Search Results for "Album Review"

Album Review: Spylacopa – “Demon John”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 2:24 PM (PST)

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John LaMacchia of Candiria fame returns with the latest record from the Brooklyn resident’s acclaimed Spylacopa project (purchase HERE). Like anything else he has been a part of, Demon John shows a huge range of musical capability while retaining a sense of adventure and reverence for art itself. This is not mere showboating just because he can.

From the collage/electro weirdness/soundtrack feel of “Van Sicklen Valley” to the almost shoegaze/dark post-rock meets grunge feel of lead single “Duskeyhead” ,there is a swirl of influences too numerous to break down. Besides, that would only be another form of showing off and it is cooler to let the music wash over you in movements than to nitpick it all apart.

“Nolita Lullabies” appears to be recorded street noise of someone kind of ranting about how real friends will never harm you. It’s a cool :52 interlude and kind of funny if you have ever heard someone slightly intoxicated on a street corner. Sabrina Ellie’s backing vocals on the dark , almost Nice Cave meets Bee & Flower reminiscent “Lovely One” are also a highlight.

“mAlice” is an alternative rock gem that bears the most in common with the recent Parallels or previous Spylacopa EP in terms of tone. LaMacchia sounds like he has grown a lot more confident as a singer while also displaying some of the great melodic lines here that were sprinkled throughout the semi-controversial more melodic (yet nonetheless banger) Candiria record What Doesn’t Kill You

There is an almost Alice In Chains meets Swans by way of Brooklyn disillusion-feel to much of this record. It feels very much a postcard from John more than some of the other Spylacopa albums which, while bad ass, at times were more like an assemblage of bad ass tracks than the smooth narrative Demon John is.

“Christmas In the Desert” assures the lonely overall feel of this beautiful album is not lost, LaMacchia really showcasing his virtuosity as a player yet not tipping his hand on a reverb heavy acoustic instrumental that could have fit somewhere on a record from Burton C. Bell’s Ascension Of The Watchers.

“Frenz Lyke Theze” is another true highlight, a classical sounding dark ballad that is audiophile gold. Weird looping hand drum patterns and other aspects lend to a growing feeling of ascent as blips and a glitchy beat create a skeleton before your eyes.

Can’t wait to hear what is next from this restless spirit. This record proves beyond a doubt that LaMacchia can keep Spylacopa strong with any collaborators or on his lonesome.

Album Review: Anthrax – “For All Kings”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 1:56 PM (PST)

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Anthrax are back with For All Kings, the hotly anticipated and very well assembled follow up to Worship Music. They have added another jewel to their crown with this one.

From the start it is superior, even though Worship was a solid return to form. Not only do we get to hear what Jonathan Donais can REALLY add, the whole thing just sounds better sonically than pretty much anything the band has done prior. Plus, peep that Alex Ross artwork! Another very memorable and amusing cover!

“You Gotta Believe” is good enough to carry the record by itself, but the rest is no filler. Still, the opening rager (after the build up intro track) is a future classic that finds Belladonna sounding modern and in full command. It is one of Joey’s best performances in a long time and a fair match for the best of John Bush, despite me having a big love for The Sound Of White Noise era. The sense of nostalgia is because we all grew up with these guys but the songs are more than some mere retread of past victory. Melody, fiery battle charged riffs and great unison sections beneath red hot leads…pure Anthrax glory.

“Monster At The End” has a big elbows in the pit stomper riff with some superb leads again over the top. The vocals are crystal clear but gritty and Frank Bello’s bass rumbles like the Running of the Bulls. Pure headbanger’s delight.

Benante also needs to be commended as his solid backbone and well placed accents are perfect. He has his Anthrax team player hat on fully but gets to do some great signature rolls, speed up parts and flat out cuts loose as we all want in other parts.

More BELOW.

Album Review: Valleys – “Experiment One: Asylum”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 5:00 PM (PST)

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Raleigh’s Valleys have crafted a well executed progressive metalcore album with Experiment One: Asylum that is almost inhumanly spot on for genre style points. Like notes in a wine, the band cycle through atmospheric or djent-guitars, high vocal melodies that strive to fit into the progressive metalcore club rather than stray too close to clean mall emo vocals, etc. At their best they are a blend between some of Veil Of Maya’s edgier passages with potential (evident in the amount of hard work that clearly went into this) future Periphery-sized ambitions. For now, Valleys lack however the more original traits that make bands like Intronaut and Wings Denied or the ferocious new After The Burial stand out more.

