Synthwave

Lament Cityscape – A Darker Discharge Review

Lament Cityscape – A Darker Discharge Review

“Wyoming, famously, hosts some of the United States’ most beautiful nature preserves—also famously it lacks urban comforts and is one of the two rectangular states. This expansive, rural landscape shapes an existence and mindset that’s decidedly different from the metropolitan portrait of tap-to-pay cafes, melting pot crowds, and city-speed sprawl. For better or worse, Mike McClatchey has called Buffalo, Wyoming temporarily home—a home that has fueled his boiled-over frustrations into this more solo edition of Lament Cityscape, A Darker Discharge.” Rural rabies.

Master Boot Record – Personal Computer Review

Master Boot Record – Personal Computer Review

“For the three of you who haven’t yet encountered me gushing about Master Boot Record, here’s the summary. Decreasingly anonymous Italian musician Victor Love, inspired by classic 16-bit video game soundtracks and the harsh sound of a floppy drive stepper motor, synthesizes heavy metal. Despite sounding like a one-album novelty, Personal Computer is MBR‘s eighth full-length in seven years and they’re signed to Metal Blade.” Boots and scans.

Reckless Love – Turborider Review

Reckless Love – Turborider Review

“Sometimes you just know when a record is for you. When it rises to the turgid surface of the promo sump using words such as “hair/sleaze/electro,” brazenly marketing itself with outrun pink and a cyborg character. I had absolutely no choice in picking out Reckless Love’s fifth full-length album entitled Turborider, in all its neon resplendence. Finland is not a country known for its excess, color and happiness and yet has somehow produced the most excessive, colorful and happy metal release you’ll hear all year.” Turbo Brother.

Abstract Void – Wishdream [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Abstract Void – Wishdream [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“In hindsight, 2018 stood me at an imperceptible crossroads: the intersection of my growing disenchantment with metal and a void-filling infatuation with the electronic. The latter was encouraged, if not inspired, by a Frankensteinian atmoblack/synthwave monster released at the improbably right space-time to capitalize on the trends I loved and tired of. Abstract Void‘s Back to Reality would ride that wave of serendipity to become my most listened-to album of the next few years. At least until Wishdream came along.” Void when wished at night.

Hollywood Burns – The Age of the Saucers [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Hollywood Burns – The Age of the Saucers [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“You can probably already tell that this is not a metal album. Maybe you can’t, I dunno. Either way, I can attest that this here album is awesome. Hollywood Burns is far from a household name, but French darksynth upstart Emeric “Hollywood Burns” Levardon deserves a big reputation boost coming off of his latest opus, The Age of the Saucers. Alien abductions abound and riffy electronic buzzery surround, handily securing my attention as he serves everything I want in music through his unique synthwave lens.” Watch the skies.

Perturbator – Lustful Sacraments Review

Perturbator – Lustful Sacraments Review

“It is an interesting phenomenon how French synthwave musician Perturbator became a common household name among today’s metalhead community. Several years ago, I had an opportunity to see Perturbator live at Seattle’s vegan metal bar The Highline, the same venue where I previously saw AlcestOathbreaker, and Khemmis. Though it slipped my mind why I ultimately was unable to attend the Perturbator show, the point is that Perturbator has somehow become more aligned with the underground metal scene even though it would make far more sense for the band’s music to circulate most comfortably in synthwave circles.” Synthy lust.

Regardless of Me – Black Flowers Blossom Review

Regardless of Me – Black Flowers Blossom Review

“Six years into this gig, and I still largely choose albums from the promo pool by name and/or genre tag. While I like to review a diverse array of sub-genres, it’s tough for me to not pick the low hanging fruit of obscure tags. The prospect of “trance metal” was an enticing one indeed, and it was from this that I selected Italy’s Regardless of Me.” No regard.

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

“Off the back of 2017’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar and the Ulver Primer which we ran a few weeks ago, 2020 has bequeathed unto us a new full-length title from Norway’s Ulver. Flowers of Evil sits in an unusual place as successor to the most poppy Ulver release, an album which I underrated at the time but have come to love. Rarely simple and never expected, Ulver has built a career out of subverting expectations and always pushing into new territories. How does such a band follow the most accessible album of their story?” Just look at the flowers.