Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meæ (Review)

Blut Aus NordBlut Aus Nord are a black metal band, (among other things), from France. This is their twelfth album.

Blut Aus Nord are a well-known band with a well-known proclivity for experimentation and producing music that’s as unexpected/unpredictable as it is rich, dark, and textured. Continue reading

Advertisements

Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival (Review)

PyrrhonThis is the third album from Pyrrhon, an extreme metal band from the US.

Pyrrhon are not your standard band. I first encountered them on their 2014 album The Mother of Virtues, and even then they were a distinctly atypical and genre-breaking proposition. Continue reading

Element of Chaos – A New Dawn (Review)

Element of ChaosElement of Chaos are a progressive metal band from Italy, this is their second album.

With a sharp sound, serrated riffs, and savage vocals, Element of Chaos burst onto the airwaves with the first track on the album The Second Dawn of Hiroshima. It’s quite an entrance. Continue reading

Sloth Herder – No Pity, No Sunrise (Review)

Sloth HerderThis is the debut album from Sloth Herder, a blackened grindcore band from the US.

Sloth Herder are a murky underground monster that’s slowly been rising up through the underworld over the last few years to claim its victims. With No Pity, No Sunrise, they’re finally ready to make their big assault. Continue reading

Sepultura – Machine Messiah (Review)

SepulturaLegendary Brazilian metal band Sepultura return with their fourteenth album.

On Machine Messiah Sepultura continue their blend of thrash, modern metal, experimental metal and tribal percussion, and they do this in such a way on this release that they sound revitalised, energised and fresh.

The band’s albums are frequently exploratory and tentative in nature, with a mix of straightforward metal tracks and more experimental ones that see them pushing the envelope and trying new things. Continue reading

Brain Tentacles – Brain Tentacles (Review)

Brain TentaclesBrain Tentacles are an experimental/avant-garde/jazz/grind/doom metal band from the US. This is their debut album.

Experimental/avant-garde/jazz/grind/doom metal is a bit of a mouthful, and in all honesty doesn’t even properly do justice to the sounds that this album contains at any rate.

In addition to the usual drums and bass you’ll also find synth, piano and horns on this release. But no guitars. Continue reading

Novallo – Novallo II (Review)

NovalloNovallo are a Progressive Metal band from the US. This is their second EP.

Well, there’s a lot going on here. At only 22 minutes long this features more creativity and ideas than most albums three times the length. This is Experimental Metal featuring elements of the Progressive style as well as Jazz, Funk, Djent and Electronica influences.

This EP is a like a bright, shiny beacon of exciting and interesting music. It’s like the proverbial breath of fresh air. Of course, it won’t be for everyone, (but then again what is?), but these groovy and imaginative tunes certainly can’t be accused of lacking ambition or flair.

The singer’s voice is smooth and slinky, fitting in with the ultra-modern delivery of the music with ease. He’s like a Rock version of Jamiroquai.

Try to imagine a Djent base mixed in with a Progressive edge, Electronica melodies and added Jazz/Funk. Periphery meets Incubus meets Jamiroquai? It’s not far off.

The music is like an unusual version of a Pop hit, only with added guitars. It’s quite rare these days to hear a band doing something so completely their own, but Novallo are doing this more than most others.

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to freak out to music that doesn’t care what you call it, but just wants you to feel the groove and move.

A hit, to be sure.

Super Massive Black Holes – Calculations of the Ancients (Review)

Super Massive Black HolesCanadian band Super Massive Black Holes play Experimental/Progressive Jazzy Death Metal, and this is their début album.

This is bright and shiny music that’s technical but also slightly whimsical in nature; there’s something of the Devin Townsend about it.

The band manage to mix disparate elements of Devin Townsend, Opeth, Ephel Duath, Gojira and Cephalic Carnage; schizoid jazzy breakdowns, atmospheric interludes, Stoner vibe rockathons, pseudo-Grind workouts and heavy melodic cyber Metal all collide on this album.

The songs are surprisingly cohesive for all this. Sometimes an idea or a section can feel a bit half-formed or unfinished, however, although from the sound of it this could very well be intentional; to keep the listener guessing or to stop them becoming complacent?

The vocals are mainly between a shout and a growl, with the vocalist reminding a little of the singer of Gorod, or even Gojira on occasion, only not quite as emotive.

I like this album, although it definitely needs time to reveal its charms and won’t be to all tastes. Give them a listen and see what you think.

Epistasis – Light Through Dead Glass (Review)

EpistasisEpistasis are a US band that play experimental Metal.

It’s relatively hard to classify; combining elements of Black Metal, Hardcore and Progressive Metal. With a trumpet.

Let me see…if you take the urban decay and atmospheric barrage of a band like Red Harvest, mix in the experimental extremity from some of Converge’s work and add splashes of Ephel Duath you’ll be on the right lines. Add to that a singer who screams with the best of the Black Metal/Scream-core elite and you’ll have a package for a very interesting and gratifying release.

There is a lot going on in these songs and although they have brutality and intensity in spades they also offer a whole lot more than that. When they want to they can be very atmospheric and create darkened moods ripe with promise of arcane fulfilment, if only the price is right of course.

The use of the trumpet is inspired and is nowhere near as intrusive and incongruous as you might expect; its contributions are relatively subtle and work wonders in adding a further layer to their labyrinthine sound.

Unfortunately this release is only 26 minutes long, which is a shame as the band clearly have a lot to offer. However what they do give us as exceptional and worthy of repeat listens.

Individual and distinctive. Highly recommended.