Black metal has always had a flair for the occult, the evil and the malicious, but few bands manage to place those elements into their sound better than Swiss cult Dakhma. Their blend of death and black metal seems to come directly from another world, darker, grimmer and loaded with spite. This album is no different, as they plunge the listener in an eerie atmosphere and throw a massive amount of screams, growls and chants over the already haunting music. This certainly is a must-have for fans of the most obscure and twisted extreme metal, like pretty much everything Dakhma produces. If they go more extreme, they cross the boundaries between metal and harsh noise. Awesome...
psychedelic noise rock
Claiming to be influenced by Kadavar and Keiji Haino while opening this ep with something that reminds me of Ministry, it is quite a surprise but nonetheless a nice one. French trio Noyades blends psychedelic rock with noise rock without uttering a single word. The result sounds like a lovechild between Dillinger Escape Plan and Sonic Youth after a night of smoking weed and tripping on LSD. The amount of energy coming from these three tunes is impressive, even though the songs are quite complex pieces of work, especially the massive closer 'Reflects'. 'Bear Rider' might be my favorite, a brutal fuzzed-out kick in your sperm-factory. You'll love it...
Brutal death metal with elements from grindcore and slam, coming from Bombay, India. There have been a lot of great extreme metal albums coming from that region of the world and this ep definitely is one of the best to date. The songs are loaded with thick riffs, rolling drums, a vast array of growls and even some pig-squeals. Yet, the whole is pretty damn varied, often changing tempos and coming up with massively immersive passages. My favorite track is opener 'Focus 22'. Heavily Sedated' probably is the most complex one and the other two are (also) perfectly capable of causing moshpits wherever this music blasts through the speakers.
thrash metal / death metal
Two bands from Costa Rica, each with their own specific sound, that should guarantee an interesting split album, no? Well, it certainly is a surprising one. Assailant kicks this thing off, seemingly in speedy thrash metal but then a number of progressive metal elements suddenly appear, turning the whole thing into an awesome metallic adventure, loaded with intense riffs, harsh vocals, flashing solos, breaks and hooks. Ubiquitous Realities seem to take the progressive elements and twist them into some brutal but technical death metal songs. Here the vocals turn to deep growls, perfectly fitting the already pummeling sound of the guitars and the almost constant hammering of the drums. Lovely.
ambient black metal
||| is a side-project for Italian black metal act Chiral. In stead of combining black metal with folk, this album delves deeper into the world of bleak, cold and harsh music. Fierce blackened passages alternate with eerie soundscapes, acoustic elements and at times even noise. Strangely, in all its bleakness, this album somewhat reminds me of the post-black scene, highly atmospheric but still clay-cold and depressive. It took me a few listens to fully appreciate this album, but each time I heard it, it grew, it became more and more immersive and epic. Check it out, play it loud and see the sun fade away, taking every color you can imagine with it until there's nothing left but a grey mass of lifeless debris...
More slow and downtuned musical vastness, this time with some influences from the black metal scene. Things are getting a lot darker, harsher too, as we submerge ourselves in Obed Marsch's representation of the magical and macabre world of American author HP Lovecraft. The album is inspired by horror tale “'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'. Even the band's name comes from a character in one of Lovecrafts' works
The band was formed in Australia, somewhere in 2014, by Sam Ford and Drew James Griffiths from Ur Draugr. With this project, they delve into the most intense versions of doom metal they could find, resulting in slow songs, loaded with noisy, grinding guitars, efficient drums and an array of eerie screams. Perhaps the best way to compare it, is Evoken meets Nortt, or something like that.
There's certainly a funeral doom aspect in songs like 'Innsmouth Ritual' and 'Esoteric Order', or pretty much every song on this quite impressive album. The torpidity of these songs is intense and crushing, like a methodical torture technique. There's also little variation to be found. Usually that is not a good characteristic for an album, but here it simply adds to the punishing sound of the whole thing.
Perhaps 'Deficient' is my personal favorite here. It has something industrial, something repetitive and hypnotic. But like I already mentioned, the songs change rather little from each other, making this a mesmerizing experience which certainly isn't suited for everyone. Obviously, I'd like to recommend this thing to all fans of extreme doom and I know there's quite a lot of you. So check it out, but beware, this one can be dangerous...
Time to get writing again, after a relaxing day off, and what better what to start today's writing session than with some immersive and epic downtuned slowness. This one comes from Switzerland and contains about fifty minutes of pure, vintage doom metal. According to the biography, Pÿlon has made no progress whatsoever since their latest effort, two years ago and seemingly that is a compliment.
Well, I guess I can second that. In a way, this album sounds like a collection of songs that some of the world biggest doom metal icons forgot to write. 'Cosmik Lizard', 'Lazarus', 'The Day After The War'... they all sound a bit like ancient Black Sabbath, especially in the vocals. Musically, there is a bit more going on by the way. Expect some compelling guitar solos and some nice hooks and edges.
The biography also mentions three drummers. I don't know if they play simultaneously but there's certainly a whole lot of power coming from the drum kit(s). If you combine that with epic riffs and a voice that somewhat sounds like Ozzy's, you should know what you're in for. There are also some guest spots, Ian Arkley (Seventh Angel, My Silent Wake) plays solo guitar on 'The day after the war' and Damir Eskic (Gonoreas) is responsible for the solo guitar on 'Desolation is divine'.
It's hard to pick a favorite song on this album, because they're all simply stunning doom tracks. Perhaps 'Desolation Is Divine' is my least favorite because of the sudden and somewhat lazy fade-out at the end but that's just a minor flaw on an impeccable piece of doom. If I do have to pick a favorite one, let it be 'The Lone Rider', but most of all, I suggest every single doomer out there to check this out. This is great stuff, period.
neoclassical / ambient
Sometimes, after going over a number of my reviews, people ask me, "how can you stand all that metal". After all, it is true that we review a lot of metal albums here on Merchants Of Air, even though it's far from the only genre we listen to. In fact, the percentage of ambient albums making our daily playlist is far bigger than other ones. The one I'm reviewing at this very moment, is one of them. When I listened to it for the first time, I immediately ripped it to FLACs and added it to my list. Besides that, in the past week or so, this album has been my "cool down" release after going through a heap of other stuff. So, to answer that question: with stuff like this in regular circulation, I can stand pretty much everything.
On this album, British composer David Newlyn treats us to minimal piano pieces, alternating with far stretched soundscapes and synthesiser passages. Furthermore, you can find some guitars, violins, fretless bass and field recordings, all gracefully blending into seven soothing tracks. It's tough to pick a favorite track, since I usually simply enjoy these albums as a whole. If I do have to make a choice, I'd probably go with the eerie 'Purist Notion', certainly since it's followed by the short and rather playful 'Fail These Days'. Or perhaps the dreamy closer 'I'll Walk Back Home', a track perfectly suited for actually walking back home, or anywhere for that matter.
