A Dozen reviews across many boundaries...
Voidcraeft- ?Be?- CD/Digital ( I, Voidhanger )
Experimental extreme metal is nothing new. Either are the elements of Jazz, Prog and Post Rock getting into the mix. Voidcraeft is something of a mix of all of these . This one man force from Germany has decided to mix elements on bands like Manes, Code, D.H.G, Veds Buen Ende, Mayhem and Negura Bunget into something that is equal parts terrifying , awe inspiring and down right perplexing. IF you like music from labels like Nordvis, D.M.P, Anja Offensive , A.T.M.F and Bindrune then you have a great understanding of the Kind of Music that this band is presenting to the world. Black metal is just truly a piece of the puzzle going on here. There are even Noise rock and Doom metal place delicately into the sonic wall of passion and fury going around. The vocals are some of the most stark and dark styled vocals I have heard in a well. There is a sinister quality to these vocals and at time the band again sounds like a black metal version of Voivod . There are so many more things that can be said about the underlying sounds and textures but this band is a major undertaking to say the least and demands your time for a few listens before the barbs connect and take you into the abyss of madness and wonder..
Old Forest- Dagian- CD/ Digital ( Avantgarde )
This comes from the drummer of In the woods as i read it and its the same band that released an album many moons back on Mordgrimm label. What I hear just from the 1st two tracks is a very Nature Based Pagan Black metal band that could have seen the light of day on many of the European labels in the late 90's early 00's. This has that Misanthropy, Holy and early Candlelight records days. You can hear why Avantgarde signed them though as is a kind ship to bands like Katatonia, Monumentum, Kvist and even a few wounded love releases. There is a old world romanic folk element into all of this release as well. The vocals go from clean reverbed vocals to Doom and Grim Blackened vocals. I hear a lot of Dolorian going through out the speakers as well. Old Forest has that late 90's dirty hypnotic production that draws you in with its primitive elements and then you hear all the real complexity going on. Heathen ritualistic Black epic metal is what I'm going to call it. All you need to know is it's well worth your aural adventure..
Charm Designer- Everlasting- CD/ Digital ( Inverse Records)
Wait what where the hell did this band come from and why did you wait this long for me to hear it Inverse SHAME ON YOU!!!!.. We have something that is immediate and clear from the South American unit. They have a love of two styles that work amazingly well together . Gothenburg Melodic Death metal and Gothic Doom . Dead on if you could mix Tristana and Dark Tranquility into one band you would have Charm Designer . This is Monster ins production, sound and song writing. The warn synths, clean and down tuned fuzzed out guitar . The mix of clean and growled vocals almost in a symphonic way and those Melodies damn those melodies they will not leave my head. Do you like your Doom that comes from labels like Peaceville, Napalm, Displeased and Avantgarde labels then folks you have come home with Charm Designer. Just let this band over wash you with the tones of sorrow, hope and power . There is even a good groove element mixed in for good measure.. GET THIS !!!!
Lobo- Alma- CD/ Digital ( Signal Rex)
When it's time for the universe to darkened and disappear it's not going to happen fast or in a violent manner it's going to last 1000's of yrs and then go out with a last flicker . Lobo is very much a band in that ideal and mission do you like bands like Esoteric, Skepticism, Dolorian, Phobos, Saturnus and Pantheist.. If you are a fan of lumbering doom metal with that ethereal feeling then you will be a Lobo fan and never look back. Every thing is a build up to a massive sound and then break down back to just a gentle whisper. There is very much an electronic/ industrial side to this band that comes from that Godflesh love . Lobo is a band that creates sonic landscapes of power and might that takes centuries to fully complete and if they ever really do the sounds never go away the just go to the next universe for future species to feel, hear and explain for the next Thousand generation.
Allseits- Chimare- CD/ Digital ( Cyclic Law)
I know it's been a good 5 plus yrs since the last time I heard material from Allseits. Experimental music can be something that takes the listener to another realm or a point of absolute boredom and emptiness. Allseits is a primal and drifting drone project from a German force named Nina and let me tell you this is not a disappointment at all are you into bands like Maeror Tri, Inade or Robert Rich . This is the temple AllSeits comes from . We Have Majesty and Flowing epic droning guitars, minimal percussion and dark industrial over tone. There are times whem i'm listening I even heard martial elements like Militia and Sophia . Chimare is a massive undertaking and well worth every moment to listen through out several times. The battle between darkness and light is done stunningly well on this album. Where so many fail Allseits succeeds again. This about layering and getting the listener invested into each track. Music can be a story and Chimare is a muscial novel on the highest order..
