour. An exceedingly calm, methodic and meticulous, but exceedingly vigorous and lucid album, undoubtedly, Earthborn is a fantastic state of the art work, that dissects, reverberates, comprehends and exposes the best aspects the genre has to offer. With singular, serene and soft guitar lines, a configuration of sonorous walls that grows from the sincere stylish leniency of the group and a marvelous sense of timing that knows from instinct what has to be done, Stone Age Mammoth has a formidable artistic security and a powerful domain over the genre, that comes out naturally. Revealing itself as a graceful masterpiece as the album evolves and revolves around its own atmosphere of calmness, omniscience and existential perception, the glorious creativity of the group certainly highlights them among other bands of the genre. With a singular conjuncture of sonorous qualities, Earthborn deserves to be greatly regarded, widely appreciated and publicized as the wonderful and fantastic work of art that truly is.
ColdWorld - Nostalgia
Nostalgia is an EP released on July 23 by German black metal artist ColdWorld. With five tracks – Cosmos Devourer, Demon Speed, The Dark Ages, Let The Devil In and Silva Nigra – the EP, almost twenty six minutes long, is concise. Exceedingly beautiful, with the typical elegance that is an engraved milestone of the artist, the proverbial guitar lines and the poetic harmonies anticipates the general conflagration of its overall majestic serenity, deeply fulgurated with the sensible character of its everlasting, elegant and somber horizon of artistry. With rapid passages that are profoundly surrounded by graciously atmospheric interludes, the music on Nostalgia is overloaded with the imperial fragrances of its own rudimentary darkness, that is sustained by a lucid and dense, but marvelously whimsical ferocious resentment, whose vitality extrapolates the shadows of its own arrogant beauty. With everlasting precipices of color surrounding the rhythmic fortunes of the songs, I must confess that I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by this work. Nevertheless, Nostalgia has all the elements that are characteristic of a ColdWorld work, and, to a certain extent, has enough qualities to be deemed valuable for its sincere and splendid level of singularity.
Phet - Return
post rock / experimental
Return is a three tracks EP released on July 25, by a musician from India, who works under the nom de plume of Phet. With three marvelous songs – Return, Distance and Liberation – Phet works very distinctively the interior perception of the harmonies, to articulate an ascendant, protuberant and expansive, but at the same time discreet, lucid and introspective degree of sonorous exhilaration. With a pungent, incisive axis of conscious melodic devices, correctly assimilated by the lenient, but purposeful stability of its glorious symbiosis of organic dissonances, that seems lethargic at first, the intrinsic nature of the rhythmic serenity that grows within this musical horizon slowly works towards the digressive elements of the harmonies, revolving around a certain complexity that obliterates the cosmic volatility of its formidably eloquent style. With a futurist, colorful, modernist musical approach that made the external shape of the songs, indeed, to sound in an exceedingly beautiful and elegant fashion, Return can be positively described as a very gracious, audacious and original work of art. The last track, Liberation, I would certainly highlight as my favorite. If you want to listen to something very surprising, astute and genuine, I definitely recommend this marvelous and surreal EP.
alternative / dreampop / folk / blues
Transitions is an album by American musician Andrew Rothschild, released on June 22. Almost sixty five minutes long, the record has fourteen tracks: Nu, Get Up, Acceptance, Growth, Routine, Suwanee, Roots, Devil Behind Your Smile, Memories, Home, Fall, Crimson, Natural and Encore. Working dedicatedly in the development of a genre he defines as bluestronica – which is the combination of blues music’s graceful intricacies with electronic music devices – Rothschild is a primordially intuitive, sagacious and innovative musician, that has no fear diving deeply on underground and genuine methodical experimentalism. With melodies that works vividly fantastic and exponentially fragmented sonorous intonations within a wider melodic diagram, Transitions can be described initially as a calm, serene and relaxing album, although rapidly becomes much more than that. The horizon of a new musical sensibility that integrates into the apparent simplicity of its content projects the expansion of a rational, sensational and lucid authorial work, that filters on the antagonism of its paradoxical tenacity the beautiful and elevating disposition of a vivacious style of music, that impresses for its formidable level of creativity, flexibility and audacity. Transitions is a majestic masterpiece, and this becomes evident already on the first few songs of the album.
With an energetic, irreplaceable and synergic punctuating premise that wonders throughout the ambivalence of its own passionate sonorous dissidence, the eloquence, the profoundness, the vitality, the consistence and the originality of Andrew Rothschild’s music is beyond ordinary categorizations. With a polyvalent degree of artistry that combines different elements from several apparently disparate genres, the artist deliberates gracefully over the harmonies of its own musical emancipation, creating a totally different and surprisingly original sensorial treasure of sonorous possibilities.
