Avant-garde Metal

Duma – Duma Review

Duma – Duma Review

“The self-titled debut by Kenyan duo Duma (meaning “darkness” in Kikuyu) is a most peculiar rara avis, carrying the sort of art difficult to distill into words, let alone narrow down to a single genre indicator. So while “grindcore” might be easiest to associate with the often rhythmically driven and dark work of Martin Khanja (aka Lord Spike Heart) and Sam Karugu, any expectations or points of reference go out the window within the first ten seconds of Duma’s opening track.” World metal.

Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville Review

Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville Review

“No one screams “unique” quite like New York City’s Imperial Triumpant. Over the course of three fantastic albums and a handful of EPs, we’ve seen them morph from French-inspired black metal to the jazzy-yet-brutal, grimy-yet-regal golden-masked monster you see today. However, their signing to Century Media worried a few of us staffers here. With each subsequent single being dropped online, our fears were slowly dissipating as Alphaville approached release.” Big city frights.

Threadbare – Silver Dollar Review

Threadbare – Silver Dollar Review

Mimic, Guillermo del Toro’s 1997 creature feature, revolves around a mutated, highly evolved sort of insect capable of making itself look like a human being. Embracing a predatory strategy called aggressive mimicry – with people as their prey of choice – the insects’ appearance becomes an interplay of shadows and deception. Their humanoid silhouette is unstable and misleading, made of moving organs and chitin exoskeletons, yet strangely beguiling in its alienness. Silver Dollar, the debut record by Chicago trio Threadbare, is a similar creature in style, with a fluidly metallized, rocking, and faintly dangerous exterior projected from within a free jazz organism.” More than meets the ear.

Eye of Nix – Ligeia Review

Eye of Nix – Ligeia Review

“Pinpointing the core sound Eye of Nix conjures proved difficult this last week and change. On one hand, I recognize the elements that compose the content within Ligeia—black metal, doom metal, opera, post-metal, a twist of psychedelia—but I struggle to come to a concrete solution as to what this record is.” The naming game.

Blut Aus Nord – Hallucinogen [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Blut Aus Nord – Hallucinogen [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Whichever the style, the quality of <'sb>Blut Aus Nord output never faltered. They could and have done whatever they wanted. Yet even in such a varied discography, their thirteenth LP Hallucinogen arrives as a sharp and expectedly unexpected detour. An ascendance to a higher celestial plane.” Black trip.

Embrace of Disharmony – De Rervm Natvra Review

Embrace of Disharmony – De Rervm Natvra Review

“Stagnation is a problem. In this wondrous day and age where music can be shared across the globe at a mere few clicks, you’d think that “too much of the same” in metal would be a laughable concept. Instead, it’s an actual problem. An uncountable number of fledgling bands are being influenced by the same big acts and creating essentially the same sound over and over again. There is nothing more exciting in this musical sphere than a band that breaks the cycle of stagnation, who smashes through stereotypes and clichés both to rise above the rest and revitalize their sad, tired genre. Symphonic metal, I give you Embrace of Disharmony and their sophomore effort: De Rervm Natvra.” Symphonies of slickness.

Waste of Space Orchestra – Syntheosis Review

Waste of Space Orchestra – Syntheosis Review

“A certain thespian poise dominates throughout Syntheosis, the piece originally commissioned for Roadburn Festival 2018 and then turned into a proper studio recording. Highly conceptual, Waste of Space Orchestra narrate a quite demented story somewhere between magical realism and occult horror. The album develops intently and purposefully, tracing the lines of an imagined ritual and its performers, three mysterious creatures that aim ‘to open a portal that will suck them into a different reality of brain-mutilating color storms and ego-diminishing audio violence.’” Waste not, want more.

Author & Punisher – Beastland review

Author & Punisher – Beastland review

“The appeal of Shone’s work, to me, has never been in its horizontal structure but in its exploration of novel pathways to create sound and the ways that Shone pieces novel noises together to act as riffs and melodies that produce memorable—dare I say catchy—music. How he produces a sound that’s so thoroughly chained to the physicality of its own creation. How he uses actual weight, in the form of a prison-like array of custom-fabricated instruments, to produce what, when we experience it, we call ‘heavy.'” Building the machine.