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  • Drew Music

    This review has me so hyped to check this out that hearing anything even slightly underwhelming on this one might actually cause me physical pain.
    Side note, I don’t know if I’m legally allowed to own any more albums with some variation of this cover. It would seem that all things serve the sphere, woe Discordia.

    • GardensTale

      Maybe next year will be the year of towers and/or beams.

      • Drew Music

        I hear you well, and say thankya.

        • Jeff Manteiga

          Thankee-sai!

  • ssorg

    Hm…. 4.5 rating. I can’t listen to the linked music right now. Can somebody please confirm my suspicions that this Is Not Metal?

    • Choodi

      It’s not ‘Not Metal’

    • Malev Draizhen

      The track linked on youtube has pretty interesting but still heavy guitar work, there’s arpeggios but also heavy riffing. It has that wall of sound and slightly unmetal like vocals but I wouldn’t go as fas as saying it’s Not Metal.

      • ssorg

        Thanks… sounds like It Might Be Metal. I’ll be sure to give it a listen when the little demons are abed

        • Grymm

          You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

          • ssorg

            Not sure it’s my cup of tea. I do like the approach of basically reassembling post-hardcore with the sonic tools of metal, but it all feels a bit too adult for me. Needs a jolt of energy or something; the singing is too controlled, or the songs need to get a bit more unhinged. This would appeal to the parts of me that Jeremy Enigk’s first solo album does or something like Samiam, but even Enigk backed by a string quartet hits harder than this.

          • osmark86

            oh man, haven’t jammed some gool ol’ SDRE in a lifetime. thanks for reminding me of my inadequacies :)

    • Eli Valcik

      I can be what ever you want me to be, baby.

    • Danny

      It is metal. It is also “Not Metal”. As in, it is metal (gestures by throwing arms widely apart) but not metal (gestures by holding hands very close together). Make sense?

  • Mr T

    You almost lost me with Katatonia. But embedded track was pretty good. Fuckin hate katatonia.

    • Choodi

      I pity the fool who hates Katatonia.

      • Drew Music

        I didn’t think such things were even possible. Dissolving Bonds, man! DISSOLVING FUCKING BONDS!!!

        • Still floors me that they left it as a b-side. It’s my favorite song of theirs.

          • Drew Music

            It’s a favorite of mine in a class of its own. It’s probably safe to say it’s my favorite song by them (I routinely loop that one track for hours on end, especially during late autumn into winter,) but where its entire sound and vibe are so unique to most of the rest of their discography – especially with the direction they were moving in by The Great Cold Distance and all – I can absolutely understand it being a B side. Still, though, I’ve never found that haunting lead bit to be anything less than completely enthralling.

    • This is far superior to anything I’ve heard from Katatonia. Katatonia and Amorphis are two bands that I just find really bland. I also mention Amorphis as I just feel that those two were really key in establishing blandness at a similar time. Different band(s) – same bland.

      • Danny

        Its funny, because I have to agree that I’ve always felt a strong spiritual similarity between Katatonia and Amorphis despite their large musical differences as well. I just happen to think they’re both amazing.

      • Dymanic

        Agree 100%

      • RuySan

        Katatonia until Last Fair Deal (including) was anything but bland. All those albums are classics in my book. Probably among the most wretching music I’ve ever heard.

        After that, yes. Still enjoyable but kind of bland.

    • RuySan

      I love Katatonia and The Smiths, but to me the it doesn’t sound like either.

      But I really like it either way.

  • Eli Valcik

    Stop giving me all of this post stuff, it’s good and all but I want some fuzzed out old school doom. Just give me another Foundations of Burden or Absolution.

    • You’ll take what we give you and like it!

      • Eli Valcik

        YOU’RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!

  • Thatguy

    Band Photometer says ‘music nerds.’

    There is nothing wrong with music nerds. 4.5? Probably not 4.5 for me, but I’ll give it a listen and see.

    • You wot m8?

      Verdict?

      • Thatguy

        A bit dull and I don’t like his voice.

        3.0 at best for me.

        • You wot m8?

          I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting, probably a 3.5 – 3.75 for me. Not a 4.5 though, too much “meh” filler between the really good songs.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    It’s Katatonia’s world….we just live in it.
    Gimme gimme.

  • rumour_control

    Interesting opening paragraph in another intelligent and solid Grymm review. On the contrary, the Younger Me looked for melody, and, now, the Older Mang, prefers dissonance, anti-melody, and a heavy atmosphere over accessibility. Regardless, I always enjoy the thought process running through the Grymm mind.