Much better than most metalcore by numbers and capable than many new wave of prog metal bands, but not quite ready to write their Polaris.

More below.

XXX

Album Review: Megadeth – “Dystopia”

Posted by Andrew Johann Datoush on Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 4:10 PM (PST)

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Being a life long MEGADETH fan, I admit that I was devastated in 2002 when it was announced that the band was disbanding due to Mustaine’s nerve issues in his arm. Shortly after, issues between the Daves [Mustaine and Ellefson] surfaced, giving me that feeling that the final nail was in the coffin of MEGADETH, and I’d never get to see my favorite band ever again. Sure, their last two albums had been Risk and The World Needs A Hero, both of which I had liked, but weren’t nearly as strong as their prior releases. It seemed like this was truly the end.

You can only imagine the sheer ecstasy I had when I learned that Mustaine had relearned to play, and was coming back with a new MEGADETH album (2004’s excellent The System Has Failed) with a returning Chris Poland [guitarist from Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! and the groundbreaking Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?). Little did I know that album would mark the start of an amazing “Decade Of Deth”. (Yes, I actually air-quoted that as I typed it. What, you wanna fight about it?) The lineup changed a million times over, but the tunes were all killer during that decade.

2004 gave us The System Has Failed, paired up with the incredibly cool Gigantour in the summer of 2005. 2007 gave us United Abominations, with the amazingly good “Washington Is Next” single. Endgame came in 2009, and 2011 gave us a returning David Ellefson and the album Thirteen. (For the record, the song “13” is one of my top favorite recent MEGADETH tracks). The band was on fire, so it can only be expected that 2013’s Supercollider would be fucking incredible. Am I right?

Ok, so Supercollider was anything but “super”. Definitely the most lackluster of any MEGADETH record to date, but seeing as their first album hit in 1985, their track record so far has been pretty good. I mean, the album wasn’t so horrible that half the band felt they needed to quit shortly after its release, was it? (2 side notes here: First off, if you haven’t already heard Supercollider, it is worth a shot. “Kingmaker”, “Dance In The Rain” featuring DISTURBED’s David Draiman, and THIN LIZZY cover “Cold Sweat” are worth listening to. Secondly, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover both formed ACT OF DEFIANCE after leaving MEGADETH, and their album kicks serious ass. I suggest buying that one now. Well, not “now”. Finish reading my babbling here, and then go purchase it.)

Read more BELOW.

Album Review: Agoraphobic Nosebleed – “Arc EP”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, January 4, 2016 at 9:17 AM (PST)

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Agoraphobic Nosebleed somehow went from being an insider’s dream concept to a full fledged legacy band (in certain circles). The closest thing we still have left to anything as vitriol fueled as Brutal Truth, yet with the industrialized power/edge of Pig Destroyer/and the relevance of Drugs of Faith to boot.

The ARC EP finds the band in top form, a sleaz-i-fied riff fest two minutes into “Not A Daughter” the first and foremost real display of a burlier and at times pretty much southern rock sound for the band. You read that right. There are some real barn burner’s thrown in amidst the slog.

The EP- harsh vocals from Kat on full blast – is a true headbanger’s oasis of skull crunching pit worthy riffs that can appeal to fans of stoner, grind, fringe hardcore and even slow death metal at times. It is awesome the band continue to fearlessly evolve, just as Black Flag once did, for example. That’s one surefire way to stay relevant, unless you make a Cold Lake (which I secretly like).

Even the record art is more of a fine art mutation than some of the shockier stuff at bedbathsaltsandbeyond.spreadshirt.com.

“Not A Daughter” ends with a horn thrower of a riff worthy of Alabama Thunderpussy’s much missed Staring At The Divine-era, albeit a lot more evil. It’ll remind you Richard lives in Virginia (I think he still does, at least).

Anyway, this is the sickest fuckin’ band and you know it (or oughta). They make me want to barf out of my eyes. It’s pure bottled charge and pay off after payoff. “Deathbed” is a grungier dirge than the majority of recent melvins and us ugly as the S/T Eyehategod stuff, complete with low male death vocals and synthetic drum poundage. “Gnaw” has some stuff so knuckle dragging in it that it almost sounds like Xibalba was an industrial crust band. Fuck yeah!!!

I wish this record was more than three gloriously hellbent songs and was at least six. It’s a monster anyway and nonetheless will exhaust you with awesome adrenaline rush wall of metal power. But in a flaming heap afterwards you nonetheless want more material, a liberal bloodlusting for good art that will thaw any frozen corpse’s heart in a guitarbang of volume, aesthetic and road.

