This is getting out of hand. Anyone with a picture of a forest and can release atmospheric blackmetal nowadays. Earth & Pillars does it all; over-long-intros, muddled, unclear production and each track taking about 15 minutes. The sound is a greenish-grey chaos, and never really innovative.
A more 'flower-power' centric album which takes the sound of the '70s and puts it in the hands of these crazy aussies who (maybe unexpectedly) treat it with the uttermost respect and regard.
This and the remixes of this album are probably the most creative fun you could have with snappy electronic dance. Tends to stick in your head and on repeat.
'WITTR'-like doomy blackness, slow and piercing, tragic and majestically beautiful
One man synth-black act which leans on Deafheaven. Works very well, too bad he churns out albums like crazy, and most of them are instrumental. The vocals are what keep this one above the rest.
My first real proper introduction to 'marauder', darkwave disco, Satanic Morodor, whatever you will. It's twisted electro, with a blackmetal background. Satanism hasn't sounded this thick, intense and swingy since the '80s!
A black metal record without the polish, exposing only deep disgust, melancholy and pure hate. The vocals get spat in your face, this album knowns no compromise. Feels really truthful and honest.
Fluisteraars is one of the premium Dutch black metal acts (IMHO), and while they do nothing revolutionary, what they do, they do with great care and passion. Solid riffing, melodic tremolo and very good vocals. Tracks tend to be a tad overlong but each one has enough variety to keep it interesting.
One of the new Dutch blackies, Wederganger takes the folky-clean vocals from Heidevolk, takes a decent jug of Amon Amarth riffing and some of Urfaust nasty fury. The result? Interesting, brutal, but not really my cup of tea.
Hip-hop nowadays is out of my reach. Albums are stuffed with feats and beats jumping all over the place and cramming every corner of each track. It's all too glossy and commercialized. Sad, because somewhere in there you hear the potential of yesteryear.
Sometimes I take trips down memory lane and take a whiff of the hip-hop scene. Dope D.O.D's Bloodshake introduced me to Salmo, Italian rapper. A language shown to be made for fast rapping. This album is brimming with energy and nice flows. It's gonna be hard to sit still.
Enslaved are good at what they do, and not afraid to do different things. This is a good thing and I can appreciate the band for it, but this album is too power/proggy for me, and the black vox that it has, don't really suit me.
It's astounding how much quality one man can make. From concept to songwriting to composition and production; this record has it all. It's a one man army with an enchanting tale to tale, and it does it so well. Deep folklore passages and rattling blastbeats topped with delightful screams.
Here's a record from the new BM scene in Iceland where the endless piercing cold and smoking lava get translated into layers of drones and distortion. Twisted, dark, deep and layered. My personal taste is that the layers miss a lil' more variance; it tends to blend together as a big mass of darkness
The Finnish folk project with potential, were forgotten for 8 years. Till now, and I'm sad to say, it's lost it's shine. The sole instrumentation sounds forced and missing the atmosphere of the earlier records. Sad, because I really, really wanted this to be amazing..
Wiegedood's debut blew me away with it's fierce passion, energetic hate and despise. A solid wall of sound, filled with subtle melodies and catchy hooks. It's like cocaine; it destroys you, but it's so addicting, you want more. Moar!
Swedes can do everything best, as long as it's dark and depressing. Like a thriller, detective or black metal records. This record is exciting, dark, builds tension and above all, done by one man. Chapeau!
It's a whole other take on the folk side of black metal where the elements don't blend but compliment eachother in a fenomenal way. One equal part classical harp goes great with solid, melodic mid-tempo blackness.
There's also a lot to be said about Myrkur, and again I don't give a shit. I just find this a poorly written and recorded album. The dreamy folk does right by me, but the black metal parts seem forced, unnatural and gimmicky. She tries, but doesn't really succeed.
These guys are known for large-scale and epic theatrical albums, and this one is no other. A fine mix of prog, black metal and folk. But because the record wants to be listened like a book, I don't pick it up as often as I should.
