Avant Garde

Gargoyl – Gargoyl Review

Gargoyl – Gargoyl Review

“Ever since the early seeds of the Gargoyl project came to public light, I have been anticipating a debut album. Lo and behold, the band, featuring Revocation‘s Dave Davidson (guitars) and Luke Roberts (vocals/guitars) from the underrated Ayahuasca, has arrived with their self-titled LP. Blending dark, brooding, unsettling atmospheres, Gargoyl play off-kilter progressive metal with avant garde tendencies and a strong ’90s grunge vibe, most notably drawing influence from Seattle rock legends Alice in Chains. On paper the combination has a hell of a lot going for it, however, nailing the execution and establishing a strong identity are challenges to overcome.” Super groups, man…

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

“A mere six months ago I wrote a TYMHM piece on the second Creature album Contes Funèbres, noting that while that album had a black metal base and clear elements of 70s prog, it also contained an anachronistic theatricality, like a corpse-painted staging of Les Misérables. If Contes Funèbres was broadway, Ex Cathedra is opera.” Shock me, Amadeus.

Pyrrhon – Abscess Time Review

Pyrrhon – Abscess Time Review

“Where do Pyrrhon go next? It’s a question that, to my surprise, I had not truly considered. In pushing the walls as far out as they would go with 2017’s stunning What Passes for Survival, the band became torch-bearers in death metal’s unexplored corridors. The quartet synthesize techniques from technical death metal, noise rock, and free jazz to craft ungainly structures and cut winding new paths through the labyrinth, resulting in two of the most original and contentious records of the 2010s. In Abscess Time, the band have a chance to explode into the new decade with a bold new direction.” Time, tide, and transformation.

Creature – Contes Funèbres [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Creature – Contes Funèbres [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

On Contes Funèbres, Fournier’s second as Creature, there are sounds and styles that can be found in our world, but they’ve been arranged by a mind that surely originates elsewhere. Yes, this is black metal at a foundational level, but there is so much synth prog, electronic trickery, odd vocals and anachronistic choral arrangements that calling it any one thing is pointless.” Creature features.

Öxxö Xööx – Ÿ Review

Öxxö Xööx – Ÿ Review

“To begin, Öxxö Xööx sits most comfortably under the doom metal umbrella, tending towards (but not exclusively using) slower rhythms and riffs, and leveraging gothic instrumentation such as organs, harpsichords and string sections. But Ÿ is far from any ordinary doom release with which you may be familiar. It’s a distinctly singular release, a patchwork of textures, timbres and tempos with the words “AVANT GARDE” metaphorically stitched over the top.” Ÿ no Igorrlips mumblepants.

Life Right Now – Avant Garde Review

Life Right Now – Avant Garde Review

“Let’s start with the title of the band’s debut, Avant Garde. I guess it’s conceivable these lads genuinely don’t know what that phrase means. After all, it’s French. Then again, the band claims to be from the entire world, so. Point is, Avant Garde doesn’t test the outer edges of anything except this reviewer’s patience.” Is this real life?

Thief – Map of Lost Keys Review

Thief – Map of Lost Keys Review

Thief is the pet project of Dylan Neal, a dulcimer player (dulcimist?) for the unconventional experimental black metal band Botanist. Thief’s music takes on a different theme entirely, however, from Botanist’s quirky style of environmentally themed “green-metal.” Map of Lost Keys, Thief’s sophomore album, swaps the hammered dulcimer for a myriad of electronics to produce late night music designed for haunted ballrooms and electric churches. While no traditional black metal demon shrieks or vicious tremolo picking can be heard on Map of Lost Keys, Thief remain obstinate in their attempt to appeal to fans of heavier genres.” Mischief managing.

Python – Astrological Warfare Review

Python – Astrological Warfare Review

“It has become all too apparent that I do not learn from my mistakes. People warned me since childhood never to trust a snake, and yet Python will mark the second time I picked promo based solely on my love for those slithery danger noodles. I’ve learned my lesson this time for sure, though. Never in my life have I encountered a shit-tastrophe as rank as Astrological Warfare, the band’s ill-conceived sophomore record.” Twice bitten.

Devin Townsend – Empath Review

Devin Townsend – Empath Review

“I have been a fan of Devin Townsend for well over a decade now. I’ve been with him through half his career, including his entire Devin Townsend Project phase. But his most recent output started to feel a little stale. It was like he had painted himself in a corner and was finding it difficult breaking out of a rut formed from Epicloud’s echoes. Ziltoid 2 was overwrought, more of a comedic radio drama than a music album, and its companion piece Sky Blue had no staying power for me. Transcendence fared only marginally better. So when Devin announced he was laying the Project brand to rest, it made me hopeful. Could Empath, the first album since Ziltoid under his own name, be Devin’s new metamorphosis?” The Devin you know.

Bergraven – Det framlidna minnet Review

Bergraven – Det framlidna minnet Review

“Ah, trveness. That concept that sits opposite “poseur” on the coin of black metal. Plenty of metal fans, bands and critics love to point out its folly, but there’s a reason we have to contend with the idea in the first place. Any fandom, especially if it grows from small, kvlt status to more widespread acceptance, will develop gatekeepers. Like if Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons wore bullet belts and spiked gauntlets, these trve believers will snicker at your more mainstream metal t-shirt while muttering something about Pitchfork under their breath and complain loudly that you got shoegaze all over their precious black metal. If you just read that and said “It me!” you’ll probably want to skip Bergraven‘s latest tossed genre salad Det Framlidna Mennet.” Tossed salad days.