Drone

Zaäar – Magická Džungl’a Review

Zaäar – Magická Džungl’a Review

“It’s no secret that I love Neptunian Maximalism. Since the Belgian collective’s 2020 debut, magnum opus Éons, I’ve been craving more. For better or worse, its disciples and side projects have since attempted to fill that whack-ass void. With the likes of Sol Kia, Ôros Kaù, Wolvennest, and even NNMM themselves making metal-adjacent free jazz, however, I’ve met nothing but vague disappointment. As such, the NNMM offshoot Zaäar fell across my lap.” Zaäar she blows!

Snares of Sixes – MoonBladder Review

Snares of Sixes – MoonBladder Review

“Jason William Walton. By my count, this guy has been a part, or founder, of at least 24 bands, collaborations and projects. Most notably, of course, as bassist (and sometimes songwriter) for the much-missed Agalloch. Other entries in Walton’s bio include folk-doom outfit Dolven, the bonkers electronic oompah of Especially Likely Sloth and progressive melodeath band Sculptured. Walton strides across broad musical lands, arriving at Snares of Sixes, an experimental collective ‘assembled, arranged and constructed by him.” Constructed insanity.

Hellish Form – Remains Review

Hellish Form – Remains Review

“I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems black metal musicians enjoy carte blanche when it comes to incorporating other genres into their music. Everything from Appalachian folk to shoegaze to African American work songs to opera has been shoehorned into the supposedly kvltest of all metal. Not to mention any other metal genre can just add a little “blackened” seasoning in the mix for tasty results. It’s like the sparkling wine of metal: pairs well with anything. American bi-coastal band Hellish Form has looked at those corpse painted musical polyamorists and asked a question so bold, so elegant it brings a tear to my doom-loving eye: If black metal can do it, why not funeral doom? WHY NOT FUNERAL DOOM? That’s right, Hellish Form take the niche-est of metal styles and cries “Moar niche-er!”” Beseech the Remains.

Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος Review

Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος Review

“It’s no secret that I was a huge admirer of the 2020 Spectral Lore / Mare Cognitum split, Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine. Like an elaborate dance, the ethereal material from Spectral Lore waltzed perfectly with the more grounded, riff-driven focus of Mare Cognitum. I was fascinated to see how each band would follow this with their respective solo albums. Mare Cognitum clearly incorporated the introspective, mournful influence of Spectral Lore to great effect on Solar Paroxysm. The question was how Spectral Lore mastermind, the Greek Ayloss, would approach his latest collection, Ετερόφωτος.” Tales from the basement (sub-floor lore).

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb Review

Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb Review

“In November 2019, I picked up the Midnight Odyssey-reviewing baton from a tired and broken Dr A.N.Grier, who had aged a number of cat years during his time with the 160-minute beast, Shards of Silver Fade. By contrast, I was able to listen to its successor, and first episode in a planned trilogy, Biolume Part 1: In Tartarean Chains, twice through and still have time for a 15-minute power nap, in the time it took poor Grier to labor his way through Shards. For anyone who thought this was a sign that Australian gloomster and one-man Odyssey, Dis Pater, had learned to curb his more expansive tendencies, however, Pater has all 102 minutes of Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb to tell you otherwise.” Maximum adventures.

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Consisting of core members Guillaume Cazalet, Jean Jacques Duerinckx, Sebastien Schmidt, and Pierre Arese, alongside a massive entourage of musicians, Neptunian Maximalism (or NNMM) utilize a range of influences, genres, and instruments both traditional and contemporary, to create their second full-length and crowning achievement Éons. While it’s unclear if it is indeed metal, that matters little. It’s an immensely sprawling release, a two-hour-plus release over three discs, and its content is just as challenging.” MOAR to score.

Mizmor & Andrew Black – Dialetheia Review

Mizmor & Andrew Black – Dialetheia Review

“Gaze upon that stark, haunting, monochrome cover photo – shot by Emma Ruth Rundle by the way – and ask yourself, how likely is it that this is going to be like the Lewandowski-adorned CairnMizmor‘s last outing? How much difference is it going to make pairing Mizmor mainman A.L.N. with experimental ambient specialist Andrew Black? Will Black soften a few of Mizmor‘s crushing edges, provide a few ambient interludes or should we expect a complete change of direction from this collaboration? These were my thoughts approaching Dialetheia.” Evolution or mutation?