Blackgaze is one of those wonderful mixes that can swing from heaven to hell in less than three blastbeats. Norway’s Sundrowned have a real good feel for it as they proved last year with their debut Become Ethereal which received highly positive reviews. And this week they provide us with the first playlist of the year with several surprises like Crydebris, Grouper, Radiohead but also awesome blackened music like Conjurer, Cult Leader or Misþyrming!
This is what the band has to say about their choices:
J. A. Piscopo
When I first heard that Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle were making an album together it got my heart racing. And what came out of it was an album that surpassed all expectations, the marriage of Thou’s signature gut punch sound and Emma’s impeccable sense of atmosphere made for a truly stunning release, ”The Valley”. ”Scrape” is in my opinion Chelsea Wolfe at her absolute best. The undertow of heavy drones with the high range vocals makes the song mesmerizing.
I don’t know how many people I’ve pushed ”Wonder” onto, I practically worship this song. The riffs and drums are a whirlpool of chaos topped with some harrowing vocals, it’s a song that sticks in your brain for ages. ”Young Mountain” is a really great mixture of Shoegaze and Hardcore, their songs are written with a good sense of dynamics keeping your attention from beginning to end. Ariadne is a duo that is super difficult to recommend due to the eccentric nature of the music. Being a mixture of Ambient, Glitch and harsh Noise with operatic vocals makes them a truly unique listen. It’s enchanting, jarring, and divine all at the same time.
L. M. Tjøsvoll
I’ve picked songs that all resonate with me emotionally, and that have had an impact on me, whether guiding me through difficult periods or amplifying my best experiences. In addition, they all embody qualities that I seek out in music. “Mononoke-Picture” embodies a raw vulnerability in the vocal performance that I can only admire as an instrumentalist. “Impact”, from one of my favorite artists stylistically showcases the grandeur and melancholy I associate with the best of Post-Black metal. “Farewell” frequently plays in my ears while trail running, which is where I feel the most in my element and at home. The song is synonymous with natural beauty for me. “Heavy Is The Head…” combines pretty much every element that makes metal exciting, engaging and resonant for me. It’s angry, bitter and frustrated, but it is also extremely fun. There is nothing positive in this song (and often the genre), but it puts a smile on my face every time.
G. L. Innocent
“The End of Man Will Bring Peace to This Earth”, one of my absolute favorite songs from Portrayal of Guilt. The drums in this song are amazing, especially the first minute, with lots of energy and well-played structured chaos. Led Zeppelin´s “Communication Breakdown” manages to capture some of my favorite drumming elements from my biggest drumming influence, John Bonham. His riff-based drumming, somehow constantly playing around the guitar riffs, is something I’ve used a lot with Sundrowned as well. Conjurer´s “Choke” has some amazing blastbeat-sections. Our biggest inspiration for drum sound and production on Become Ethereal comes from Birds in Row´s album We Already Lost the World, especially the song “We vs. Us”, where the drums just sound so organic, natural, dynamic and “airy” in some way. Phil Selway´s drumming in “Bodysnatchers” manages to keep the energy going, playing the same pattern throughout the whole song, this inspired the whole “less-is-more” drumming in our debut album.
M. B. Jakobsen
The songs I’ve picked out are a mix of stuff I´ve been listening to recently and music that has influenced both me personally and the band. I decided to include the Icelandic band Misþyrming, as they’re one of my favorite Black Metal bands nowadays. The thunderous title track of their second album ”Algleymi” could quite possibly be one of my favorite metal tracks of the past decade. The band Nothing pretty much acted as my gateway into the world of Shoegaze when I discovered them in 2015. This also prompted me to start buying a whole lot of effect pedals in order to get the same soaring and dreamy sound that they had. So, in a way, I guess you could say that they’ve influenced my guitar playing too, in addition to being a big inspiration for the band as well. As for Grouper, she is perhaps the artist that I’ve listened the most to lately. Especially the A I A: Alien Observer record. I chose the title track for this list as it is probably the most accessible of the bunch. The last band I included is the American Hardcore/Crust-Punk outfit Cult Leader, of whom which we are all big fans in the band.