Batushka is bringing back the gimmicks big time, by bells, church choirs and nasty Polish black metal. Remnant of Graveworm, but with a better focus on interesting riffing and production.
Straightforward and to the point are the keywords here. Mgla shows you don't need much to have an effective end-result. Using just the core ingredients of black metal, they forge a solid picture of the genre with catchy hooks and nice riffing.
Ghost Bath is in on the major -scale chaos game. Like Deafheaven they paint a brutal but colorful picture. They even tend to take it over the top with some almost poppy soloing, and the vocals tend to lack impact. Good sound, but I've heard better expressions of it.
The opening of this album is so amazingly catchy and full of interesting and creative ideas, you'd expect to be let down by the rest of the album. That's the charm of this one; it keeps 'm coming! Though the first few songs are definitely stuck in my head the most, the rest of it isn't sold short.
As it's cover, this album is a overproduced world of wonders to lose yourself in. Highly detailed layers of fizzy bleeps and bloops, staggering synths, bubbeling melodies and funky guitars. This is overproduction done right.
Making a "Part 2" of any successful record is a bad idea to begin with. It is no different for our Infected Mushrooms, where 'Part 1' was an original mix of two sides of the same coin, this one reeks of cashing the commercial market. Quasi trance lovesongs 'Feat. Sasha Grey'? C'moooon.
King Gizzard does what it does and the Lizard Wizard pulls some magic out of a hat. An acoustic release features the classic Gizzard songwriting and catchy lyrics, but set in a rural 'playing with the family' kinda sound. It's an odd duck, but very fun to see.
Wannes did it again, a wayward blues-pop-americana-folk record with a fragile sound and heavy heart. He sounds true, bare and personal.
The new Panopticon focuses less on the folk and more on the thick, heavy barrages of riffing and deep gurgles of gruntwork. This doesn't mean the album is any less atmospheric. If anything, it's ever more intense this way.
An 'EP' which spans 40+ minutes. It's break time for these blackies and they choose to chill with cosmic ambient soundscapes, still solemn and ever lonely. Though there is a sense of companionship in this kind of lonely. An album turn of your head and flow on ethereal rivers.
A smooth and mellow record, oozing hope and desire. Extra tragic in the light of the frontman's suicide, but it feels like the celebration of the thinking man's mind. And I respect that.
With all the positive reviews around saying 'Much better then Sunbather!' I needed some time to warm up to this record. At first I didn't hear anything better then Sunbather, but after a while I saw it. A much more experienced, balanced and more aggressive take. Less colorful, extra intense.
Ott is a master of playful chill-out electronics and he set out to make more 'songs' rather then an album. "I failed miserably" he said when the record came out. Now more then ever there is a flow of progression over the album, taking you on a psychedelic journey of strange and kind things.
There's a lot to say about Fresku, he made an heartfelt album to get out of his mess, giving off on 'the scene'. Now he's king of it, and all later releases keep coming back to that issue, he's real , in your face and honest about it. Sadly, as an album there are quite some instant-skips on here.
Frisian Black Metallers Kjeld deliver their debut with a vengeance. As AMG wrote a 'frigid, punishing, and viciously melodic record that’s a consistently exciting listen'. Clear, to the point, focused and just the right amount of epic to swallow the violence thrown at you.
Sorry, but no. I'm still not convinced. I'm still not in overproduced poppy deathmetal to sell backpack patches to goth schoolgirls. This is not my cup of tea and probably never will be. I can hear these are decent musicians with proper skill, but it's not for me.
The Tallest Man On Earth has a band, and while it adds some much needed variety to his singer-songwriter blues, it also takes away from the personal and soul of the earlier records. Maybe this is another one trick pony gone their course.
Distorion-centered ambient release reminiscent of Agalloch's 'Ashes Against The Grain' closing piece.
Rudd teaming up with a African reggae act? Couldn't be more psyched! But alas, the result is dry, lacks inspiration and tends to disappear as a nondescript tree in the monotonous forest of reggae. It lacks an image.