Those three tracks pretty much make up the second half of the album, almost making me forget about the first four tunes. I can assure you that many ambient, minimal and piano fans out there will enjoy 'Whatever Changes' and the gentle 'Life At The Time' and the entire album, obviously. My suggestion is simple, check it out, give this album a shot. You won't be disappointed.
Serpent Spells - Mantras Within Ascending Fire
death metal / black metal
Blackened death metal from Dhaka, Bangladesh, that is something you don't hear every day. But you could, and perhaps you even should lend this ep an ear. After all, regardless of where it comes from, old school black and death metal are still some of the truest and most brutal genres in the world, and this album is no exception. After an intro, Serpent Spells throw three slashing pieces of music in our faces, loaded with malevolence and a dark, haunting atmosphere. The ep kinda reminds me of the vintage blackened sound of nineties Europe, fueled by thrash metal and mercilessly grinding through the listener's skull, a sense of melody and a massive heap of aggression. Lovely stuff...
Blunderbuss - Resurrection
nu-metal / rapcore
Hah, nu-metal, one of the most rediculised sub-genres within the world of heavy guitars. Yet, just like its older brothers, death, thrash, death and doom metal (to name a few), nu-metal refuses to step aside, refuses to go silent. French quintet Blunderbuss faithfully follow the path of bands like Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach. Parts rap, accompanied with striking guitars and lively drums, and parts irrisistible headbanging bliss, that's what you get on this ep, highlighting in the stunning tune 'Jump' and 'Stop It Now'. I also dig the melodic approach here, and I'm quite sure I'll be shaking my ass off when I ever get the chance to see these guys perform 'Vee Stoneheart' on stage...
Zeit - The World Is Nothing
hardcore / punk
We already reviewed a band named Zeit in the past, so don't get confused with this one. The Zeit I'm talking about in this brieview, hail from Italy and are currently slashing a massive heap of chaotic, noise rock induced hardcore through my speakers. In ten songs, lasting a bit over twenty minutes, this combo rages on in a highly destructive and pulverising manner. There's no breather, except maybe for the eerie instrumental 'Disguised'. The rest is simply brutal and chaotic hardcore, solely focused on intensity and ferocity. Consider this a warning, this ep is a massive assault on your eardrums and on your sanity. With stuff like this, the world as we know it is bound to come to and end soon...
Grizzlyman - Grizzlyman
post-metal / sludge / doom
Time to groove things up a little, without losing the intensity of this whole brieview-writing session. We're in Sweden, where members from several hardcore, progressive and death metal bands combined their love for slow, downtuned and heavy music. The result is this awesome kick-in-the-groin, loaded with monolithic riffs and brutal screams. The three songs on this ep are and immersive blend of sludge, stoner rock and doom metal, perfectly suited for fans of Isis, Mastodon, Baroness, Cult Of Luna and so on. I can only hope that this is the harbinger of great things to come for Grizzlyman. I definitely want to see them perform awesome tracks like 'Last King' (my favorite here, mainly because of a little The Cure reference) live.
Somnium Nox - Apocrypha
One song, sixteen minutes, constantly altering between frenetic black metal and haunting ambient passages, opening with didgeridoo sounds, that's what you get on this stunning ep by Australian duo Somnium Nox. The overall atmosphere is intensely dark, perhaps one of the darkest things you'll ever hear. On one hand, this ep perfectly fits in with today's post-black metal scene where even Pink Floyd could be regarded as an influence. On the other hand, this is as brutal and ferocious as some of the harshest blackened acts out there. Fans of bands like Blut Aus Nord, Altar Of Plagues, Deathspell Omega and Drudkh, this is a must-have for you, so get your hands on this thing, now...
Kommando - Distroyer / Iron Goat Triumph
crust / d-beat / black metal
When members of Endstille and Dysangelium form a band from the idea that modern day music lacks violence, you could be damn sure that something extreme is heading your way. Well, Kommando is extreme. They call their music 'Machinegun Punk', which stands for an intense mix of black metal, death metal, hardcore, crust and d-beat. It shouldn't be a surprise that this ep is loaded with brutality, violence and sheer noise. The songs are short but furious, a vicious assault on anything you could possibly imagine. With songs like 'IndoctriNation', Bitching Hours' and 'Alle Gegen Alle', this ep is arguably one of the most aggressive releases you can buy this year...
ORigami geijutsU - The Hibakusha Haikus
Mathcore, a genre I never really understood, but I guess that's the whole idea. We're in France, being utterly confused by a trio of musicians without boundaries. On this album, these guys come up with complex yet immersive pieces of music, hinting towards the noise rock scene and the world of (extreme) (post) metal alike. In a way, this sounds more like free jazz to me, but distorted and perplexing. There are some pieces which are perfectly suited for a little headbanging session while other passages are way too complex to make any kind of movement. In fact, the best way to dance to this is mouth wide open while being completely paralysed physically. Weird stuff, intense but weird...
Ego Miss Blinded - Tipping Point
hard rock / rock
Still in France, but this time with something a little more radio-friendly, rock-radio friendly that is. Ego Miss Blinded is a rock band from the region of Paris, mainly influenced by bands like Metallica, Kiss, System Of A Down, AC/DC and even Bob Marley, but no, there's no reggae on this ep. What you do get, are five strong songs with plenty of power to get your rock-ass shaking. Opener 'That's What I Am' is a potential rock-hit, 'The Knife To Your Throat' is a vivid old school anthem, 'Alive' is a grungy ballad and the 'Raise Your Head' dual track reminds me a little of Guns 'n Roses meets Motley Crue, or something like that. In part 2, I can even hear flashes from Pink Floyd. Varied stuff, that's for damn sure...
Porta Daemonium - Serpent of Chaos
Right, back to the extremes, this time with a brutal old school death metal band from Chile and their short but scathing album 'Serpent Of Chaos'. Opening with eerie soundscapes and haunted voices, this album slowly fastens its grip on the listener, a bit like a constrictor perhaps. Yet, once 'Via Sinistra' kicks off, Porta Daemonium kick you down with their crushing and grinding sound. The tempo is tremendous. The drums constantly hammer on your skull while the thick and sick riffs rip your insides apart. Meanwhile, the vocalist growls all kind of unpleasantries into your ear, eventually leaving you behind in a pile of rotting flesh, as an offering to the dark lord. Enjoy...