Fifth to Infinity- Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire - CD/ Digital ( Avantgarde )
Thinking mans metal is a very hard think sometimes to get across in words and with Fifth to Infinity they have a love for Prog metal, Black metal and Atmospheric Death metal and just for the hell of it add classical intro's and elements just to show how skilled the band is when all is done we have something that comes across as a love of bands like Forgotten tombs, Shining, Deinonychus and Dornenreich. This is what is and will always be called Dark Metal from its strong mix of Doom, Black and Prog flavors. As times its massive and deep then turns on a dime to delicate and fragile. Mixed acoustic movements with some of the most earth shattering low end distorted guitars and walls of synths. Every time I hear a band like this it's almost as the vocalist is preaching end time speeches rather then singing . Its more of a command and orders.. Fifth to Infinity is very impressive check them out..
Costin Chioreanu- The Quest for a Morning star- CD/ Digital ( Avantgarde )
Ok so every once and while a get a pure Progressive musical masterpiece and I just defy's a'll stylistic and any preconceived notion. This gentleman have worked with Current 93, Sigh , Mayhem and many more. Just listening to this album I feel that if you can mix parts of bands likes Ulver, Devil Doll, Unicorn, Arcturus , Lycia, David Galas, Orphaned Land and Ava Inferi . You would get something close to what I'm hearing on this album of just shear beauty and textures thats just make you want to see what the future is going to look like and what the past was really like. There are Ethnic, Eastern, Gothic, Progressive, Jazz, Avant and Post Industrial sounds coming through on every song. Jarboe, Swans and Raison D etre feelings come from this album as well. Please Avantgarde do not let this album get lost in the musical shuffle of the worlds digital cries. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE !!!!
Aniqatia- Luminous- CD/ Digital ( Nefarious Industries )
Ok so some of you out there need it to be industrial, metal or a select style or genre well this is going to confuse and make you wonder what the hell and why I like this but it mixes some of my favorite sounds into one band Post Rock, Post Industrial, Gothic rock and Shoegazing elements. Imagine for just a minute if The Mission, Sisters of Mercy, Rodan, Caspian , Quicksand and Swervedriver members formed a project it would sound like this . Yes Aniqatia is a band based around emotion, the human spirit and the ture code of what post hardcore started on make music the moves the mind, heart and soul. Where you want to take this music is up to you but I promise if you really listen to the album and take it all in the album will change the way you hear music from this point forward..
III Omen- AE. Thy. Rift- CD/ Digital ( Nuclear War Now)
The cover art makes me feel like I'm going to get a demo raw black metal release. Well remember don't judge an album by it's cover. Simply because what we have here is a sinister ritualistic Black doom album with some deep atmospheric layers going on here. III Omen know how to make an album dark and haunting at the same time as bringing in some epic droning guitars and low guttural vocals with lumbering percussion and feeling that the reaper is right around the corner watching you as it's close to the end of days for you. Presentation really does play a major role in the other all tone and theme of the music. Another band that I hear a strong Dolorian nod to in style and overall musicianship..
Cetacean- Breach/ Submerge- CD/ Digital ( Apes who looked up )
Well well well someone loves Neurosis , Yukuza and Ihsahn are these are the 1st three bands I hear but the more you listen there are some strong times with Giant Squid and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum as well. So I would have to say Blackened Hardcore inspired Doom on a very avantgarde journey is where this very chaotic circus is coming from and going to. The vocals are just full on nightmarish torment and the music follows just at a slower and more sledgehammer way. The jazzy horns and freeform jazz elements just throw you for a wonderful loop through out the album. Sometime weird is wonderful and with Cetacean it is simply is just that. Let the madness flow and make me interesting music over and over again . Hats off to you team Cetacean.
Chestburster- Sline and Guilt- CD/ Digital ( Svart )
So the very 1st thing I hear was Misfits, Dead Kennedys, TAD and Noise Rock bands like Jesus Lizard, Shellac and Surgery coming from my speakers as it going along I going to say if yoru a fan of labels like Amrep, Touch and go and Alt Tentacles then this going to be an amazing ride as you just have a Dirty Noisey Punk band with love for Elvis and rockabilly going on here. There is a such a sludgy bluesy element to this almost in the same way John spencer and Melvins through it into there music were it never takes over but damn Chestburster you have to be honest and say Glenn Danzig is a major influence in what you do.. Just love this shit keep it up and make sure I get another album ...
Goatpsalm- Downstream- CD/ Digital (Aesthetic Death)
Ritualistic Atmospheric Black metal with a very nature based over tone. There are elements of Folk and ambient music going on . This is what blue grass influenced Black metal is to my ears. There is something very special about this Russian band and they way they create their craft. I do even hear some strong industrial element through out the tracks. I don't want to say pagan at all as its release is a ritualistic mix of past , present and future in the sounds they are working with to make an album like Downstream. If your looking for a black metal album this is not that . There is so much more going on here. There are even some very doom and death metal moments going on there. I swear I hear Banjos in some of the tracks. The closest band i have really heard to this is Negura Bunget and Fluerety middle period works. I hear a lot of IIdjarn even stuff like the more ritualistic albums on Cold Meat and Cold Spring labels. This band really does travel the lines of Industrial and Metal . If you like this check out bands like Halo Manash too as the finish black metal and industrial movements have bands that are similar as well. Goatpsalm is a very impressive band to say the least.