Non-metal Metal Things

Virgin Black – Requiem – Pianissimo Review

Virgin Black – Requiem – Pianissimo Review

“There was a time when The End Records could do no wrong. Agalloch, Green Carnation, Antimatter, the label churned out a stream of genre-defining albums by metal bands large and small. So confident was I in their curation that I set upon buying practically every release The End Records put out, at least until the wheels fell off and the label debased itself by churning out mainstream dreck. But it was fantastic while it lasted, and Sombre Romantic, the 2001 debut record of Adelaide-based Virgin Black, was one of the early successes that left an indelible impression with its contrasting cries of doom and operatic embellishments.” A night at the opera.

Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“Fervent reader Strawman McDuke is outraged. “A singer-songwriter tag,” he sputters. “On a TYMHM article? On my beloved AMG?! It’s an outrage!” Well, McDuke may say that, but first I should mention her involvement with post-rock/metal outfit Red Sparowes, but more importantly, mention her kindred spirit Chelsea Wolfe. Like Chelsea’s older work, Emma Ruth Rundle uses structures from folk and singer-songwriter music with a post-rock filling to create something beautiful, interminably dark, and as fragile as a frozen bubble. But while Chelsea has since fully embraced grand industrodoom metal, Emma‘s music has remained small, intimate, and deeply personal on her 2018 release On Dark Horses.” Dark horses and Chelsea Wolfepacks.

Witxes – Orients [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Witxes – Orients [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Orients spits in the face of moment-to-moment melodies and dynamism; it’s an album in the complete sense, where the overall effect is far more important. Metal as a genre is generally best depicted as grabbing and shaking its listener. Witxes, by contrast, are far more subtle and muted, yet still succeed in dominating their listeners’ attention. In fact, there is plenty of metal out there with noisy riffs and shrieked vocals which is far worse at being demanding which is testament to Witxes‘ ability to do a lot with a little.” Minimalism is the new post-modernism.

Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“What were you expecting, a metal review? Too bad. Coheed time. Back in 2005, the New York boys of Coheed and Cambria were immensely influential in my formative years as a rabid consumer of music. Though only a metal band in the loosest sense of the genre, the band’s emotionally explosive and instrumentally nuanced brand of progressive alt-rock undoubtedly laid the foundation for my formal induction into metal fandom only a year later. For better or for worse, they also ignited my critical spirit; the waning quality of C&C‘s post-Good Apollo Vol. I output forced me to examine music with an unbiased ear, and helped turn me into the cynical shithead you see before you today.” Alien inwasion.

Jo Quail – Exsolve [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Jo Quail – Exsolve [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“I love the cello. I don’t think there are any other instruments which offer the tonal range and gorgeous timbre a cello can. I also think it’s criminally underused in heavy music. Apocalyptica demonstrate it can sound metal as hell, yet otherwise it’s mostly limited to a few cameo appearances. This brings me to Jo Quail, experimental cellist, loop pedal wizard, and versatile session musician. Her own back catalog is largely a post-rock/modern classical blend, and after a year in which she’s supported acts like Myrkur, Amenra, Boris, and Winterfylleth, their influence clearly shows on her new record. With her sound evolving towards post-metal and atmospheric black metal, her new album is an interesting development.” Cello, my friends.

Manes – Slow Motion Death Sequence Review

Manes – Slow Motion Death Sequence Review

“The first time I heard the Norwegian oddity known as Manes, I was in grad school. That fateful day, I was grading organic chemistry exams, locked away in that windowless closet of a grading room. With hours of work ahead of me, I took the time to find some new music to ease the pain. After getting caught in the rabbit’s hole of ‘similar artists’ and the ‘who-played-with-who’ links of Metal Archives, I emerged with Manes. And, I figured, this oughta do.” Music for destroying futures.

Kontinuum – No Need to Reason Review

Kontinuum – No Need to Reason Review

“Last month, one of our devoted thralls loyal readers was bemoaning the fact that we haven’t used the “Non-Metal Metal Things” tag in a while. Well, here you go, courtesy of dark Icelandic rockers (and Madam X favorites) Kontinuum. Why is the Huckster reviewing this album instead of Madam X?” Icelandic mystery.

Poly-Math – House of Wisdom | We are the Devil Review

Poly-Math – House of Wisdom | We are the Devil Review

“With the recent reunion of At the Drive-In, hopes have never been higher for a rekindling of the fire under the asses of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala – a fire which produced the best prog rock albums of the 2000s. And given the rate at which Rodríguez-López currently produces LPs (about one a month for the past two years), it might not be long before there’s a new The Mars Volta album collecting saliva on turntables everywhere. But that doesn’t mean substitutes aren’t welcome.” We take whats we can gets.

Sammal – Suuliekki Review

Sammal – Suuliekki Review

“I have been covered in filth lately. Dragged through a mire of pestilence, I have sampled fruit irrigated by the grotesque and profane. Blast-beats that scorch the earth, inchoate riffs fat with torment and wretched vocals fit only for withering a pleasant disposition. Black metal, death metal, doom, grind and thrash. I’m a mess and I need to divest myself of the depravity that’s accumulated over the months. A panacea is in order, something that can wash away the silt and leave me lighter, fresher. To that end I have chosen to bathe in the antiseptic waters of Suuliekki, the new album by Finland’s Sammal.” Scrub-a-dub-dub.