Vulturic Eye - Vulture Manifesto
I've been writing about old school stuff a few times on this edition of 'Brieviews' but believe me, dear reader, it doesn't get more old school than this. English metal band Vulturic Eye say this about their music "...if Rush were a nihilistic metal band..." and I can only agree. On this ep they come up with vintage heavy metal, reminding me of old Iron Maiden, old Judas Priest, Dio perhaps. The songs are pretty varied and show a great deal of musical craftsmanship, especially my favorite one 'Legacy Of Failure'. So, whoever claims that there's no decent heavy metal being made today, please shut your mouth and listen to Vulturic Eye. If they don't make you change your mind, you're officially old...
Death metal has come a long way since the genre blasted into existence in the mid-eighties. Aided by labels like Roadrunner and Earache, the style quickly gained a lot of attention by fans and media. And as soon as death metal was born, in started evolving into doom-death, grindcore and, more recently, deathcore, amongst others. However, wherever there is evolution, there is recurrence. Wherever people are trying to renew something, there are others who like the whole thing just the way it was.
In that aspect, 'Following The Ancient Path' is the perfect title for this debut album. Polish growling combo Eteritus treat us to a decent slab of old school death metal. After a little intro, the quartet surely takes us back to those mid-eighties, reminding me of bands like Dismember, Obituary, Bolt Thrower and so on. Now, I have to mention that I wasn't so sure of this album when I listened to opener 'Biocentric', but with massive old school anthems like 'Hellish Imagery' and 'Incinerator' this act certainly convinced me.
The riffs are fierce, the drums are methodical and the vocals are brutal, turning tracks like 'The Unliving Thing' and the somewhat groovy 'Somber Mind' into death metal highlights. If these guys started this band about thirty years ago, they would be highly acclaimed pioneers in the genre. In that case, this album quite possibly would have become a classic, one of those albums you need if you call yourself a fan of death metal. Well, "fan of death metal", I suggest you get your hands on this album anyway, not because it's a classic but because it's a damn good one.
Romuvos is a one man folk metal project of Lithuanian musician Velnias, whose most recent work, a marvelous full length titled Infront of Destiny, is a great masterpiece of the genre, that tries to redeem and to rescue the formidable roots, the pure milestones and the cultural essence of his homeland, in an astoundingly monumental metal scenario, with the solemn and sincere purpose of achieving and conquering – besides fully understanding – the native heritage of a groundbreaking pattern of cultural purity, that reassures the excellence of a fundamental identity, that could never go lost in the fields of his soul. In a constant effort to raise, to preserve, and to disseminate the integrity, the heart and the essence that was built in the iron sun of the aging dawn on the land of his forefathers, Romuvos brings back with the sonorous strength of all his virtuosity the monumental and compounding philosophy that was built on the verge of epic battles centuries ago.
With eleven beautiful tracks, being them Infront of Destiny We Shall Face Our Death,
We Travel South, Winds Blow Over Seas, Our Spirits Pass Through the Underworld, Around the Bonfire Our Souls Will Unite, While The Cliffs Stand Tall in the Horizon,
The Return Back Home, For as Long as Enemies Lay in Defeat, Golden Coasts Filled with Amber Stones, Let Thy Gods Sing Your Glory Hymn and Outro, Infront of Destiny is a remarkable album, filled with local colors, that redeems and redefines the folk metal genre, creating bonds and solidifying boundaries that breaks and links the outstanding fractures of a greatly envisioned shining ascendant wisdom, with ancestral solstice melodies, that reunites a timeless period of impulsive and formidable clarity, supported by a common mental constitution, where all souls were aligned together. With quite a simple proposal, that seems to elevate – and evaluate – the true essence of powerful cultural roots, to collectively glorify the wisdom of nature, to celebrate the infinity and the higher appeals of life, while singing in the mountain spheres of a permanent peace, in times where simplicity and energy where perfectly converging together, for the redemptive vastness working incessantly for the common good, Infront of Destiny is a remarkable milestone in the folk metal genre, exceedingly pure in the veracity of its timeless roots.
With tempestuous inherently folk instruments, grasping melodies cutting winds by the power of a wisdom never caught, barbaric vocals of elusive unrestrictive domain, the magical guidance of philosophically guided descended thin layered guitars, occasional folkloric-minded rhythmic challenging marches, the cold rain of ancestral elemental days filled with warrior purposes and battles for survival of the fittest, Romuvos purely embodies the true spirit of the Baltic area, in an amazingly vivid, lucid, beautiful and at the same time ethereal, timeless and dream-like epic opera of metal voracious truth, where all souls who shares the same principles of ancestral pagan brotherhood, desire to preserve traditions and to revive the inner spirit of strength, power and gifted ascension, will inherently converge to a path of excellence, standing between a shining perpetual family dream, and an infinite mysterious day inside themselves, that could never be lost anytime.
Anyway, Infront of Destiny, although having a sound that seems a little uniform throughout the record, is a great example of folk metal, true to the fundamental principles of its epic essence. Exceedingly shining, amazingly lucid, and superbly convoluting the atmosphere of a battle terrain, while reverberating in the essence of our spirits visions of a distant past, through a magical voracious upheaval of death and defiance, this work certainly can be considered a great and amazing record. Although it does not essentially present anything new to an audience already deeply familiar to the genre, Infront of Destiny does shine over a new path of folk metal, being righteously melodic and originally fearlessly regional, keeping faithful to its roots all the elements that precisely keeps this album an intriguing exemplar of the genre. With soft and calm melodies, where philosophical constraints, pagan culture and communal spiritual chants prevails over aggressiveness and fury, Infront of Destiny is a work that you shouldn’t miss, if you really are into the folk metal genre. A masterpiece on its own rights – although, like I’ve said above, doesn’t show to its audience anything new – it really manages to be an album quite unique, full of beauty, poetry and ancestral considerations. While folk metal it is not one of my primary genres in any way, I found Infront of Destiny, by Romuvos, a remarkable work, to say the least. The music of Velnias will also probably awake your curiosity about Lithuanian culture, and the country’s current music scene, awakening your senses to the rich cultural inheritance of this small beautiful nation, upon which you probably doesn’t know anything at all. Regardless of what you know, or doesn’t know, Romuvos’ Infront of Destiny is quite a way to start!
Secondary Succession, released in July 7, is the most recent album by Docetism. A seven ambient track album, with a very low, nature related and condescending atmosphere of calmness, vigor, introspection and relaxation, it sets you up on a very serene, deep and untouched layer of existence, where anxiety, fear and anguish can never reach you. Deeply rooted in getting touch with nature, and discovering your own self-rewarding essence of purity, Secondary Succession follows you on a great crusade towards yourself, where you can rediscover all the things that you have inside you, but you had lost somehow, along the way.
With a perfect atmosphere of serenity and peace, this is really an album for specific moments, especially meditative ones. It is also the perfect album that you can hear before going to sleep, or exactly as you’re falling into the deepest grounds of somnolence. Its exacerbated sonorous levels of relaxation can firmly calm you, being the perfect soundtrack for each and every moment of tranquility in your life, whether it will be in your sleep, or for a session of meditation, for a moment of reflection, to rest, or only to be quiet on your own, to take a cup of tea. This is the right album for all these moments.
