Jazz

Bunsenburner – Poise Review

Bunsenburner – Poise Review

“My students all suspect I spent some time with the “ganja.” They say, “Wow, Mr. Hollow, you’re so chill. I bet you were a stoner in high school. I was way too stuck up to do anything besides the daily Red Bull and Bible study jig, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating some good stoner doom well into adulthood. While my strain of choice falls closer to sludge on the swampy spectrum, I can appreciate acts like Sergeant Thunderhoof and Weedeater for reverb- and fuzz-soaked riffs with killer groove. What does tickle me pickle is jazz and ambient, which are what Bunsenburner says they fuse with stoner doom.” All that stoner jazz (and science).

The Lovecraft Sextet – Miserere Review

The Lovecraft Sextet – Miserere Review

“No one does music like Jason Köhnen. His projects like Mansur, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, and Bong-Ra constantly push boundaries, and while my reception to his work has been largely mixed, The Lovecraft Sextet has stuck. Debut In Memoriam was a unique and visceral experience, somehow weaponizing dark ambient, black metal, jazz, and opera into six tracks with three disparate but compatible palettes.” Sax and tentacles.

Slow Burning Rage – Slow Burning Rage Review

Slow Burning Rage – Slow Burning Rage Review

Slow Burning Rage is a one-man crew consisting of multi-instrumentalist Ryan Parrish, who you may know as the former drummer of melodeath heavyweights Darkest Hour, as well as other varying acts like Iron Reagan, Mammoth Grinder, City of Caterpillar, and Bleach Everything (to name a few). What can you expect from Slow Burning Rage, then? Well, for as varied and crazy as his resume is, it’s nothing like any of his acts. Slow Burning Rage’s self-titled debut is deemed “jazz sludge” by the promo gods.” Rage for change.

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

“Don’t get your hopes up, ye of heavy metal’s golden years. Heavy Meta is nearly everything you hate about today’s extreme music. Mathcore, black metal, noise rock, and prog all have a hand in this monstrosity, and if there is an inkling of distaste for any of these styles, Mana Regmata might need to come with a side of aspirin. Featuring a tongue-in-cheek moniker that you could proudly proclaim at any party, it’s a group that only jokingly defines itself as “blackened progressive cowboy nintendocore.”” Meta health.

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.