Boris

Altarage – The Approaching Roar Review

Altarage – The Approaching Roar Review

“In their first two albums, Altarage began a career—and a successful one at that—by walking just a few steps behind Portal. Sure, Portal’s most avant-garde ideas never made it into Nihl or Endinghent, but the Australians’ influence on Altarage has always been as clear as either band’s music was murky.” Now THIS is Portal racing!

Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“What were you expecting, a metal review? Too bad. Coheed time. Back in 2005, the New York boys of Coheed and Cambria were immensely influential in my formative years as a rabid consumer of music. Though only a metal band in the loosest sense of the genre, the band’s emotionally explosive and instrumentally nuanced brand of progressive alt-rock undoubtedly laid the foundation for my formal induction into metal fandom only a year later. For better or for worse, they also ignited my critical spirit; the waning quality of C&C‘s post-Good Apollo Vol. I output forced me to examine music with an unbiased ear, and helped turn me into the cynical shithead you see before you today.” Alien inwasion.

Jo Quail – Exsolve [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Jo Quail – Exsolve [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“I love the cello. I don’t think there are any other instruments which offer the tonal range and gorgeous timbre a cello can. I also think it’s criminally underused in heavy music. Apocalyptica demonstrate it can sound metal as hell, yet otherwise it’s mostly limited to a few cameo appearances. This brings me to Jo Quail, experimental cellist, loop pedal wizard, and versatile session musician. Her own back catalog is largely a post-rock/modern classical blend, and after a year in which she’s supported acts like Myrkur, Amenra, Boris, and Winterfylleth, their influence clearly shows on her new record. With her sound evolving towards post-metal and atmospheric black metal, her new album is an interesting development.” Cello, my friends.

Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns Review

Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns Review

Insect Ark‘s debut, Portal/Well saw a warm, if not enthusiastic, welcome at AMG by our staff’s very own card-carrying Illuminati member. Such is Roquentin‘s power that the one-woman, drone-doom project didn’t blow up despite its extreme catchiness and party-ready bangers. Never one to allow the powers that be (other than myself) to dictate a band’s future, it was with great curiosity that I reached into the murky waters of the promo pond to retrieve Marrow Hymns, a sophomore effort which sees founding bassist/multi-instrumentalist Dana Schechter joined by drummer and synth-wrangler Ashley Spungin. At forty-four minutes, it’s hardly a marathon, yet the staid oddness of the whole thing proves to lengthen the listening experience.” Swarm drone.

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre Review

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Finisterre Review

“Their sound is an excellent encapsulation of the dynamic nature of modern black metal, splicing post-black sensibilities with melodic bombastic and explosive drum performances. Due to the misguided hype, their fourth LP, Finisterre, was inescapably disappointing for my first few spins; much of what I love about Der Weg einer Freiheit’s prior album’s just isn’t here. With time, though, Finisterre blossomed into what I now regard as a complicated work of heartbreaking beauty, becoming the most impressive ‘grower’ of the year in the process.” Finisterre. Oh, Finisterre baby….

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.

Boris with Merzbow – Gensho Review

Boris with Merzbow – Gensho Review

“To write about Gensho, the latest in a 15 years long series of collaborations between illustrious Japanese experimental metal, rock, and everything in-between trio Boris and legendary noise musician Merzbow (alias Masami Akita), is to write about three different records: a Boris shoegaze-cum-drone meditation, a Merzbow harsh noise attack, and a mammothian combination of the two.” What’s with guys who like drone and writing run on sentences, anyway?

Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials Review

Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials Review

“Allow me to give some context: I have much more experience with Sunn O))) than with Ulver. Frankly, Ulver hasn’t really interested me for a very long time. But Sunn O)))‘s collaborations have a great track record; their album with Boris was tremendous stuff — experimental music at its finest. And if there’s anything to take from Terrestrials, it’s that music isn’t mathematic and there’s no certainty that with all the right elements you’ll come out with an amazing album.” Can these two titans of weird possibly fail to make an interesting collaboration? Sheesh, is nothing certain anymore?