Although having only seven tracks, being a little bit short, and with little rhythmic variations between tracks – which is somewhat cohesive with its atmospheric and meditative proposal – there is also a hidden, minor, minimalist, delicate and intricate beauty in each and every one of these tracks. All of them are precisely tied up together in a such a form, that, somehow, at a certain point, you will feel yourself as becoming a part of the music, and getting lost on the inner journey of its notes and rhythms, progressively finding yourself in unique ways, throughout the slow variety of these strictly correlated harmonies, that builds up an identity at the core of their relations with the outside world.
Subtle and introspective, this is a remarkable album, brilliant on its own terms and merits. With a greater ambivalence of profoundly atmospheric notes, Secondary Succession is a great musical vehicle for you to get in touch with the deepest areas that lies within yourself, at the propitious lucidity driven by the serenity of calm and transcending moments.
If you’re really searching for a remarkable but simple listening album, Second Succession is certainly among the best you’re going to get. Precise, limpid, pure, peaceful and with a positive feeling dispersed throughout the sonorous life of its subtle transportation of sentiments, you’re probably going to get even more than what you’re expected.
Although it gets a little obscure as the album approaches the end, you can feel a great deal of peace inside yourself. Sharing beliefs that can never disrespect the feelings between fellow human beings, Secondary Succession follows the tradition of the greatest meditative albums, that sets up on its ambient surrounding atmospheres the primordial notes that can easily build a sound upon which you will feel positively happy and secure. And accompanied by the sweetest melodies ever created on this genre.
electronic / downtempo / trip-hop
Green is the most recent release by electronic Russian musician Lo-Sky, a five track EP with very melodic undertones and soft electro upbeats, being primarily downtempo in definition. With a very intelligent quotient of harmonies at the core of his songs, Lo-Sky manages to give to the audience a very decent and true to the elements rewarding downtempo EP, with smooth songs, very pleasant to the ears, and with a very easy listening emotional feeling.
A work easy to decipher, and yet, pleasurable to hear, with its great ambience surrounding stratosphere directed tracks, this is an EP that really does have it all, regarding technique and beauty. With the purity of a soul lying calmly on the ground, the strictly pure elements that form the basis of these songs can be a real, elusive and direct superb confluence of notes, that will surely be considered an astounding motive for pride to the genre.
It is beautiful, and although it can be considered, to a certain extent at least, “radio-friendly” for solitary stations at dawn, it also highlights a very club scene atmosphere, brightly melting exceedingly diffusive electro music elements, which makes greatly astounding the final result of this magnificent work. Nevertheless, despite all of its beauty, like I’ve described above, it is a very short and easy listening album, almost ambient on its simplicity of tones and rhythms.
But I should point it out that it can become indispensable for fans of this specific genre. In my case, it was love at first sight – or better – at first hearing, if you prefer. Magnificent harmonies that elevate you towards the sky, regardless of what you’re thinking, in the simple commonalities of day to day sound, transforms the ordinary and vulgar into something bigger, with essence and meaning. This is what this EP really does, and without despising the proficiency of its pragmatic techniques.
With a real and satisfying refreshing essence that seems to purify to a certain extent the exaltation of this more calm and introspective genre of electronic music, Green is an EP that is as remarkable as it could be invisible. A solid perception of sound, on the other hand, will never pass unnoticed to the ones who are most sensitive to soft, slow and gentile rhythmic upbeats, relying on the ground of kind and sensible harmonies that can easily convince you that you are completely alone on your own universe, and, at the same time, discovering a lot of different things inside yourself.
This EP is highly recommended, although it is set, obviously – despite all of its beauty and idiosyncratic content – to a very specific audience. Lo-Sky is certainly becoming a fundamental milestone on the solidification of his soft-ambient styled genre of electronic music, helping to build, consolidate and define a genre that is breaking boundaries after boundaries, and enlarging its audience, as time goes by. Pure as nature could be, Green is a very protuberating configuration of a beautiful and new kind of sensibility, on the current electronic music scene, setting grounds for ambitious conquests as powerful as the genre will ever be!
Seeds Of Mary - Choose Your Lie
grunge / alternative / rock
Here's an album that has been playing quite a lot in the past few weeks, yet I never managed to write a review about it. Why? Well, perhaps the answer could be found in the reason why I played this album so often. It's loaded with gritty nineties grunge and alternative rock without actually coming from the nineties. I played it every time I wanted something grungy without actually playing those same old Alice In Chains and Soundgarden albums. This album is something like a 'best-of-grunge-which-bands-forgot-to-record-in-the-heyday-of-the-scene'. That being said, this album is 429 times better than most modern rock albums and you absolutely need this in your collection.
Lambs - Betrayed From Birth
blackened hardcore / crust
"Lambs", cute name which hides tonnes of aggression, brutality and torment. This Italian band simply throws every harsh metal style they could find in one massive blender, adds an array of screams and pours their agony over their audience. The overall tone on this three track is intense and dark. The songs are loaded with blackened hardcore riffs, seemingly also inspired by extreme noise rock. They're not afraid of blast beats or fierce thrash metal drumming. In fact, I don't think these guys are afraid of anything. This is a tremendous force, out for utter destruction, physically and mentally. You have been warned...
Cvlt of Grace - Tears
dark hardcore / sludge
Perfectly fitting in with the previous ep in this episode of "Brieviews", comes the newest effort from Hungarian ruffians Cvlt Of Grace. In mere fifteen minutes, this trio smashes a blend of crust, sludge and hardcore through my already racked eardrums. The overall atmosphere is intensely dark and the sound is tremendously crushing, certainly in haunting tracks like 'Dogfaced Children' or the confusing beast 'Black Sack'. This is gutripping stuff, certainly not recommended for the faint of heart. With lyrical themes including the immigrant crisis, anti-fascism and other current unpleasantries, this Cvlt is preparing to smash the rotten establishment we dwell in.
Nukk - Nukk
ambient / crust / sludge
Ok, perhaps I can handle one more of these scathing hardcore infused sludge crust releases. This one is coming from Polish neocrust mob Nukk and it's arguably the most destructive ep I've heard in a while. Not only because their crushing blend of crust and hardcore, but also because of the horrifying ambient/noise passages and the overall feeling of despair and anxiety. Even when the whole thing gets a bit less aggressive, this ep simply never gives you a moment to rest, to come to your senses. Each quieter passage is simply an impedance for the massive musical blow that follows. Nukk leaves no survivors, that's for bloody sure.