Pre-order HERE. Right now.

Album Review: Cauldron – “In Ruin”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, December 28, 2015 at 11:21 AM (PST)

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Unless you are birthday boy David Bowie, early January isn’t perhaps the
easiest time to release a record. People are still hungover from New Year’s Eve
or kind of acclimating to another shift in the cosmic calendar. Writer’s are
still relaxing after the mental stress of accumulating their year end lists
and trying to be the coolest. But Cauldron are not daunted by these factors
if new album In Ruin‘s opening cry of “Take no prisoners/feel no pain” is any
indication.

Either way, let’s give them some shine! Pre-order HERE!

Out the same day as Bowie’s rumored to be fantastic Blackstar, In Ruin is also
making sure January is already looking exciting. It may be more on the fringes
of Blue Oyster Cult worship than a K-dot inspired jazz heavy record from a
glam pioneer, but good music is good music. That’s something heading into 2016
we should all agree. We’ve got to support the artists still striving to follow
their muse instead of catering to increasingly narrow confines.

Cauldron prove Canada is currently one of the hotbed’s for good metal, a
welcome relief when I get tired of reading the phrase “6 God”. Their anthemic
“Empress” has you commited to the record fully by the second song. Kind of
like the proto-charge of Amulet on a more consistently Sabbathian tempo kick,
In Ruin is a real winner track to track. The band are even doing a full
Stateside tour with the killer line up of Warbringer, Exmortus and fucking
Enforcer! A nice, diverse bill that celebrates true metal through and through!

I’m especially fond of the sort of laid back and yet hoarse and energized
singing style and Chris Stringer production that is crunchy but slightly old
school yet competitive with the capabilities of today. Highly recommend this
bad boy. Full of little riff moments that will sweep you away, from the
dissonant hooky “Burning At Both Ends” to the quite 80’s big intro and
thematic refrain of “Hold Your Fire”.

Album Review: Exmortus – “Ride Forth”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, December 24, 2015 at 9:28 AM (PST)

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Exmortus return with Ride Forth, another powerful team up between the band and Prosthetic Records. From a razor edged cover of Beethoven’s “Apassionata” that would make The Great Kat and Bill & Ted of Wyld Stallyns proud to rugged and rowdy thrash originals with grimy yowls that invigorate with the same battle hardened intensity you’d expect from Skeletonwitch or the much missed crimson screams of early 3 Inches Of Blood.

“Black Sails” is a mid paced march that really stands out, the band a single entity of undeniable dueling guitars, melodic veined fiery runs and drumming that pumps you up and holds things together. Exmortus always get me charged up and wanting to go jog up a mountain. “For The Horde” is one of the fastest tunes from the group yet, a lightning blur of guitars that swipe like the downward killing stroke of a vorpal blade. It’s easy to envision the ramparts, just sayin’.

“Let Us Roam” is another favorite, the band really allowing themselves to cut loose with the shred but with an emphasis on cool songwriting arrangements and strong vocal engagement that deifies the grasp of some tech death bands, for example. Perhaps it is the thrashier influence at the heart of these also very classic heavy metal influenced tunes that invigorates rather than the distraction that comes with tech death in knowing that you could be listening to classic old school death metal and it would probably be better (though I love some tech stuff like Revocation and Fallujah bigtime). “Fire and Ice” gives Evile a run for their money with a very Metallica-tastic intro before a super medieval tinged gallop ensues, just an epic metal treat for fans of this stuff.

Verdict is once again Exmortus fans shall behold triumph.

XXX

Album Review: Spiders – “Why Don’t You?” EP

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 11:33 AM (PST)

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Spiders 3 song “Why Don’t You” EP is awesome ear candy married to hard proto-
metal and garage in the best, most Swedish of ways. I swear, Sweden just
churns out amazing bands still to this day from Spiders to Night Viper to
Blues Pills. This came out a few months ago, but better a late review than never!

This little three song gem is a great introduction to Stateside fans who might
not have heard of the group. You’ll def want to catch them when they hit the
States opening for tastemakers Graveyard in early 2016.

Frontwoman Ann-Sofie Hoyles has a no brainer, rich and compelling voice that
reminds me a bit of Sarabeth from Tower’s impressive pipes. A bit lower and
more dusky than some female vocalists, bluesy and full of feeling but not as
raspy as, say, Janis Joplin. The band even beat Ghost at the ABBA cover thing
with a less ironic and quite rockin’ take on “Watch Out”. The opening guitar
tone slices and dices and the snare sound is perfect. And those “ooh lalalas”!

