May 102022

(We may be well into May, but Andy Synn still has albums from last month he needs to talk about!)

As I stated in last week’s column, I don’t plan to make a habit of this, but April was so packed with excellent new releases by relatively unknown bands that I had to split up my usual “Things You May Have Missed” column into two parts in order to feature as many of them as possible.

Of course, there are still several things I/we didn’t get around to writing about, including AzaabBasatan, and – most notably – Dischordia, whose new album is currently sitting very high in my provisional year-end rankings.

But I only have so much space and/or time, and really didn’t want to extend this to a third part, so choices, and sacrifices, had to be made.

Still, I think you’ll be happy with the artists/albums I’ve selected for part 2 of “Things You May Have Missed” from last month, which this time includes some Prog and Hardcore influenced Post-Metal from Norway (Claimstaker), some esoteric and experimental Black Metal from Belgium (Dissolve Patterns), and a pair of bands from the good ol’ US of A, one dealing in gloomy shades of gargantuan Doom (Qaalm) the other delivering a noisesome plague of harsh Blackened Death Metal (Worn Mantle).

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Mar 292022


In their introduction to the self-titled debut album by the Belgian avant-garde black metal band Dissolve Patterns the Italian label Brucia Records recommends it for fans of Oranssi Pazuzu, Ved Buens Ende, and Fyrnask. For many of us, they really needed to say no more. Anyone who might make music that inspires such references would be worth checking out.

It turns out, thankfully, that those wonderful references are accurate, though other compass points also come to mind in following the album’s fascinating maneuvers (at the end of this article we’ll share an excerpt from another reviewer who drops names like Primeval Well, Feral Season, and The Silver).

The songwriting inventively mixes together ingredients of black metal, progressive music, and dark jazz, while also adding experimental accents. It does this in intricate and unpredictable ways, creating a musical amalgam that’s both elegant and assaulting, hypnotic and desperate, often steeped in melancholy and just as often calamitous. Continue reading »