Rekoma - Circle Of Hate
metal / death metal / thrash metal
As a little preview for their upcoming album, Finnish metallers Rekoma come up with a tasty ep, an intense blend of death and thrash metal with both clean vocals and deep growls. There's also room for some doom metal and even American groove metal; Yet, what I hear most on this album, are influences from the Scandinavian metal scene, loaded with dark melodies and brutal riffs. All of these elements, certainly make this an ep with a tremendous headbanging capacity. You try to keep your head still on smashers like 'Lambs Of Sacrifice' or 'Trial'. Maybe you'll succeed but it won't be easy, certainly not if these guys play this live in an equally convincing way.
Ligature Wound - Ligature Wound
Imagine Dismember, Morbid Angel and Benediction building a tank. Now imagine the sound of that tank while in rolls over your skewered body. That would bring you pretty close to the stuff I'm listening to right now. American act Ligature Wound released an excellent slab of raw old school death metal where every single elements seems to be exactly where and what it needs to be. In six tracks, definitely containing a few highlights in today's death metal scene, this ep is as filthy, grinding and brutal as it gets. Fans of the genre should not ignore this act, on the very contrary, they need this thing...
Drought - Rudra Bhakti
Drought, a mysterious entity in the black metal scene, comes up with a severe, rough and hypnotic blackened ritual. This ep, revolving around the transformation of man into the übermensch, contains four epic pieces of extreme music, repetitive but varied, chaotic and intense. The music is a great example of modern black metal, certainly inspired by the old school but ever looking forward. The sheer speed of this whole thing is quite suffocating, rarely giving the listener a chance to calm down. Only in the final track 'Collapse of Maya (Transfiguration of the Warrior)' you get a few soothing passages, but even these are haunting and eerie. Recommended stuff...
ambient black metal
I remember those early nineties. I was dwelling in music stores far and wide, looking for the most obscure, underrated and brilliant albums in the world of extreme music. I remember Mussorgski, from Poland, or at least, I think I remember. Combining black metal with stellar ambient on the album 'In Harmony with the Universe', they quickly and briefly got my attention. They split up in 1995, only to reform in 2009. By then, I was no longer active in the world of metal and completely missed out on their 2011 album 'Chaos and Paranormal Divinity'. But then I founded this website, eventually resulting in me receiving the latest album by this Polish duo.
When I started playing the album, the whole nineties scene once again flashed in front of my eyes. Opener 'Gaaya - The Planet Of The Dead' and 'God Is In The Neurons' are awesome mid-tempo songs where elementary black metal meets space ambient and some industrial aspects. I'm reminded of acts like The Kovenant, Limbonic Art and Samael, not necessarily identical to what Mussorgski is blasting through my speakers but certainly containing similar elements and a similar atmosphere.
After a short breather in 'Stellar Core', 'Sabbathum In Perpetuum' suddenly comes up with the fierce blast beats and the secant riffing. This song definitely got me hooked, it's brilliantly controlled chaos, loaded with symphonic elements and including some unexplained noises to add to the excitement. 'Key To The Universe' is probably my favorite track, slow, gnawing and eerie, grabbing you by the throat and dragging you to places unseen and unimagined. There's something "gothic" in this song as well, caused by the haunting church organs.
There are three more songs to go through but I'll let you discover those for yourself. Apart from mentioning that these are stunning pieces of work as well (even the intermezzo 'Inverted Aeon' is awesome), I got little else to do but to recommend this gem to all you symphonic, atmospheric black metal fans out there. So check it out, I think you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
Nachzehrer is the debut album by German Black Metal act Seher. Furious, atrocious, and with the most beautiful guitar riffs that I have ever heard, this is a genuine tribute – and an ambitiously unique – to traditional raw black metal, although in a more coherent, sagacious and refined form. Although having only four tracks, Nachzehrer, Geist, Mensch and Donner – with a total length of thirty seven minutes –, Seher, with the present record, gives to the genre the most absolute, dissolute and diffuse form of raw black metal ever created. An astonishingly impressive record, with a sonorous intuition of greatly defined harmonies and rhythms, they are incisively spurious, aggressive, obscure, elemental, pure, strong and definitive, with a grotesquely intense element of pure cadence and symmetric synergy, which gives them a unique force of lancinating strength.
The first track already catches you up immediately. With an apocalyptic, raw, well designed but powerfully induced furious vision of abysmal wrath, the guitar lines on this track are definitely one of its greatest attributions, being harmonically, intrinsically and ambitiously corrosive, but magically poetic at the same time. Following the first track, a more melancholic form of aggressiveness approaches you, but solidly and vivaciously maintaining the beauty of its elements, with a guitar strengthening and solidifying constantly the basis of the music, for the remainder of the record. The final result is an insanely brutal, concomitantly philosophic, and astoundingly envisioned path of Black Metal, with unique elements of melancholy, wrath, melody and purity, greatly infused together.
It is not so rare to came across great pearls on the genre, but Seher, on this magnificent album, Nachzehrer, manages to be quite unique. Effusively surrounding their harmonies with more delicate and beautiful compositions, they slowly build their own trademark on the genre, being solidly remarkable, skilled, proficient, technically induced, and intuitively whimsical, working in detail the more poetic elements of the genre, while at the same time incorporating the greatest content that makes us all love black metal: ferocity, obscurity, rebellion, isolation and sadness. But their ferocity is built with a solid degree of art, their obscurity is filled with delightful harmonies, their rebellion is rightly precise, their isolation is remarkably clear, and their sadness lives throughout a sonorous continuation of all the right components correctly inserted on the verge of a real and revengeful black metal.
This four tracks, complementing each other beautifully – although every single one of them with its peculiar characteristics –, form the basis of a sonorous ground of epic, melodic and poetic coalition of sound, giving continuation to the tradition without ignoring their potential for originality, foraging and rearranging the role of melancholy in the genre, reassuring in the proper places all the magical, brilliant and fundamental elements that solidify the authenticity of a powerfully unique Black Metal, giving to it the strength that it deserves!
A fantastic fusion of technique, soul and emotion, beautifully combining tradition with innovative audacity, this record is a superb masterpiece, that deserves its place on the genre’s history. Please, do not make the heresy of not listening to this album. A great unsuspecting vortex of philosophic beauty, stoicism, sensorial glorification of emptiness, sonorous delightful poetry and original sorrowful contrivance, Nachzehrer is a groundbreaking, delightful, abysmal, never condescending and surprisingly original masterpiece. I’m greatly proud that this album crossed my way, and having listened to it was a remarkable experience!
electronic / dream pop / shoegaze
Well, that's a fairly decent way to start a conversation, "hello, we're not enemies". I think it's a suggestion every single person on this planet needs to stick to. After all, hasn't it been enough with all the hate, fear, abuse and aggression? Isn't it time we need to put the humanity back into the human race? Wouldn't a little love, empathy and respect make this world a better place for everyone and everything living here?