The production on the EP is clear but not overstated, similar to recent
Horisont. Just pure win and to the point songwriting that will make you tap
your foot and get caught singing out loud in public. If this was another decade
“Why Don’t You” would be ruling the charts.

Album Review: Temple Of Baal – “Mysterium”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 4:12 PM (PST)

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Mysterium is my favorite Temple Of Baal release since their more death-centric
Lightslaying Rituals (when I first discovered the band). And this might be their actual best.

This new release from the French deathened BM horde is full of snarled and commanding vocals,
cool arrangements and a great mix that balances things well. The drums are
somewhat subservient to the guitars as is often the style of some French BM
traditions, but the snare sound is cutting and great. The whirlpool of guitars
that often represents this band at their finest and most furious retain their
seat at the front of the mix, with the vocals audible but adding to the
overall texture as well.

I love Temple of Baal’s whiplash inducing solos, which climb and writhe like
snakes and are often over before you can blink. The screams as well,
particularly on opener “Lord of Knowledge and Death” are full of dedication to
the dark artistry of this music. I’ve listened to this record a lot in a short
amount of time and while it is fairly relentless, you don’t (or at least I
don’t) get fatigued by it like some of their past albums. The performances are all killer and delivered with bullseye intention.

In particular mad props to (I believe) current drummer Scvm (ex-Order of Apollyon) who is insane on this.

The 8 tracks offer just enough of a battle scarred landscape to
escape your dull day in full and create a severe, furrowed brow mental picture
of determination, despondency and a sort of warlike longing for more. Fans of
mid period Behemoth or recent Mayhem will really dig “Magna Gloria Tua”, which hits as hard as anything on Evangelion or Esoteric Warfare yet has a seriously creepy onslaught of an atmospheric laced bridge full of tremelo, chanted background vocals and excursions into serpentine, cavernous dissonance. Certainly one of the band’s greatest moments on record to date.

This is a rock solid record that finds the band striking a great balance between their newer atmospheric tendencies (which I love) and the ferocity they have always had no shortage of. The songwriting is also more memorable. It wasn’t bad in the past but whereas before they got by a bit more on classic aesthetics (ala Italy’s Malfeitor who were relentless and great but not the most original), attack and one of the cooler names in BM, now you will find yourself headbanging and yelling along to ToB’s “Holy Art Thou” like it is second nature.

“Your name is carved within our hearts as the deepest initiation scar…” I believe one of the cooler lines goes. I wonder who they are talking about, hahaha.

Album Review: Kublai Khan – “New Strength”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 12:21 PM (PST)

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New Strength from Kublai Khan attempts to capture the bands wildfire live energy with mostly succesful results. The band play a particularly low end heavy brand of metalcore that doesn’t skimp in the energy department. They don’t exhaust ears by overly leaning on deathcore breakdowns, prefering rapid attack hardcore and groove heavy, almost borderline nu metal you wouldn’t find out of place on a downset or emmure album. The cool thing about that is that live you have plenty of basslines breaking things up before jackhammer guitars piledrive sweaty crowds, but can it translate onto their sophomore release?

The results are mixed. While some people will certainly find this to be right up their alley and the band are much more driven, pissed off and self-assured than many contemporaries, tracks start to blend together. “Smoke and Mirrors” will surely please modern metalcore fans with an anti-corruption in the industry theme and a full on pitting focus for the whole tune, the roared vocals really convincing you that the band are hellbent on survival with or without your help or trends. “Come Out Of Your Room” is another highlight, with a vicious opening riff that is as aggressive as the heaviest Gideon stuff, for example. It’s probably the most charged up besides the excellent and emotionally raw “Ghost Pains (pt.3)” with the very honest line “I am the product of a single mother.” Fuckin’ cool stuff and reminds me of the power of early Hatebreed.

read more below.

Album Review: Vastum – “Hole Below”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, November 26, 2015 at 9:48 PM (PST)

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Hole Below by Vastum (purchase HERE) is one of the most genre affirming death metal records of 2015, an ugly, relentless beast that makes you feel uncomfortable but has a presence- let alone riffs-so heavy you will be throwing your whole back into full body headbangs before you know it.

