Kurushimi – Kurushimi

You know that one scene in spongebob where Squidward goes to the hyper future where the universe is all white and there’s just lots of weird shit going on? Like it doesn’t really seem like hell, more like this abstract dimension he’s trapped in that’s seemingly mocking him for his behavior. Imagine being squidward here. You brag about your clarinet skills but everyone knows you’re ass at it, you’re an asshole to the more genuine person you know, and you have your head so far up your own butt you can smell your small intestine. And now through your own fuck ups, you’re stuck in a world that is the very extreme of all you stand for. One that seems like an ironic punishment straight out of dante’s inferno. Now imagine that, but there’s also a giant fucking demon chasing after you the entire time. That’s this album.


Chthe’ilist – Le dernier crépuscule ALBUM REVIEW

I’ve always heard these death metal albums that people describe as “cosmic” or “otherwordly” or of evoking some sort of science fiction motiff, and I’ve never really got it on any of those albums I tried. Le dernier crepuscule is the first album in which I actually GOT it. One which actually felt otherworldly and strange, as if from another planet. One which houses creatures from distant universes, intent of destroying all of mankind. And it all starts with those riffs.

God damn those fucking riffs. Sure, you could state the obvious and call them atonal, but that tells a mere fraction of the story. Atonal riffs is a staple of death metal. What makes these so special is how mechanical and alien like they are. They’re played jagged and almost robotic like, which just enough mathiness to it to feel jarring. But there’s this strange element of them that feel somewhat organic. Perhaps it’s the production, but I don’t get the feeling that I’m listening to robo riffs like in djent, but more riffs done by highly intelligent life from a distant galaxy/dimension. That this is music that is beyond our understanding, but not so much so that it feels divine. As if with enough evolution, we can come to understand this music. It’s alien, but not unfathomable.

Speaking of alien, how about those vocals huh? Yeah yeah, I know everyone is gonna comment about how they’re Nespithe 2.0, but I don’t quite see it that way. Nespithe’s vocals felt more like a demon from hell unleashing hymns of damnation and hatred onto the listening. These feel more creature like, again as if not from this world. Though I guess that depends on if you count hell as “part of this world”. But I really don’t think they’re what makes this album so special, despite the fact that they are unquestionably going to get the most attention.

What makes this album so special is its atmosphere. From samples of void creature noises, to the chaotic storm of noise that ends to album, to the fucking amazingly appropriate and strange seinfield bass on Voices From Beneath the Well (how they pulled that off I really don’t know), to slow, downtune of the guitars to end that same track, to the sporadic choir segments that travel from track to track, there are so many unique individuals moments and aspects of this album that bring together an atmosphere that’s both alien and palpable that is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. I haven’t even gotten to the solos, oh my god the solos. Technically proficient while also being dissonant, yet strangely pleasing to listen to, you could not have asked for a more perfect way to flesh out the main riffs of the track than what Chthe’ilist does.

A truly horrifyingly good album, Le dernier is a testament to how appropriate use of dissonance can create an entirely new kind of sound, unseen since Nespithe and Obscura. And it’s arguably better than both of those too.
EDIT: HOLY SHIT THEY PUT THIS REVIEW ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE. Major props to this band! And wow, I had no idea those monster “samples” were actual human vocals. That just makes this so much more awesome.


Gorazde – The Catechism ALBUM REVIEW

This shit is weird man. And it doesn’t really hit you until the vocalists starts calmly singing about how he’s going to cut up your body. The Catechism is essentially a soft hitting, stoner doom record that combines both tonal and completely atonal riffs that for the most part, softly chug along to vocals that I can only describe as a man who is just on the brink of insanity but not quite there yet. It’s honestly really hard to pin point exactly what I find so damn creepy about this album, because it isn’t just one thing.

I think though what gives it off that vibe the most is that i personally imagine this was made by a serial killer. Specifically, a hippie turned serial killer. Parts of it sound like it’s recorded in some remote dungeon. The soft atonal riffs combined with the perfectly tonal ones make me think that the killer legitimately can’t tell that one of them is off. Obviously the lyrics are also quite jarring at times. But never really over the top jarring. And that’s the scariest thing about this. It’s not over the top, gore busting, demon praising, satan, 666, black magic scary. It’s not doom metal that’s so loud you can’t hear anything. No, it’s actually quite tame in terms of heaviness, forcing you to hear every note and lyric. I hear an album that’s founded in the theoretical thoughts of a real person. It’s really hard to describe. I guess earthly would be the best way to put it.

Is this the greatest doom album ever? No. But god damn if it didn’t give me the hebe-geebies.