Italian one-man act Novanta surely seems to agree with me. This project, formed by Manfredi Lamartina, dwells in the gentle but gloomy area of shoegaze and post-punk, using dreamy electronics as a basis to explore his sound. Guitars and an often equally dreaming voice make up the rest of the music, highlighting in songs like 'Tell A Story', which comes close to trip-hop or the heavy shoegaze 'Goðafoss'.
That being said, this album is pretty varied to begin with. While listening to 'Mike', I can't help but think of Smashing Pumpkins for some reason. 'Akureyri' delves into the sound of acts like Boards Of Canada or Bonobo. 'Blue Lagoon' hints towards Slowdive while 'Melted Eyes' combines eerie drones and soundscapes with almost distresses vocals. That's plenty of variation, without losing grip on his own style, and that certainly deserves a compliment. Recommended stuff? Absolutely!
Let's get straight to the point with this one: this is a weird doom metal album, arguably one of the strangest I've heard in awhile. It certainly takes some getting used to and some of its aspects might be questionable to a number of doom metal fans. For starters, there's the artwork, which might not be very attractive to people. Then, the whole album has a raw, unpolished sound, apparently not "full" enough for a five-piece band. Finally, there's the raspy baritone voice of Serge, something between Danzig, Conan and Lemmy perhaps.
Stonewitch are a French band, inspired by both doom metal and the whole NWOBHM scene, and that might be where the confusion started in the first place. When they're talking doom, they're talking Candlemass, Cathedral, Black Sabbath and Saint-Vitus but combined with (early days) Iron Maiden and, indeed, Danzig, the whole thing gets another dimension. What Stonewitch do with these influences is actually quite interesting. They take me way back in time, back to a time when "metal" wasn't even a term yet, let out "NWOBHM" or "doom".
Listening to opener 'Eerie Valley of the Crimson Planet' I wasn't sure yet, but as soon as 'Beyond the Sharp Vine' started, it became clear to me. This is heavy blues, a term that was invented way before Black Sabbath became popular. This is a massive throw-back in time, one laced with strong guitars and great grooves. Gradually, the album grows, highlighting in the energetic stoner doom track 'Holy Smoke'. I also like the groovy rocker 'The Sign Of The Wolf', which sounds more Manowar than Candlemass but who cares.
In all, this still is a weird album but definitely not a bad one. It is brand new but sounds like it's forty years old and that's something that rarely happens these days. Apart from that, I do think that these songs will do better during live performances. And that's where doom metal needs to shine, shock and awe. You need to feel doom, not just hear it. On this album and on many others too, that feeling takes time but on stage, this music certainly has potential. So check it out, and try to catch these guys live when they play anywhere near you.
rock / alternative
The Netherlands surely are a hotbed for decent rock music. Ok, I admit, they're also responsible for the gabber culture (drug induced hardcore techno) and the dreadful shlager craze but as far as rock music is concerned, the Dutch rarely disappoint. Just think about bands like Within Temptation, The Gathering, Epica and After Forever, four bands who created an entire genre and made it big. Without them, there would probably never have been a Lacuna Coil or an Evanescence.
Which seamlessly brings me to Shiverburn, a five piece rock vehicle, and their debut 'Road To Somewhere'. They claim to be inspired by bands like Nickelback, Paramore and Alter Bridge, or better, by the whole of the powerful sound of American rock. They formed in 2013 and released a first ep the next year. That ep showed a little bit of Shiverburn's ultimate goal: absolute domination in the rock industry. In that aspect, the debut full-length, 'Road To Somewhere' is an excellent step into rock stardom.
Musically, that gigantic aspiration translates into strong riffs, catchy melodies and the strong and versatile voice of Sanne. The music strongly nudges towards hard rock, sometimes even blasting out some fierce metal riffs. In the meantime, Sanne adds a whole lot of sing-along capacity, certainly in the chorus of songs like 'Breaking Me', 'Explanation' and 'Sick Of Waiting'. Some of these songs are potential smash hits, due to appear on several charts and yearly best-of compilations.
As much as I like the album, and I really like it, it raises a question for me. What is Shiverburn going to do after this? On one hand, they have the potential to be respected members of the (hard) rock community with their heavy, in-your-face sound and their strong charisma. Yet, with radio-hit candidates like these, it's easy to fall into the trap of flat commercialism, leading to stale pop songs who make them a lot of money. It's going to be a tough decision for Shiverburn, but either way, they deserve it.
Grieving - Demonstrations
indie / punk
Hailing from Cambridge, UK, indie punks Grieving throw a few energetic pieces of lo-fi rock music in our faces.And quite frankly, sometimes that is all we need. Their influences include Guided By Voices, Fugazi, Television, The Lemonheads, Bob Mould and Wolf Brigade, which could explain the varied sound of their songs. Sometimes they're emotional, coming close to indie pop while on other occasions they blast out of my speakers with a severe punk attitude. My favorites on this ep are 'Ownership' and 'Warmest Jets' but I also really dig the noisy and somewhat creepy 'Little Armoured'. In all, this stuff will certainly reach the many festival goers wherever Grieving do their stuff...
Howling Giant - Black Hole Space Wizard Part 1
Fuzz yeah, this is the shit. Well, it is if you're into bands like Mastodon, Baroness and Red Fang. Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, USA, Howling Giant comes up with some infectious stoner rock, nudging towards psychedelic rock and doom. The trio seemingly consists of nerds who combine their love for comics, space travel and downtuned, fuzzed-out guitars. Personally, I am more than ok with that, certainly if they keep on blasting out their massive sound in stunning songs like 'Mothership' or 'Exodus-Earth' and even in noise faceslaps like 'Dirtmouth'. My favorite is the doom track 'Clouds Of Smoke' but I have to recommend this stuff to any psychedelic stoner doomer out there.
Moloch / Gurthang - Split
doom / black metal
Give Praise Records seems to have a flair for interesting split 7" releases. This time, the label invited Ukrainian horde Moloch and Polish blackened doomers Gurthang. Moloch got the opportunity to open the split with an atmospheric intro and a massive track where funeral doom meets sludge metal. I really dig this song, but as far as I'm concerned, it could last for about twelve minutes instead of (barely) three. More haunting doom metal comes from Gurthang, who deliver another piece of crushing metal, not as raw and primitive as their colleagues but still damn immersive. The keyboards give the whole that awesome nineties sound. Yep, I'm a fan...