The West Coast band have yet to make a bad record, mining a certain old school territory but with a darkness all their own. More in the true crime then devil worship vein, the band come off like Grave disciples who just wanted to go a lot grimier. There is no technical wizardry here or studio fakery for the Rings of Saturn types to pee over, rather just true, relentless death metal with evil as hell sounding Morbid Angel esque solos (in very limited doses) . Oh, and a BIG tendency towards the slower-mid tempo inescapable marching style of DM. “In Sickness And In Death” is a standout example here, the band capturing the attention fully with 4:59 of pure murder before the even uglier “Intrusions” opening riff smashes down like a nightmare.

The effected vocals and emphasis on function over form is awesome. Like Autopsy since their blessed return the band just seem intent on cranking out quality releases. The production could be more hi-fi to some listeners most likely, but I personally feel like Vastum strike the perfect balance with their sound a little more dirty and underground than many bands. It adds to the sort of “true crime” feels big time. Death Metal doesn’t need to be clean and squeaky and pitch perfect. The best truly heavy stuff I have heard in recent years like Vastum or, for example, the much weirder Orbweaver, are more worried about having cool tones and making you feel unhinged mentally than if the song might someday get played on the radio.

Manny-O-War at Nine Circles has a great review of the lyrical bent of the band that I’ll link you to here, for first time Vastum listeners or anyone interested in reading more.

I should also mention that the band features the super talented  Leila Abdul-Rauf from Hammers of Misfortune, forgoing that bands crazy prog metal for true death here but with the same level of commitment to quality. If you pick up just one death metal record this year, well…you are probably lame. Pick up at least seven! But for real, this Vastum record, Castrator or Morgoth’s kick ass Ungod are all albums you don’t want to pass up owning before the year is out. In my always so humble opinion.

Album Review: Mirror – “S/T”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 8:59 AM (PST)

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Mirror are a new, classic sounding metal band on Metal Blade who will likely
have a pretty good repeat listening value if you are a reader of this site.
Fans of sort of proto metal and NWOBHM influenced bands like Amulet or Night
Viper, who I often plug, will likely dig this. Throw Slough Feg in there was
well, as there is plenty of guitar worship and riff driven songwriting here.
Dueling guitars and willfully throwback tones with a bit better drum sounds
and other benefits of modern production, but never so clean that the spell is
broken. Plenty of head nodding moments on here.

“Curse of the Gypsy” has a certain, rugged “Highway Star” crunch to the
guitars with spooky laughter and “ahhhh” harmonies zooming out of nowhere for
great effect (think Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” looped coughing type vibe). The
band are not on the super doomy side of Sabbath, save perhaps the semi-
Candlemass sounding very awesome “Year of the Red Moon” track and a few other
moments. “Madness and Magik” is pretty darn close in effect and tone to
“Country Girl” from The Mob Rules album though, not like that is a bad thing.
Mirror are just as often akin to Diamond Head’s Lightning to the Nations
though or something like that, especially in the vocal range department. There
is not as much flair or power as, say, Holy Grail’s James Paul Luna or
Huntress’ Jill Janus (if Metallica had made the recent Huntress album Static
everyone would be flipping out but we live in a sexist world). Still, Mirror
vocalist Jimmy Mavromatis sounds like a true believer and certainly is a fit
choice to front this great band.

Mirror was the brainchild of Tas Danazoglou, perhaps best known for playing on
one of Electric Wizard’s most underrated albums Black Masses. Did I mention
fucking Matt Olivo from mighty Repulsion plays on this! It will be a lot to
wrap your head around if you are a fan of the much faster and grimier
Horrified, but who says metal dudes only have to like one type of metal?!
We’re family here in satan’s armpit!

Check the whole album out HERE.

Album Review: With The Dead – “S/T”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, November 23, 2015 at 10:51 AM (PST)

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After Cathedral’s monumental swan song The Last Spire, easily one of the best
doom records and farewell records in the history of metal and a huge win for
post 00’s true heavy metal, many wondered if we would hear Lee Dorian’s raspy,
unique voice again. The high wizard of Rise Above Records has returned much
sooner than some may have expected with the new, less active band With the
Dead, featuring fouding Electric Wizard rhythm section Tim Bagshaw and Mark
Greening.Their new S/T record is excellent.