    • Grymm

      Don’t get me wrong, I still love dissonance and chaos (Anaal Nathrakh, Voices, etc.).

      • rumour_control

        Oh, most definitely. Neither of us would generalize our excellent tastes in metal. I just hooked on to your hook of an opening paragraph, in regards to hooks. Always making me ponder, my friend. Thanks.

      • Eli Valcik

        As a younger guy I think I might be going through that myself currently, at the moment I just consume Black Metal semi-regardless of quality. I am curious to see how my taste in metal progress as I get older.

        • rumour_control

          The full circle aspect as you get older is fun, returning to music you once dug, but abandoned, but the adventure and journey angle of new discoveries is also going to be very fun for you, too.

          • Eli Valcik

            Well in that case I can’t wait to be some old dude blasting Bolt Thrower out of my car windows while picking up my kid from soccer practice or some shit.

          • rumour_control

            Indeed. You’ll just need to turn it to 14, instead of 11.

          • Been there, done that. It’s fun.

          • Matt slatz

            A forest of stars blasting while dropping off at Sunday school got me the look of death

          • basenjibrian

            I left a cd in my car when dropping it off for service. The kid commented that he did NOT expect such from a gentleman of a certain age lol

          • Drew Music

            If I ever get cursed with children, I can’t imagine that the act of me dropping them off anywhere will be anything shy of deafening and traumatizing to all.
            “I don’t care that he’s 2 and that all the other parents are staring, he can learn to love Dodecahedron or one of those fuckwads can adopt him!”

          • Eli Valcik

            Raising a metal Baby. tm

          • Name’s Dalton

            I have one due in about two weeks.

          • Name’s Dalton

            Basically me now.

      • Daniel Ritson

        The only negative thing about the Akercocke reunion is my fear that we won’t hear from Voices again anytime soon.

        • Grymm

          Voices are working on a new album as we speak. I think it comes out later this year, in fact.

          • Daniel Ritson

            Best news I’ve had all week – thank you.

    • Drew Music

      Get the hell out of my head. As an angsty metal Drewlet, I worshipped at the altars of In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Soilwork, et. al. Nowadays, if I can hum it I probably hate it. These days I cast my quarters into the wells of Ulcerate and the like, attending as many black metal masses as I can and atoning for the sins of worshipping false gods such as (I’m sorry) Five Finger Butt Punch by spreading the dark word as far and often as I can. Isn’t the metal road an awesome one to look back upon? Cringeworthy at times, sure, but I love looking back at my metal roadmap and seeing how I got here, and I’m more than just a little curious how I’m going to go about making my way further down.
      Still following this needlessly self-indulgent tour of my nostalgia? Respect and appreciation, here’s some crazy-good metal recommendations guaranteed to break your mind and make you a better person*

      Ire Wolves
      Maladie
      Woe
      Soothsayer
      Abyssal
      Amestigon
      Eryn Non Dae
      Abkher
      Antihedron

      *not guaranteed to make you a better person

      • basenjibrian

        Amestigon rules.

        • Drew Music

          Ain’t that the truth, Hochpolung still always elicits some form of awe from me any time I hear it.

        • Eli Valcik

          Love those guys too, got the vinyl.

      • Daniel Ritson

        Second Abyssal. For those looking to give them a shot, last I checked, their first two were free on Bandcamp (altough well worth dropping cash on).

        • Drew Music

          Second cash dropping. Any extra (HA!) money I have after budgeting everything out on payday gets doled out a dollar at a time to as many NYP downloads as I can afford (it probably bears noting that at least one vinyl per week is a mandatory factor during aforementioned budgeting.) These guys were recently one of such finds for me, and a vinyl of Novit… is surely on the horizon as a result.
          I fucking love Bandcamp.

      • Eli Valcik

        Ire Wolves is pretty neat.

        • Drew Music

          Damn right, yo. Also, random, but do you know if the rest of Chamber of Horrors is gonna show up in our Bandcamp collections on the release date? I got my (badass blue) vinyl today and it came with a download code, but it was through a separate site and I can’t find anything that says the usual “the moment the album is released” pre-order bit. I don’t know why that’s bugging me, but it is.

