Shoegaze

Opus of a Machine – Stray Fire Review

Opus of a Machine – Stray Fire Review

“A new record from an unsigned band touring with Caligula’s Horse should be enough for most reviewers to perk up their ears and attempt to claim it from the promo bin. Somehow, though, Opus of a Machine’s new album Stray Fire had its cloaking device firmly in place, and none of us grabbed it until the AMG Overlords forced it upon me.” Forced Opus is the best Opus.

Møl – Jord Review

Møl – Jord Review

“Maybe it’s just me, but shoegazey black metal just isn’t as exciting as it used to be. It’s easy to forget just how groundbreaking Alcest’s debut truly was, and though Deafheaven caught a lot of flack for their apparent Pitchfork pandering, I always found Sunbather to be a captivating, dreamy, and refreshingly honest record in a genre that’s far too often up its own ass with being ‘cvlt’ and ‘trve.’ But as happens, the style got saturated, the pioneers got mediocre, and these days the release of a new ‘blackgaze’ album generates about as much anticipation as getting a colonoscopy.” Pucker up, hipstercups!

Ghost Bath – Starmourner Review

Ghost Bath – Starmourner Review

“Tearing apart hearts and comment sections since 2014, the career of China’s North Dakota’s Ghost Bath has been deceitfully brief. The 14 months between debut Funeraland follow-up Moonlover catapulted the crew from the depths of obscurity to the position of most hyped (and most hated) band in recent memory. I’ve seen the band treated like the Second Coming, and I’ve seen the band described as “such a bag of ass.” Whatever your opinion on the matter, Starmourner puts the polarizing magnetism of Ghost Bath on full display.” Starmourner, Sunbather, Overrater?

Les Discrets – Prédateurs Review

Les Discrets – Prédateurs Review

“Prepare to enter the realm of the Non-Metal. Formed in 2003, Les Discrets are a French project started by illustrator Fursy Teyssier as a way of musically expressing the concepts in his visual art. Post-black connoisseurs may recognize Teyssier as having played alongside Alcest‘s Neige in depressive rock collective Amesoeurs, in addition to producing artwork for Empyrium, Wood of Ypres, and Alcest themselves.” Be less discreet, dammit!

Au Champ Des Morts – Dans La Joie Review

Au Champ Des Morts – Dans La Joie Review

“Enter the grievous, brooding Au Champs Des Morts. Their debut album, Dans la Joie, landed in my lap a few weeks past and has kept me occupied with its gloomy sensibilities ever since. Think Alcest if Neige woke up to find all his precious forests and trees clear-cut overnight. An unhappy man he would be, and that’s pretty much what Dans la Joie is; moody, depressive, poignant and French.” Embrace the trees and have a good cry.

Kairon; IRSE! – Ruination Review

Kairon; IRSE! – Ruination Review

“True originality can be an elusive commodity to come by in the modern music environment. With the number of untapped creative avenues steadily decreasing with every new album release, many musicians merely end up putting their own spins on pre-established formulas. When a band comes along that laughs defiantly in the face of such convention—opting instead to carve out their own path—it’s only right they’re accorded the recognition they deserve. Finnish progsters Kairon; IRSE! are a band who embrace this mentality emphatically.” Band out on a limb.

Astronoid – Air [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

Astronoid – Air [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

“Fearless. That’s the word I keep coming back to when trying to describe this Boston quintet’s debut. Sure, there may be better ways to describe the music – carefree, blissful, soaring – but nothing captures the spirit of Air quite like “fearless.”” Fear is the mind killer.

Alcest – Kodama Review

Alcest – Kodama Review

“The “issue” of incongruous genres poisoning the perceived pristine purity of metal has been written about and discussed to death. Especially when French “blackgaze” duo Alcest is concerned, it becomes irrelevant whether the odium is a case of snobbery and elitism or a sense of threat against internalized traditions and tropes. Because you see, their music possesses an undeniable artistic value regardless of context.” Fancy words for pretty music.