Celestial Grave - Burial Ground Trance
Iron Bonehead is another one of those labels who somehow always succeed in coming up with strange and obscure gems to please the filthiest of ears. This harsh, chaotic yet melancholic tape by Finnish black metal duo Celestial Grave is a perfect example of that. The three songs on this ep are not loaded with blast-beats (except for closer 'Burial Ground Trance' but still contain the necessary elements to make this a fierce competitor in the raunchy underworld of the blackened scene. The music is primitive but at the same time shows a great deal of musicianship and songwriting skill. The whole is not so much a performance, more like a dark ceremony or a nocturnal ritual, driving on vintage riffing and powerful drums. For collectors of obscure blackened gems, this certainly is a must-have. For others, well, I guess a lot of fans of extreme stuff will like this. So check it out and allow yourself to dwell in the thick sound of Celestial Grave
Intempestus, Antares, Necrohell & Vent - Black Metal Warfare
More obscure blackened filth, this time as a tribute to the 7" releases by German label Sombre Records. On this 7" we get some harsh, raw and primitive black metal, courtesy of four bands from the German underground. Intempestus opens with a grinding, punk induced song that will rip your head wide open. Antares comes with 'Revelations', a lo-fi piece of work that sounds as grim and haunting as this genre should be, and a well varied one too. Necrohell delves right into the old 'World Domination' compilation with their thick, grinding sound and relentless punk induced riffing. At the end, Vent comes up with a delightful piece of doomed and blackened audio-filth, my favorite one on this already impressive split.
Boak - II
Hardcore Punk / Powerviolence / Grindcore
'Boak' is Scottish slang meaning vomit or feelings of excessive nausea. That should already explain a thing or two about this ep. With four songs, in all not even seven minutes long, these Scottish canaille throws old school hardcore, grindcore and powerviolence in one massive heap of musical extremity. Yet, the whole thing is quite catchy if you're into this stuff, certainly because it's also loaded with weird samples. These songs can easily cause moshpits, walls-of-death and crowdsurfers wherever Boak decided to plan their next assault. My favorite is the last track, 'Pamplona' but the whole thing is so destructive that 95% of humanity will never be able to withstand the other tracks, HAH.
The term "supergroup" often makes me cringe a bit. Why? Well, mainly because I believe that the term is merely a marketing statement. Quite frankly, I don't really care who exactly is in a band, as long as the chemistry is present and results in something good. I mean, sometimes it feels better to play music with childhood friends than with seasoned musicians in a certain genre. Then again, sometimes those seasoned musicians are loaded with talent, experience and craftsmanship.
Oracles is a brand new band, based in Kortrijk, Belgium. The band was formed in March of last year and immediately started working on this debut. Members come from bands like Aborted, System Divide and Abigail Williams. The debut includes guest contributions from Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry), Ryan Knight (The Black Dahlia Murder, Arsis) and Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore). Jacob Hansen (Epica, Volbeat) mixed the whole thing and Colin Marks (Strapping Young Lad, Aborted, Fleshgod Apocalypse) was responsible for the artwork.
There, a whole bunch of big names in the world of metal. In that aspect indeed worthy of the term "supergroup", but the main question remains: "how does it sound?". Well, it sounds brutal, technical, harsh, epic, atmospheric, industrial, melodic, intense and extreme. This defies all classification, dragging elements from death metal, grindcore, gothic metal, black metal, industrial and progressive metal into a massive whirlpool of musical extremities. And then there's even a cover version of Marilyn Manson's 'The Beautiful People' which is better than the original if you ask me.
Dryly said, this album contains a massive heap of brutal riffs, methodical drums and a surprising alternations of Sven's fierce growls and screams and Sanna's elegant singing. That combination somewhat sounds like an extreme version of bands like After Forever, Epica and Nightwish, done by highly talented musicians. Highlights on this album are 'Catabolic (I Am)' and 'Body of Ineptitude' but the whole thing is mesmerizing, something every fan of extreme metal should have in his collection.
Once again, I'm pleasantly surprised by the stuff bands from Belgium can come up with, and I'm not even being patriotic here. Just face it, extreme metal hasn't really been evolving in the past few years. Leave it to a mastermind like Sven De Caluwe to initiate the evolution and lead another Belgian act to the main stages of metal festivals far and wide. So get your filthy hands on a copy of this brilliant album now. You know you want to...
This is quite a hilarious coincidence, reviewing an album named 'Farewell To The Sun' on the hottest day of the year. The weather here in Belgium has been so miserable here lately, rainy, cold, grey. We Belgians were already preparing to say farewell to the sun. But the past few days have been hot and sunny. In fact, for me it's currently too hot to go outside, so what better way to spend the day than with some melodic blackened doom metal, right?
Vow Of Thorns hail from London/Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. They formed in 2010, released 'Forest Dweller' three years later and now return with a stunning piece of work. Earlier, we already posted the brilliant opening track 'Meeting On The Astral Plane', an immersive blend of black metal, doom, post-metal and even a passage of old school heavy metal. Today, I'm happy to guide you through the rest of the songs.
One band that often comes to mind while listening to this album, is Agalloch. That's not really a coincidence since the band has been a major influence on Vow Of Thorns, but also because the album is mixed and mastered by Jason Walton. Other references include Opeth, Woods Of Ypres, Fen, November's Doom, Primordial and Drudkh. The music can be brutal, fierce and relentless but also melodic, calm and emotional .
The 'Farewell To The Sun' trilogy on this album is probably one of the best pieces of blackened music I've heard this year. The tempo usually is quite slow but that doesn't affect the massive intensity of the whole thing. Often I can't help but think about the Scandinavian scene during the nineties, including bands like Amorphis, probably because of the melodic approach here and there. Yet, it constantly alternates with modern day post-rock/metal, much to my delight.
Needless to say perhaps, but this album comes with a lot of variation, ranging from mild acoustic passages to gutripping pieces of black metal, complete with blast beats and eerie screams. In between, you can find some monolithic doom, immersive as hell. I can easily imagine this stuff being played live, effortlessly captivating the entire audience. No doubt that 'Doomed Woods' will bring a lot of people in a state of trance at those performances.
ambient / drone
Endless Void, released on June 21, 2016 is only one, on a long list of recent releases, by James Parrott, a prolific and highly productive drone/ ambient/ soundscape artist from Edmonton, Canada, that has more than one hundred releases on his bandcamp page. A great and exceedingly creative musician, that creates intense, somber, diluted and transient atmospheres, Endless Void, having only one hour long track, titled Abyss, is an intense, voracious and highly insinuative journey throughout a hazardous, wonderful, brilliant and testifying experience of sound.
Best described as a calm, lenient, tranquil, intense and profound voyage through indescribable layers of unfulfilled poetic sensibility, Endless Void, as well as its only track, Abyss, already has a title that can be defined as the best description one could get, to perfectly feel the atmospheric serenity of descending and sincere sonorous intimacy, that overwhelms throughout the record. Thrown in an infinite void of definitive and decisive bewilderment, you will feel yourself positively levitating and floating throughout worlds of imperial and transcendent cosmogony, realigning your soul constantly in a transparent sun of rewarding and fulfilling clarification. A perfect journey to experience with your eyes closed, you will travel to the most distant places of existence, on the corner of a track that will lead you through the depths of your own emotions, constantly exposing not only the possibilities of sound, but a philosophy of emotionality recognizable on the far side of true distant places, reachable by the confined nuances of a highly evolved sonorous intricacy.