      • rumour_control

        DAYS of fun with your list, Drew. Can’t thank you enough. Especially appreciate Amestigon and Abkher. Woe, I’m very familiar with; the others, I am, but had not listened to them much, and could not find any Ire Wolves.

        • Drew Music

          Happy to help! The Ire Wolves download was free on Bandcamp but I can’t find it through a search of the site, it’s in my collection though, if you have an account there maybe I can gift it to you?

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I didn’t realize how much the guy sounds like Morrissey until I read it mentioned in the review. After that, I couldn’t shake the comparison away. Another thing I couldn’t shake away about the vocals was that they don’t seem to match the music.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Has more in common with Midwest emo like Giant’s Chair, Boys’ Life, Hum, and Shiner (who were not emo). Big guitars, booming drums, clever hooks, and clean vocals. Not a bad thing, but this isn’t metal.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I would say Metal is a strong spice in their stew, but it’s not the meat it’s made from.

      • Drew Music

        Well, I do hate to disagree with you, Mr. … Dalton, was it? But if Katatonia count as metal (they do), then these guys certainly count as such as well. Bedtime metal, sure, but plenty of the album is more aggressive than the embedded track, occasionally threatening black metal tremolo picking and often utilizing Night is the New Day-esque chuggage. Metal.
        By the way, stop liking awesome death metal. You, Eli and Thatguy are gonna fucking bankrupt me with your reliably stellar suggestions and collections. Dicks.

        • Name’s Dalton

          My most sincere apologies to your wallet!

      • Tom Busler

        Hum are not emo (couldn’t tell if your parenthetical “who were not emo” was only qualifying Shiner or also Hum, but I’m thinking just Shiner). Hum are space rock and/or post-rock, but they’re not an emo band.

        • Name’s Dalton

          Agreed. And Shiner weren’t emo either. Hum is pre-post-rock (oh my, what did I just do there?).

        • Walter White

          hum is def emo

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    My favorite thing about this band is that they’re named after the Wilhelmina Harker character from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

  • When I heard the 2 preview tracks for this one a month or so ago I immediately added the album to my Bandcamp wishlist. I’m excited to hear that the rest of the album maintains the quality of the tracks I’d heard. It’s not often I listen to individual tracks, but with the full album not available I couldn’t resist going back and listening to the 2 tracks every now and then as they were just so damn good.

  • Danny

    You had me at “Katatonia” and “The Smiths”. Choo Choo goes the hype train.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Another great metal-meets-the-Smiths band is Vaura. The Missing is a great album.

    • Danny

      Thank Christ for this. I love the Smiths.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    There is also a touch of Empires Forlorn era WHW to some of the songs…more in the pacing and melody.

  • Bryan Barkman

    Can’t say I liked or disliked the embedded track .. but I’ll give the whole album a spin after work out of respect for the 4.5

    • ArtifeX

      My thoughts exactly. Gave two spins to Meaningless Memories, and while it’s a good song it’s far from a 4.5. More like 3.0 in my book. But as Grymm said in the last line of the review I’ll give it time, patience and a proper listen to the whole album. Perhaps ain’t in the mood for something so suave right now.

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    I’m always suspicious when a band’s promotional photo shows them in the woods with glasses.

    Because at that point all they need is plaid shirts, extra tight jeans, and lumberjack boots for me to reject them altogether.

  • Wilhelm

    This kind of sounds like a metal version of Dredg (before they started playing shit pop) I kinda get what they’re doing but I’m not sure if I like it.

    • Hammersmith

      Leitmotif/El Cielo era Dredg is the bomb.

    • lrn2swim

      Exactly my initial thoughts too. Like a cross between El Cielo era dredg and Katatonia with some doomy sounds thrown in there every now and again.

  • Eldritch Elitist

    Great review. I get the impression from what you’re describing that this is an album that you can barely scratch the surface of in 700 words, and I have yet to hear a single note of it. Looking forward to checking this out.

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    I was a bit skeptical at first when I saw that their promotional photo was a picture of four dudes in the forest wearing glasses.

    No doubt it would have been worse had they been wearing plaid, extra tight jeans, and lumberjack boots!

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Oh…..this is very good.
    May rival Voyager as AOTY for this furry metal guy.