Generally departing from the educated elegance of lounge music, the sound of Andrew Rothschild incorporates elements of folk, trip hop, world fusion and electronica – amongst other genres –, in such a personal way, that you can almost say he invented his own peculiar style of music. Fearlessly innovating and bravely intense, the sensibility, the versatility and the authenticity present on this album will make you feel your life as a projected conscious dream.
The sixth track – Suwanee, possibly my favorite – is simply a wonderful journey throughout a different form of sensibility. In fact, each and every song on this album is a monumental flavor for the soul, a sentimental gift of nature exposed over a silent universe that echoes endlessly inside the most fundamental principles of a sincere conscience. But, strictly speaking, no words or written evaluation could do justice to this marvelously aggrandizing and excellent state of the art work. You just have to listen by yourself. You will be thrilled, be sure about that.
alternative metal / avant-garde
A very beautiful and singular record, Unholy Lightness Summer is an album by Vardan, to be released by Moribund Records on August 10. The work is composed of three tracks, all named Unholy Lightness Summer, numbered from one to three (or you can interpret as just one track, divided into three parts). The first is about seven minutes and eighteen seconds long, the second track is the longest, having twenty one minutes and thirteen seconds in length, and the third and final track is nine minutes and forty three seconds long. A primarily instrumental ambient album that works extensively the possibilities of silence and serenity into sound, Unholy Lightness Summer is a simple, yet intelligent, audaciously experimental record, that certainly impresses by its subtlety, and amazingly genuine degree of originality. With a calm, unexpected premise close to an absurd, but primordially sculpted minimalism, Unholy Lightness Summer deserves a score for its formidable and sensational elaboration of a calm, yet afflictive atmosphere, that deliberately traps the listener into a mordacious tension, anxious to discover to what exact places the evolving path of the music will lead into.
While the first track is more silent, calm and unambiguous – although subtlety agonizing – the second track is more anxiously provocative, dense and charmingly grotesque. With a talent to build a sordid, but profoundly pleasurable atmosphere that seems to anticipate the deepest antagonisms of the soul, the style of the sound projects a hallucinatory redemption of the senses, as Unholy Lightness Summer efficiently build invisible palaces of relaxation inside the soul, with a fantastic splendor that seems to elevate hidden sensibilities, and transpose the mind into a different state of grace.
Although the sound seems to be ecstatic and paralyzed to a modest degree, concomitantly, it is so dynamic that you stay conscious to the fact that you’re literally travelling into a sonorous journey, that will make you appreciate the music differently, while at the same time, slowly, the most grateful sensitivities of the soul will genuinely taste the flavor of the melodies, and entirely appreciate its fantastic, overwhelming and subtle artistic beauty.
A very interesting album, that works and creates marvelously well a cosmic atmosphere of serenity and splendor, that at the same time reenergizes the concept of its own anguish and agony at the cornerstone of its melancholic intonations, Unholy Lightness Summer can be classified as a glorious masterpiece without hesitation or fear. It’s delightful to hear it, and the poetic – astoundingly humane – lamentations that liquefy surreptitiously all the proverbial sentiments that abundantly fall from the melodies makes this intriguing and impressively genuine work exceedingly transient and unique.
Federico Dal Pozzo - Untitled_VNZ
ambient / experimental / noise
Deadsmoke - Forest Of The Damned
doom / sludge metal
Antoine Panaché - Pleasures
experimental / avant garde
Misantronics - Zührpruym
drone / electronic / ambient
Woes - The Coldest Place Is Within Myself
hardcore / crust / black metal
Brass Owl - Brass Owl
psychedelic rock / stoner rock
Dead Man's Eyes - Words of Prey
indie / alternative rock / psychedelic rock
Jübl - Thinking Sweet
dream pop / trip hop
Autger - Eucharistia, Praedestinatio Gemina
dark ambient / neoclassical / dark jazz
Dr Space - Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 1
krautrock / psychedelic rock
A Scar For The Wicked - The Unholy
death metal / deathcore
Stelios Ventas - Faded Flower
Feelament - Hate Delivery
An Evening With Knives - Serrated
post-metal / doom / alternative rock
Autger - God Kissing Carrion
dark jazz / ambient / experimental / trip hop
Lamirāl - This EP Has No Name And It's Alright
Gray Dog - The Deal
Paulie Jan - Yukio (A Brief Sonic Evocation)
dark ambient / noise
Lachrymose - The Unseen
doom / occult metal
Disowning - Battle of Neverness
Gravecoven - Coughing Blood
black metal / doom / death metal
Vandal Moon - Wild Insane
post punk / synth pop
Sense Fracture - In My Escape I look For A Weapon
breakcore / industrial
Richard James Simpson - Sweet Birds Of Youth
alternative rock / blues
style of Tool and quite a bit of grunge - vocals that remind of Cobain included. So go buy this one if you appreciate something that refuses to fit into one box.