With several distinct layers of opacity that unrolls throughout the development of the track, revealing different nuances and substances of sound, Abyss manages to remain constant on its one hour journey, while exploring a perception of sensibility that covers several aspects of the evolving, but ever changing calmness, that collides constantly on the thin grammage that exposes the decisive run, upon which the track circles its own objectives, sincerely revolving around the rhythm the exposition of harmonies that diversifies its own merits. All of this to defy and purposefully steal the global sphere of correlated sonorous objectives, that solidify beautifully the harmonies of the track, on the basis of a direct, but somewhat stricken, autonomous ambience.
With an ethereal and discursive degree of complexity, this is a track that, little by little, convinces you that musical boundaries, in fact, will never exist. Constantly featuring a permanent expansion of its own boundaries, James Parrott, on his Endless Void, precisely on this magical track simply titled Abyss, manages to expand, feel, deny, confirm and relocate all the possibilities that we normally don’t associate with music. Continuously classifying, in the reminiscent permissions of a vigorous realignment of soul ambitions, this almost ecstatic journey throughout the universe that sleeps inside yourself will wake you to the mathematical probabilities never seen at the light of day. Nevertheless, the sound presents us a path constantly and visibly exposed in the interior realms of dreams that never fades away.
Never seen upon the eye, Abyss subtlety presents you the underlying features of a highly pure, elemental and glorious reliability, firmly deceiving, surpassing and unraveling the symptomatic delicacy of a joyful existence, transforming all of your senses into an intuitive, gregarious and serene composition of descending harmonies, turning you into a molecule fully integrated – but at the same autonomous enough to be able to interact – to the whole universe. Always prepared to capture the core of your essence, and thereafter define your energy as a universal stranded element, draining in sound the opalescent notoriety of a vigorous convalescent sense of purpose permanently tied to your identity, Abyss will make you feel astoundingly reversed, on a trip that launches from within you, reaching your exterior to embrace your interior, to be in the end, fully exposed in a universal catharsis, where you will be completely exonerated by the opportunity to truly discover what kind of cosmos you hide within your soul.
Monumental, fantastic and greatly intricate, James Parrott, with Abyss, the only, one hour long track, on this Endless Void, really throws the listener into an exhilarating journey throughout an infinite abyss filled with an endless void, to be rescued in the end by the surreal redemption of an unfulfilled cosmic vastness, that relies deeply in the bottom of every magic, dark and beautiful drone soundscape. Listen, accept, feel and surrender. This is a purely inspirational and cosmic elemental artistry, made on the vacuum emptiness of the top of the horizon.
ambient / downtempo
So Far is the most recent album by ambinate, the nom de plume used by New Jersey electronic musician Adam Boffa, who works in a particularly incredible and curious manner several styles and subgenres of electronic music, like ambient, dubstep, intelligent dance music, glitch and chillout, amongst others. Mostly used to release EP’s instead of albums, So Far is his second full-length. Nonetheless, Adam himself explained that this album is a “collection of singles, sketches, and previously unreleased tracks written over the past five years”. He also affirms that a lot of the tracks on the album were unused or alternative versions of songs that have featured on other releases.
With thirteen tracks, So Far manages to be a remarkable album. A mostly dubstep/ ambient album with melodic undertones, So Far really do an amazing work for electronic musical artistry, inserting fresh, new and creative exultation into old elements, reworking lines, harmonies, principles and fusions that constantly reminds you why you were, you are and always will be into electronic music. A beautiful, melodic, philosophical and genuine work that reinvents basic intuitions of sonorous intimacy and reverts undeniable and soft graces of pure symmetry, So Far is an album you shouldn’t miss. Remarkable on its subtle ingenuity and shy skills, So Far, besides being curiously creative in a sometimes very naïve and ingenious way, with some minimalist arrangements of graceful repetition compelling the songs to surpass the boundaries of its own imposed rhythms, this record deserves to be considered purely for what it is: a groundbreaking masterpiece of unbreakable and creatively inspiring definition! Never electronic music was treated in such a daring experimental level of lucidity, with such a solid result. Circulating melodies that revolves around the harmonies defined in the core of the songs, Adam Boffa expands the boldness of his musical ambitions into an ever changing invisible pattern of underlying stargaze beauty, that constantly contemplates the visual accuracy of sounds eager to perpetuate their own notes into a cyclic demand of infinite prerogatives and intricate perspectives. Nevertheless, able to function in a cohesive field of abrasive displacements, that seems to be powerful enough to relocate these same allegorical notes of color into the previous structures that allows the melodies to dignify their outstanding capabilities as the driving principle behind the engineering of the songs presented, what we hear is the composition of a consistent pyramid of sonorous latent exposition, inserted on the top of a sensible line of intuition, unraveling an ambitious and poetic defiance, that recreates the musical order normally imposed for electronic music.
So Far, so good! This album is simply beyond any ordinary description, as the marvelous universe created by the superbly convoluted, cyclical, harmonic and poetically dense melodies in constant expansion throughout the record reach a decisive collision point at the core of its own superb sonorous supremacy, being rewardingly outstanding, to say the least. Allowing the sagacious preciosity of the imposing beauty of the songs here to shine above the horizon of the usual serenity that we commonly hear brightly descending on the easy layers of the genre, I can absolutely assure you that So Far is a brilliant record. And undoubtedly, the songs Bloom, 0713, Should, 1012, 5013, Really and Victory Road are among the most remarkable ones, visibly highlighting the precious, gracious, rare and creative traces of originality that this fantastic musician, Adam Boffa, aka ambinate, inserts into his music, giving a vigorous injection of innovation and fresh air into the scene. A powerful creative force that can really do the difference in the contemporaneous scenario of electronic music, generating and combining in an audacious and amazingly surprising way several different styles, genres and subgenres, and daringly exposing a new order for harmonies to impose themselves over the rhythms, Adam Boffa’s ambinate has everything that it takes to be considered the next new name of electronic music. If not globally, locally, to say the least. Nevertheless, this record is designed to break barriers and surpass boundaries. It is so groundbreaking free, enthusiastically fresh, poetically renovating and melodically reinvigorating, that not to recognize the qualities of this album should be regarded as a heresy. This is an outstanding, amazing, defining and unique work. If electronic music profusely reinvented by dubstep harmonies, reverberating softly with melodic and vibrating tones is your thing, you shouldn’t miss this record. It was made especially for you. Listen for yourself, and dare to say I’m wrong!