Shining – International Blackjazz Society ALBUM REVIEW

This is essentially buttrock with loopy saxophones. The jazz that is in this album consists of erratic wailing on the sax, while surrounded by rolling drums and crashing symbols, creating a chaotic storm that would be perfect as an intro to a jazz influenced metal track… but not to whatever the hell comes afterwards. Despite being called the International Blackjazz Society, there is very little black, or jazz in this album in the slightest. Instead you get a sorry excuse for an Industrial / jazz mashup that ends up sounding more like if new Metallica tried to do Industrial metal. Make no mistake, this album is a cash grab, there’s no doubt about it. If you sought this looking for any semblance of quality, you’ll be pleasantly greeted with one of the least intelligently crafted major albums this year.
“Don’t tell me what to say, I’ll always disobey”
Give me a fucking break.


Anfinnsaas – Anfinnsaas ALBUM REVIEW

This is probably the single hardest album I’ve ever had to rate. I could put this anywhere from 7/10 – 10/10. My gut instinct tells me this is the album of the year, but another side says this is just pretty good. Going over what this album actually is, Anfinnsaas has created an atonal riff-based atmo sludge record with lots of djent influences in it and one of the worst/best production jobs I’ve ever heard. It’s like if Gorguts formed an atmo sludge band in their garage. Aside from that analogy it’s hard to really describe what kind of music this is. As you can see by my tags, this is really all over the place in terms of style. It’s one of those things you need to hear in order to really understand.

To attempt to start off this review, the most obvious aspect of this album that’s easy for anyone to hear is that the production job is a piece of trash. Straight up probably the worst production job I’ve heard this year. As I stated earlier, it sounds like someone recorded this in their garage, and considering this band is composed of just two guys from Norway, they probably did. However in it’s atrociousness, there is beauty. I imagine that these are two teenage musical savants, crafting a work of genius with just two instruments and the cheapest equipment they could barely afford with their allowance. It adds a sense of mystique to the whole atmosphere.

And that atmosphere is one of confusion. This record is extremely melodic and riff based while being almost entirely atonal. I almost wanted to label this progressive metal, because there is a clear sense of progression and method to the seeming madness of this record. It feels disorienting, yet awes inspiring. It’s like being transported to a different dimension, where everything is not what it seems and Jeff Dunham is funny. This is the kind of record I’d want to put on to meet god. However in this scenario, when you meet god he stays silent, instead spilling his knowledge unto you in a form of twisted illusions you don’t understand, rather than words.

It’s truly surreal, and that’s entirely done by two main elements of this album. One is as I mentioned before, the dissonance. Heavy use of dissonance creates the disorienting feel that Anfinnsaas creates. The other which I haven’t mentioned, is the heavy use of poly-rhythm. This goes into the whole djent aspect. There is a lot of off rhythm beats and use of multiple beats at the same time, which creates the sense of ominous godly presences, and being as if you’re in another world. That also continues the aspect of young geniuses, as this drummer can really smack those lids. This is seriously some of the best drumming I’ve heard in a long time, which isn’t something typically focused on in metal albums.

I feel that if the album had a more impactful climax this would’ve maybe been the album of the year. While there is something quirky and unique about being made with two instruments, I feel like it also heavily limits how hard this album can hit, which is important in atmo sludge. And again, the production job both giveth, and the production job taketh away. While it does go with a unique lo-fi aesthetic, it’s still almost Pure Fucking Armageddon tier, which is seldom ever good, even when intentional for effect. Despite that, this is one of the most unique listening experiences you’ll ever have, and I encourage anyone looking for something new, or just want a good fucking album to check this out. Definitely one of my top albums of the year.


Subterranean Masquerade – The Great Bazaar ALBUM REVIEW

This album seems so manufactured it’s ridiculous. I was really excited when I saw it labeled “arabic folk music” (i’m an aspiring ethno-musicologist, so this shit is my game). Little did I know how cartoonish and silly it would be executed it. It’s cartoonish and almost offensive in how they portray arabic folk music, the melodies are way more pop rock than progressive anything, and just for kicks, they’re completely random death vocals, because why the fuck not right? And when I say random, I MEAN random. They’ll just switch back and forth without any warning or reason. And they’re often, no, ALWAYS completely out of place. Now, I have a thing for switching back between harsh and clean vocals, if done right. I love that stuff. This is not that. At all. The sad part is, I can’t really rate this lower because the instrumentals, although they contain really forced ethnic influences, aren’t actually bad and have some good moments. It’s jut the everything else in this album that makes you feel like you just watched a bad disney movie.