Record(s) o’ the Month – June 2022

The summer swelters and bakes and tensions boil over at AMG HQ. There’s been an unusually high number of arguments and shouting matches over the proper Record o’ the Month for June. The resulting clamor has disrupted the orderly working environment we strive to maintain through fear and abject brutality. Opinions hardened, factions formed, and differing views were shunned. Where is the consensus? The respect for diverse worldviews? Anyway, we tear-gassed the lot of them and then turned loose the dogs, hogs, and swans. We’ll be having a new writer casting call soon due to…openings.

What can be said about this Ukrainian avant-garde blackgaze/jazz fusion project that hasn’t been covered by two failed AMG screenplays? White Ward is a creative force, managing to blend styles that should not blend to form odd, atmospheric compositions that should not work. On False Light the band continues to evolve and test the limits of their vision, incorporating jazz themes amidst blackened soundscapes in ways that rarely feel forced or contrived. The material here is more refined than ever but somehow doesn’t feel overly polished or safe. It’s a grand celebration of clashing sounds and genres; brass blaring alongside blackened blasting and mopey gazing. Not every idea works, but the album is full of those that do and the journey is a captivating one. What White Ward do might not be for everybody, but everyone should at least sample this strangeness before the Broadway version arrives.1

Esoctrilihum // Consecration of the Spiritüs Flesh – Another avant-garde blackened project making the list? What’s got into the water cooler this month besides Everclear and Night Train? Then again, this stuff is auditory fire; blending death and black metal in punishing ways to create a thick, oppressive atmosphere. It’s a tough sound to escape from, and some of the more twisted among us may not want to. The overall mood is one of fear and discomfort and the material expertly elicits these very negative emotions as you get dragged from level to level in Dante’s Inferno and Pain Emporium. As a well impressed Thus Spoke…spoke, “Successfully terrifying, gripping, and genuinely enjoyable to listen to, this could be Esoctrilihum‘s best album yet.” Nasty biness.

Kardashev // Liminal Rite – Progressive death/black/post/gaze act Kardashev continue their impressive winning streak with Liminal Rite. With a harrowing concept about sanity and dislocation, the band do everything possible to drag the listener down the rabbit hole into their world. Songs veer from progressive death motifs through black and post-metal segments but the ride is often a smooth, well-calculated one. Naturally, trying to cobble so many styles together is a challenge, and occasional missteps are unavoidable, but this is a highly impressive album full of stellar writing and top-notch performances. As a suspiciously enthused Carcharodon gushed, “Liminal Rite is heart-wrenchingly beautiful and practically flawless from start to finish.”

Show 1 footnote

  1. R.I.P. Madam X. Death to Spongekind! – Steel Wengeance
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