    • Drew Music

      Here’s to the rest of the album being this awesome, that it may also grace mine own list of metal greatness.
      Right now it’s a bittersweet battle between Woe’s Hope Attrition, Ire Wolves’s Heirs and Dodecahedron for me, and we’ve only made it through half of this otherwise shitfest of a year! The AotY’s and TYMHM’s of ’17 are gonna be so fucking cool to go through, I can’t wait to see what everybody else found this year.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        I’m excited to hear the new Steven Wilson in full too.
        Best part of my fav albums so far this year is they are by bands I hadn’t heard of previously

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        The rest of the album is fantastic btw

  • I don’t get how three guys who maybe one guy in different points of shaving and Pam can be this melodramat… Nevermind.

  • Serjien

    Talk about getting someone addicted… it has only been a few hours and I can’t stop spinning this album! Thanks Grymm!

  • basenjibrian

    Sounds great! Except new Pallbearer is dull as hell. :(

  • RDP

    It’s funny, when listening to this album as a whole, I don’t really hear Katatonia at all in this. The vocals remind me of a more aggressive shoegaze band behind heavy music that’s hard to classify. It’s like you throw post metal, shoegaze, indie rock and a bit of dissonance in a blender and voilà, Impure Wilhelmina. I love it, and it’s definitely going to be one of my top albums of the year

    • Drew Music

      There’s a mid-era Katatonia vibe throughout much of the guitar work. Vocally, it’s more the feel and tone than actual sound mimicry. Jonas Renske stands/slouches alone!

    • Walter White

      that would be POST HARDCORE(by the 90s definition of it)

  • AgonMcDuck

    THERE’S SO MUCH PAIN
    TO STAY HERE WITH YOU
    TOO MUCH PAIN
    TO LIVE WITH YOU

    Thanks a lot, Grymm. This has interrupted my belated appreciation of TGOO (top-ten material, really; the master didn’t hinder my enjoyment) and while at first listen I was like ?????? this whole thing is now something I can say I wholeheartedly adore. And I will be inflicting this song on my poor coworkers all of this week now, haha.

    • Grymm

      I *love* the new TGOO.

      • AgonMcDuck

        Late reply, but same! “When the Stars Align” has way more in it than its sub-five-minute runtime suggests, but in the good way, not the “my-god-this-drags” way. And I doubt that anyone will come up with a better album closer than “Mare Infinitum” for the rest of the year. I am kicking myself for not paying attention to it earlier.

        Also, this album has me tightly in its clutches. The Smiths-meets-post-hardcore-meets-post-metal combination is absolutely enthralling and executed perfectly. The riffs are fantastic, but I’m especially in love with the vocals. It may very well find itself on my year-end list. “Bones and Heart” is still my favorite track but I also love “We Need a New Sun” and “Sacred Fire.” At any rate, thanks for this.

        • Drew Music

          These opinions are all 100% correct. TGOO are fucking glorious, and this album is gold. Probably more like a 4.0 or really strong 3.5 for me, but that’s not a bad thing.

          • AgonMcDuck

            Late reply but now “Murderers” has me in its clutches. This is a top ten record at the very worst, has a good chance of breaking top five. Hot damn if it hasn’t been my most played lately.

  • Akira Watts

    I get a little skeptical when I see a 4.5. And the mention of Morrissey made more more skeptical still, as I veer wildly between digging him him and wanting to dump him into a volcano. But I took the plunge a few hours back, and I’m now on my fourth spin of the thing. Yeah, this is good.

  • Hammersmith

    The guy on the far right looks like the fat kid at the beginning of Jurassic Park.

  • Martin L

    They sound even worse than they look.

  • Mollusc

    I like that they dive straight in with the first track, expected them to have an ambient build-up. Filing under “interesting” for now. Glad you’ve had a good amount of your type of thing come your way so far this year, Mr G. Also, everybody can leave this lot alone, they look like delicate flowers.

  • Frost15

    Just listened to the whole album. Hype well deserved. I completely agree with everything said in this review. This will end in my top 5 for sure…

  • Drew Music

    Man am I glad I trusted the hype here. Since the vinyl came in today I figured I’d step out of the black metal shadows for a moment, now it’s kind of tough to pull myself away from this one. This is gonna be an excellent album for late-night autumn bowl sessions, I swear seasonal depression makes for some of the absolute best musical moments.
    That said, Katatonia are still the undisputed champions of melancholy. Dead-end kings, you might say.

  • GWW

    The band name is one of the worst ever. Almost lost me at The Smiths…ugh…and a lot of things that don’t sound like this actually sounds. Katatonia!? Post Metal!? I really like this, being a sucker for melody. 3.5ish