Noise

Kite – Currents Review

Kite – Currents Review

“Let’s conduct a thought experiment: picture a noise band selling their souls to play better noise. The devil appears in a cloud of sulfur at a crossroads. He does this a lot, so he doesn’t stop to notice this particular intersection is the crux of sludge and post-hardcore. He offers the assembled musicians incomparable guitar skills in exchange for their eternal essence. “You mean like a more abrasive guitar tone?” they ask, which kind of throws him. He conjures visions of the fame and carnal pleasures awaiting if they accept his offer. They point out that they screen print their own t-shirts in the bassist’s garage and they doubt they could fill orders over 100.” Hard bargains.

Sermon of Flames – I Have Seen the Light, and It Was Repulsive Review

Sermon of Flames – I Have Seen the Light, and It Was Repulsive Review

“I was more than ready to write off Sermon of Flames as just another dissodeath album. It meets all the criteria: lurching riffs, wormy dissonance, bellowing insanity, and above all, violent disregard for its listeners. Its black/death breed recalls the mighty Mitochondrion or Abyssal with its hellish intensity and atmosphere – like many albums of its ilk. Just like every person, Sermon of Flames‘ debut I Have Seen the Light, and It Was Repulsive is full of flaws and inconsistencies, highlights and strengths.” Things that cannot be unseen.

Lower Automation – Lower Automation Review

Lower Automation – Lower Automation Review

“Noise-rock and mathcore haters need not listen to . The rest of you do. Lower Automation play a boisterous screamo-grind like you’d get from SeeYouSpaceCowboy boiling with hyperactive bass lines and pedal-board lust. What they excel at are antics: guitar parts that chirp at the very peak of the fretboard, stick-clicking percussion breaks, and bouts of sardonic wailing. If Daughters had gone through a severe Mr. Bungle binge when writing Canada Songs, Lower Automation would be a much less original record. But as it is, the Chicago three piece’s debut LP is one of the year’s most unpredictable and unique releases.” Full auto.

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.

Portal – Hagbulbia Review

Portal – Hagbulbia Review

“There are a number of cool things about Hagbulbia, but on my first listen, I figured the coolest was that Portal won’t ever have to make it again. By my fifth, I was convinced that they should. After two decades muddling death metal and noise, the release of thirty-eight minutes heavily skewed towards the latter is not just obvious; it’s almost required. As such, Hagbulbia is a burning distillation of Portal’s less musical humors, but the band have chosen a canny strategy for its release. As an unannounced companion to the more traditional Avow, it can be at worst a novelty rather than nuisance for fans, who may be far more receptive to the cocktail than a shot.” There may be cake.

Sightless Pit – Grave of a Dog [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Sightless Pit – Grave of a Dog [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Lee Buford of The Body and Dylan Walker of Full of Hell provide an alternative angle of attack: harsh, industrial and nasty. Grave of a Dog, described by Walker, is “about the anonymity of struggle, the darkness of a lifetime wasted warring against nature, god and everything else, only to be defeated… nothing… the end.” Into the dog pit.

The Projectionist – Under the Cruel Glow of Terror Review

The Projectionist – Under the Cruel Glow of Terror Review

“Every year is the same. I write reviews all summer long, getting into a rhythm in the hopes that I’ll be able to continue these habits into the school year, but every year – nope. I need to take a week, sometimes two, to adjust to kids, staff, and district breathing down my neck before I can hit the ground running with a new batch of fall promos. So with all this going on, a new learning management system, and COVID looming at our doors, I pray to the Metal Gods above that they bless me with something good as I shuffle through perpetual exhaustion for two weeks. Will The Projectionist shed some light into my gloom?” Be cruel to your school (teacher).

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.

Many Blessings – Emanation Body Review

Many Blessings – Emanation Body Review

“Look at that album cover for a full minute. If that alligator doesn’t end up on Gardenstale’s end of the year round-up, I will personally ensure his redaction. You can thank prolific metal/punk photographer Teddie S. Talyor for that beauty, and you can thank Primitive Man / Vermin Womb frontman Ethan Lee McCarthy for Emanation Body.” Croc o’ gators.

Ulveblod – Omnia Mors Aequat Review

Ulveblod – Omnia Mors Aequat Review

“I wanted a black metal/noise hybrid. I figured it was the trvest style out there: the ultimate form of pitch-black atmosphere that could conjure abstractness and bleakness to new heights. While there have been plenty of artists that have tried, like Enbilulugugal, Gnaw Their Tongues, and Abruptum, success has been limited, so I wished upon a star for noisy black metal.” Cut off your noise to spite your face.