Nhung Nguyen – Oblivion
ambient / experimental
alternative rock / crossover / nu metal
Ever since I founded this website, I've been surprised by the French a lot. For some reason, French music doesn't often reach this side of Belgium. Yet, they do seem to have an interesting alternative rock/metal scene, one that doesn't care about genre boundaries and restrictions.
With the French, it seems that everything is welcome, as long as it's rock music, and then - obviously - you get some interesting xenogamy. Don't look so weird, I looked it up, Xenogamy exists. It's a big word for cross-pollination, something certain plants and many rock bands love to do.
The album begins with 'On The Edge' and immediately the influences from bands like Tool and Deftones shine through. However, somewhere hidden in the groovy basslines and the funky rock drums, one of the guitarists can't hide the fact that he is a blues fan. Here and there you can find such a nice vintage blues lick. Someone else clearly is a fan of nu metal, especially acts like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. Perhaps there is a Paramore fan. Finally, it feels like the vocalist has had lessons in pop and only recently moved towards something a bit more extreme.
The band constantly balances on the edge between alternative rock and progressive hard rock, here and there harshly crossing the line with some intensely passages. Yet, for the majority, this album sounds like a well written modern day rock album, one I will certainly recommend to all nu metal fans out there. 'As Leaders' is probably my favorite track and '2099' rocks and blueses like crazy but I'm sure that most of these tunes can set festivals and venues ablaze everywhere. So check it out. Perhaps you find a new favorite.
White Hills & Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand - Desire
krautrock / psychedelic
Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand & Derniere Volonté
psychedelic rock / krautrock / neo folk
Pink Cocoon - Alienation
doom / blues
JK Flesh – Wasplike
Moloch - The Other Side
electronic / darkwave
Burning House - Tracer
Eye of the Destroyer - Violent By Design
Alexandre Navarro - Imaginations
ambient / downtempo / post rock
Valyria - Into the Dying of Time
death metal / power metal
Anthony - Get Over U
americana / alternative rock / indie
Eyes on the Machine - Eyes on the Machine
electronic / darkwave / alternative rock
Some of the albums we receive are a real challenge. For me, many releases are rather easy to write about but once in a while something comes along that seems to challenge and question my musical reference pool. In those cases, I listen closely, try to find something to start with, a certain sound, a similarity with another band, a connection to real life events, anything. Then I look into my ever growing English vocabulary and try to bark out some words that might get people interested in that particular release. If all goes well, several minutes later my opening paragraph is written and I can finally describe the actual music.
Writing about this album by Swedish duo Råhypnos proved to be a challenging task. For the record, that doesn't mean this is a bad album. I tend to simply ignore albums I don't like so if it appears on this website, you can bet your ass that I see potential in it. And yes, I see potential in here, a lot of gloomy, darkwaving, new waver's flavour of the year potential. The only thing is, who exactly to recommend it to? Well, I think I just wrote my own answer: new wavers, dark wavers, old school goths looking for their shot of new audible darkness.
As I mentioned before, Råhypnos is a duo, formed in Gothenburg in 2015 by Pablo Rautenberg and Nadja Virgé. Soon into their career, it became clear that one style was not enough. Initially an alternative rock act, Råhypnos added elements from darkwave, gothic rock, trip hop, intelligent dance music and even (dark) jazz. The result feels like a mix between Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Chelsea Wolfe, recorded, mixed and mastered by Portishead.
Now, I have to say that I wasn't immediately blown away by this stuff. Opener 'Pain Shrinks The Heart' is a great song, pretty much comparable to the aforementioned acts. It's downtempo and raw. Interesting yes, but perhaps a bit too much on the experimental side of things. Yet, gradually, the record started growing on me, mainly because of the level of variation. There's electronics but also rough rock music. There's male and female vocals and even those come in a wide array, perfectly fitting in with the music.
Besides, 'Damaged' and 'Insufficient Love' are awesome. 'The Land Of Nowhere' is a brilliant new wave song that will get even Simple Minds fans excited. 'Blood' is a tearjerker and closer 'End Of The Beginning' brings that other amazing darkwave act to mind, namely The KVB. So in all, this is a surprisingly interesting album, one that will definitely end up in my day-to-day playlist. So check it out. I mean, I eventually managed to write a five paragraph review about it so it's definitely worth it.