Jazz

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!

Wreche – All my dreams came true Review

Wreche – All my dreams came true Review

Wreche is the black metal brainchild of Oakland, California artist John Steven Morgan, working solo since the project’s debut with drummer Barret Baumgart. It professes a style “more unhinged, personal, and varied” than 2017’s offering. Trashing guitar completely, Morgan instead focuses entirely on synth, piano, vocals, and drums, not unlike Mories’ Golden Ashes project. If you’re catching weird vibes, you ain’t wrong.” Jazz in a blackened place.

Neptunian Maximalism – Solar Drone Ceremony Review

Neptunian Maximalism – Solar Drone Ceremony Review

Neptunian Maximalism took the metal world by storm last year. Éons was an absolute monument of an album, fusing drone, jazz, and psychedelia into one of the most evocative listens in recent memory. It spoke to something primal, something ancient that lived at the bottom of a listener’s subconscious, and snuck its way into my year-end list at number 2. Conjuring the likes of Sunn O))), Sun Ra, Swans, and Miles Davis, it was a concept album regarding the fate of Earth and its inhabitants, resulting in mass extinction and planetary destruction. Only nine months later, we’re treated with a new offering; can Solar Drone Ceremony continue where its predecessor left off?” Maximal effort.

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.

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.

Juggernaut – Neuroteque Review

Juggernaut – Neuroteque Review

“When you hear about certain genres, do you have an image that pops into your head? It’s not always fair, but the most obvious one is black metal. You just got an image of a corpsepainted weeboo hanging out in a dark forest. Boom. I’m a fucking magician. What about sludge? Did you see a backwoods redneck with a twelve-gauge and a six-pack? Sporting beards, greasy locks, and enough flannel to challenge Saskatchewan?” Not your hick uncle’s sludge.