Drone

Am Himmel – As Eternal as the Starless Kingdom of Sorrow Review

Am Himmel – As Eternal as the Starless Kingdom of Sorrow Review

“Metal, and black metal-adjacent styles in particular, has traditionally tended towards the chthonic over the celestial in its imagery. But Am Himmel (“In the Sky”) choose to base their horror in the heavenly rather than the hellish. Their music purports to express, it seems, the eternal divine separation in “starless” metaphysical voids. It could be a project born out of piety or heresy. In either case, the import of existential terror is evident.” Heaven as Hell.

Nick Vasallo – Apophany Review

Nick Vasallo – Apophany Review

Nick Vasallo has been making music in the Bay Area for more than 20 years. He is best known as the guitarist and vocalist of deathcore legends Antagony, as well as tech death outfit Oblivion. Perhaps less well known, at least in metal circles, is his interest in musical theory and composition, which he studied extensively, ultimately being awarded a doctorate in 2011. He now teaches at college level. This brief bio perhaps gives some context for Apophany, a hybrid metal-classical album and the follow up to 2012’s Monuments Emerge. Smart-tech.

An Evening Redness – An Evening Redness Review

An Evening Redness – An Evening Redness Review

“”Only that man who has offered up himself entire to the blood of war, who has been to the floor of the pit and seen the horror in the round and learned at last that it speaks to his inmost heart, only that man can dance.” So goes a notable passage from Cormac McCarthy’s bleak masterpiece Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West. It’s a brilliant and endlessly quotable novel that serves as the source material for An Evening Redness‘s debut offering of Americana-tinged drone/doom.” Harvester of Moon.

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

“Formed as a solo project back in 2015, Kluizenaer—a German outfit, despite choosing the Dutch for ‘hermit’ as its nom de guerre—dropped a debut album, Radbraak, that a few cursory searches of the usual sources has failed to uncover. Since I am assured by the promo blurb that the debut comprised “abstract sound collages of blackened ambient and noise,” I did not intensify my searches. Radbraak was followed by two more obscure EPs before 2018’s locate-able Das ungebrochene Schweigen (The unbroken Silence), by which point Kluizenaer had evolved into a trio.” Evolution/mutation.

Author & Punisher – Krüller Review

Author & Punisher – Krüller Review

Author and Punisher albums seem to alternate between anthemic and ambitious. Women & Children saw Tristan Shone’s transhumanist industrial drone-doom project spinning out singles with the force of a hundred pound steel drum, an approach echoed by 2018’s belligerent Beastland. But between them, the disturbing, experimental Melk en Honing took a slower, nastier pace, savoring the acrid stench of electrocuted machine-oil that the music produces. So does Krüller, Shone’s densest work yet.” Punishment and dystopian donuts.

Mizmor – Wit’s End Review

Mizmor – Wit’s End Review

“My last encounter with Portland, Oregon’s Mizmor (מזמור) was not what I expected. I knew Mizmor from the bleak, blackened doom of Yodh and the crushing fusion of black metal, doom, sludge and drone on Cairn. On Dialetheia, A.L.N.’s project with Andrew Black, all metal was abandoned, however, in favor of ambient drone to explore the concept of obsolescence, both of traditions and, indeed, our whole way of life, on an imagined tour through a museum of collected nostalgia and past times. I struggled a bit with Dialetheia, missing the massive weight and oppressiveness of Mizmor‘s earlier work, and also the catharsis that came with that. Which incarnation of Mizmor are we presented with on Wit’s End?” Mizmor or Mizless?

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.