This was a huge year for doomy, sludgy, stoner bands-especially those on the
more extreme side. From Demon Lung’s A Dracula‘s groovy but bewitching might
to Crypt Sermon’s classic sound to Hooded Menace’s death infused slime sludge
to Lucifer rising and proving we’d still have Gary Jennings of Cathedral’s
mighty talent in the scene as well! Hearing Dorian intone ,“Illuminate this
cosmic heart” on With The Dead’s “Crown of Burning Stars” is more than a
simple pleasure in life. If you love the real history of metal, this album
will hit you like numerous super hard birthday punches from your best mates.
It’s all there for doom fans. Haunting, occult samples to rattling, room sound
drums with cutting cymbals to bulldozer riffs at ponderous tempos from beyond
the grave, your mind will drift to brink of the edge of outer space with
Dorian narrating like Lewis Carrol’s mad hatter was an undertaker and Master
of Reality was mandatory listening at your funeral. “I Am Your Virus” features
some cleaner passages on guitar and great use of space, but the majority of
the passages on this album are crushing, doomy yet melodic and fully
charred like a dying, still smoking caldera.

Album Review: Sunn O))) – “Kannon”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 8:51 AM (PST)

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Pre-order Sunn O)))‘s Kannon HERE.

Sunn O))) are a band where you show up for the experience. Be it live immersion ritual or the banquet of movements that tend to make up their diverse (to the keen ear) yet droning records, the band are purveyors of the finest sonic wines when it comes to the intermixture of textural arrangements. Listening to the band at times can be like travelling through some symphonic cave of feedback, strings, half heard voices and grasped for revelations. It’s very much a fight between the headiness of the music and being removed by the overall overwhelmng body impact of the tones.

New record Kannon is not as complicated in construction as the massive Monoliths & Dimensions, an admittedly towering achievement of a record. That said, Kannon‘s “goddess of mercy/perceiving the sounds or cries of the world” philosophical and spiritual facets are a refining of many elements that have been present in the group’s aesthetic for awhile yet, as the band admits in the press release, more figurative than their usually more subjective records. “Kannon 2” howls like “Boris” by the Melvins was slowed to a 4th of it’s already famously ponderous speed and no drums were involved, instead letting some of the biggest rung out riffage in the band’s recent years swallow the whole world before semi-Gregorian sounding chanting cements the vibe. It could have been an instrumental but you feel caught up in the presence of the whole.

The wonder of this record is that you don’t always have time to question if they could’ve added or taken away at times because you are too distracted feeling it. “Kannon 3” is 11:26 of ear ringing that shows this drone approach can still compete with the Prurient fans and noise/ industrial types for impact.  With Kannon it comes on like a fake didgeridoo of wall of guitar distortion, ringing out with a solitary,slight twang and natural control you might expect from Duane Denison, yet doomy as fuck. No member or collaborator overshadows.

Another album that runs welcome and counter to the brainwashing meme culture and prison-like pop format chatter of the general public’s limited scope of conceptual ideas.

Album Review: Nhor – ‘Momenta Quintae Essentiae’

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 10:03 AM (PST)

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The UK’s elusive and deeply talented Nhor returns with another record that encompasses a certain holistic wholeness of self, from artwork, naturalism and awareness of space that is a hallmark of each release from this artist. Whether nature illustrations with attention to every line to black metal that mines a stone strong heart for courage to a philosophical current between the records of a respect for the massive, interconnected Universe, this project could easilly find fans among the appalachian meets black metal set or wolves in the throne room types or traditional fans of pagan metal. There is nary a hint of dogma here, orthodox and anti-cosmic types be damned (which, they’d be into, haha)

Momenta Quintae Essentiae is a beautiful, sparse and contemplative record. It’s closest cousin in the Nhor catalogue is Upon Which Was Written In The Stars, an early, gentle piano driven EP.

Momenta Quintae… is equally thoughtful yet more seasoned. The effortlessness of the compositions is pretty astounding, as you really sort of by default slip into allowing the music to happen as an experience without picking it apart. “Ante Primam Lucem”, for example, rolls calmly for 6:09 of very unselfconscious and to the matter piano playing. Fans of Helen Money, Solstafir, Alcest or other bands who develop through tempo control will appreciate the lack of a rush to the material. It exists, almost like classical compositions, on its own firm terms. Unlike some classical, however, nothing is ever overstated. “Hedera” is simple and beautiful enough to be part of a hand binding ceremony. I also like “Nosce Te Ipsum” because the music slightly reminds me of the quiet intro riff to “One” by Metallica.

This is a much less dark release than the brilliant and breath taking Within The Darkness Between The Starlight, a BM record I’d highly recommend as an all time favorite of recent years. However, the light play of music here is a welcome body of work, like ripples on a lake you are relaxed and burdens can be released in a less abrasive and more natural way.

Another big creative victory for Nhor and perfect for reading at 2am or a lonely autumn day.

XXX