(Austin Weber returns with another collection of recommended music, this time featuring seven(!) bands.)
Some are of the opinion that the music of the present is on a perpetual downward slide, and if you’re in that group I probably can’t change your opinion because that’s what you believe and feel is true. But I feel the current musical landscape is healthy, and for metal at least, continues to be fertile ground for untapped potential, overflowing with an abundance of new genre crossover acts and developing ever more subgenres at an alarming rate.
This seems to bother purists and others who find such mergers distasteful or (and sometimes I agree) formless and often lacking in a uniquely constructed identity. In spite of that, there will always be that divide between those who intake influence and only create weaker copies of their idols, and those who create something of their own out of what influences them.
What follows below is a hodgepodge of music, equal parts instrumental, kvltdisco, deathqueef, and post-prog. That’s obviously sarcasm, but upon coming up with the joking term post-prog, I thought to check Google and see if anyone else had used it in a serious way. Sadly, Google proved that I was not alone in using the term, and led me to a Last.fm article informing the world about what its contributors deem “post-prog” . As usual, nonsense reigns supreme and reality remains a divided house ruled by individual perspective, as it’s always been.
I put last year’s album Discontinuities by the one-man experimental microtonal black metal band Jute Gyte on my year-end list for good reason. Now, like clockwork, Adam Kalmbach has produced yet another album, and Vast Chains is more of the same creepy, doomy, and unorthodox sickness I’ve grown to love from his music.
The first track “Semen Dried Into The Silence Of Rock And Mineral” is a swallowing, lumbering introduction to the unearthly aura Jute Gyte vomits forth freely, and track two “Endless Moths Swarming” is the unsettling dissonant arena where things kick into high gear. Additional props go to the title of the next track, “The Inexpressible Loneliness Of Thinking”; couldn’t agree with that title more, and the musical picture it paints of that theme is vividly morbid.
If you like what you hear, he has an incredible number of other albums available on the same Bandcamp page. Jute Gyte is easily one of my all-time favorite one-man black metal acts. Listen and find out why.
I featured Goodthink’s 2013 album Ascend on my year-end list here for good reason — its diverse blend of instrumental metal laced with a heavy portion of nonmetal ideas is powerful, often moving music, awash in melancholic feeling. I’m particularly a sucker for the beautiful and peaceful tracks that Goodthink deliver with ease, and this side to their material shows up frequently on new EP Interim.
Interim features soothing post-rock and ambient-meets-metal numbers, and my personal favorite “Snowfall” is a lush addictive track I can’t seem to stop playing — though the other tracks are no slouches either, with elements of groove and mathcore making their presence known and never in a dull way.
California’s own Anewabyss create some wild instrumental metal on their recently released debut Dreading My Thoughts. The music the trio have so elaborately crafted resides within a unique merger of jazz fusion and death metal that transcends the boundaries of both styles, bringing something stunning and fresh.
I can’t say I’ve heard any band who sound quite like this. Some tracks, such as opener “Sypher”, are more solidly fusion, while some align more closely with various shades of death metal, as witnessed on the epic closer “Whirlwind”. But most of the time the album is a dynamic, heady mix of the two that shifts from simple and beautiful to spastic and speed-riddled with a fluid sense of grace. In addition, the artwork is sick. This is far from your typical instrumental metal, so make sure to give it a listen!
Very recently here at NCS, I wrote about the French lunatics in Plebeian Grandstand, who dropped a bestial statement of tortured unceasing hostility on their new track “Thrvst”, which will appear on their new album Lowgazers coming out March 31st. Now they’ve released another new track named “Endless Craving”, and it’s more of the same maddening, difficult-to-characterize music. It’s a ravenous, sour song that constantly teeters on the edge of imploding into sheer cacophony.
This is ugly music that’s hard to love, but filled with a hate that’s hard not to love. For those who foolishly skipped hitting play or missed out when I wrote about them recently, I’m re-posting that first song as well. As I stated last time, don’t press play on the video if you’re seizure prone!
I’ve grown attached to Aenaon as of late. These horrific Greek black metallers have a multi-faceted approach that always keeps you hooked and guessing. They just dropped a new album at the end of January called Extance that features Mirai from Sigh and numerous additional instruments including piano, alto and tenor saxophone, various synth effects, harmonica, and cello, as well as other guest vocal contributions.
While I agree with the band’s label of progressive black metal, it’s more than that. In fact, I would say that it’s more often avant-garde in the way they incorporate non-black-metal elements into the songs. Tracks such as “Funeral Blues”, with its gypsy lounge spurts and defiant singing, that later dive-bomb into a gutter blastbeat heaven, show you the range and versatility Aenaon possess. It’s wonderfully different and highly creative.
I wrote about New York-based experimental metallers Epistasis last year here at NCS, and was very excited about the label-defying, densely composed music they crafted on their self-titled EP released in 2012. Moving forward to 2014, Invisible Oranges have just premiered a new track called “Finisterre” from their upcoming EP, Light Through Dead Glass. It’s an effort that stands as a bold evolution, but that was to be expected from such a forward-thinking group.
For starters, Epistasis have added vocals to their arsenal in their upcoming music, and there’s a new-found black metal side to this effort as well. This new black metal infusion is seamlessly integrated into their previously established nightmarish soundscape of classical-meets-metal and contorted rock, sewn into enthralling yet disgusting forms.
The release date for Light Through Dead Glass is set for April 1st through Crucial Blast Records. For those who missed my post last year, I’m including a Bandcamp link to their prior EP. I’m also including another song from their upcoming music that’s available on their Bandcamp for those too lazy to make the jump to Invisible Oranges.
Lately I’ve been finding a lot of good music through my friends in other States who’ve been spreading the word about talented, unknown bands that exist in their regional scenes. That’s precisely how I heard about up-and-coming New York death metal spacefreaks Orbital Frame.
They just posted a full stream of their new EP Orbiting Catastrophe ahead of its release. It’s a wild trip, traversing a space-oriented journey fueled by a fusion of melodic, technical, and progressive strains of death metal. Orbital Frame’s frequent proggy keyboard inclusions certainly set them apart and are interwoven in a way that would likely appeal to fans of Lascaille’s Shroud and Nocturnus. Orbital Frame is a band to watch for sure; make sure to grab a copy of Orbiting Catastrophe once it’s officially available on Saturday.