Yes, you see correctly - we have a new series for you. We have been talking about the problem of too much great content for not enough writers to review. So the devilish duo of Martin and Thorsten are gonna give you six short reviews each. Less than 150 words on each record that we love but didn’t have enough time to review properly. In this month you are getting our thoughts on Bolt Gun, Jaimie Branch, Ghorot, GridLink, Harm’s Way, The Keening, Monastery, My Hair is a Rat’s Nest, Night Verses, Reverence To Paroxysm, Tomb Mold and VIRTA!
Bolt Gun - The Tower Blackened Ambient , Drone-Metal | Starved Light | 2023-04-03 | Thorsten
Several of your friends tell you to check out a band you have never heard of even though it’s been around for a while? Follow their lead, you might discover a band like Bolt Gun! A band that obviously doesn’t care about whether their songs might overpower the audience - due to their complexity or the sheer length of the Drone-Metal meets Avantgarde Jazz song structures. Each song a revelation in its own right, one must admit that sometimes even the single parts of the songs are good enough to stand alone and stand out on most other releases. “The Gareth Davis vibes are strong in this one!”
FFO Nadja, A-Sun Amissa, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, Drowning Horse
Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die Fly Or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) Jazz | International Anthem | 2023-08-25 | Martin
Lush, grand and full of life. The last album of a incredibly gifted jazz trumpet player, composer and DIY activist. It grooves like hell with passion and vibrance. Call it Punk Jazz, Avant-Jazz or whatever you like, but you get her deal: ”Fuck your technique, sound first”. The band, she, had it nevertheless both. Finishing touches were done posthumously, after her untimely death in August 2022. RIP Jaimie. Do yourself a favour and listen to this now!
FFO Irreversible Entanglements, Ill Considered, Ben LaMar Gay, Makaya McCraven
Ghorot - Wound Blackened Doom , Stoner | self-released | 2023-10-06 | Thorsten
Whenever one hears the nice, a little too distorted sound of a guitar reverberating into oblivion, it is a bit of a reference to bands like Electric Wizard and their Blackened Sludge or Blackened Stoner sound. Nothing different about it here with Ghorot from Idaho. Sometimes it sounds as if the guys want to shred off the mountains surrounding their home and level them through the sheer force of their turned-to-twelve-amps. Interestingly the record is a kind of descent, not into calm realms but rather into slower ones, as the tracks become a tad more repetitive in nature than distorted. Another interesting release after their debut full-length Loss of Light from 2021.
FFO Sorceress, Electric Wizard, Thra
GridLink – Coronet Juniper Tech Death Metal , Grindcore | | 2023-09-15 | Martin
The masters of Tech Grind are back! Merely 10 years after the modern classic ”Longhena”, they shred you to pieces and leave you with a mad grin on your face, again. Atonal and melodic at once, ”Coronet Juniper” is a blast-beat frenzy that is fun, catchy, diverse, energetic and full of masterclass musicianship. Unhinged, unrelenting. Iron Maiden at warp speed. A triumphal return. Who needs coffeine anymore?!
FFO Discordance Axis, Beaten To Death, Maruta, Hayaino Daisuki, Antigama
Harm´s Way – Common Suffering Metalcore | Metal Blade Records | 2023-09-29 | Martin
Metallic Hardcore that is very angry, loud and determined. Straightforward sledgehammer tracks with a industrial touch. The eerie melody and ambiance laced through the album, distinguishes ”Common Suffering” from other releases of the scene in recent times. As also the boisterous production of Will Yip. A huge and glorious slab of pure power and simmering darkness. It just has to be good release, when you have Kris Esfandiari (King Woman) on one track of the album. And shortsharpshock: even great use of clean vocals and elements of alternative music on the last track. A lasting blow to the face!
FFO Code Orange, Knocked Loose, Jesus Piece, Incendiary, Judiciary
The Keening – Little Bird Folk , Indie Rock | Relapse Records | 2023-10-06 | Martin
A folk-driven and doom-tinged elegy by ex-SubRosa frontwoman Rebecca Vernon. Her solo debut reminds you vividly of all the qualities that her previous, much loved project had, but it leads to a more subdued, slow-burning American Gothic, that develops an dramatic story arc along its six tracks. Sprawling, cinematic chambered doom, lushly orchestrated. A self-discovery with a new beginning. Deep, bitter sweetness delivered through a iconic voice. Mesmerizing!
FFO SubRosa, Serpentent, Healthyliving, Dorthia Cottrell, Emily Jane White (Fleetwood Mac)
Monastery - Black Moon Paeans Dark Ambient , Synthwave | Seraphim House | 2023-10-03 | Thorsten
A side-project of one of the guys behind 1476, Monastery has just released its third full-length (in the span of nine years, so much for productivity ;-) and I must say, there is something about the calm, the discretion and yet the intimacy and the warmth of the songs that connects directly. The six songs and nearly 40 minutes are painted in bright strokes and also use some fine small brushes to enlighten the darkness around the (electric) campfire in whose proximity the tracks seem to have been birthed. If you like some kind of modern ecclesiastical sounds, combined with Industrial beats, small blips to light of the darkness and all of that close to your ear - Monastery will not leave your rotation for a while!
FFO Guild of Lore, DIM, Rune Realms
My Hair is a Rat’s Nest - Tornado Siren Screamo , Post-Metal | Zegema Beach Records | 2023-09-23 | Thorsten
Wow - the productivity level of this band is amazing! This is their third full-length in three years and in the same time they released more than half a dozen other EPs, singles, splits and more. However, the quality never lessens which might also be connected to their sound in general. It is obvious that the guys have listened to their share of Midwest Emo (maybe even some Saddle Creek?!) as well as to bands like Respire. The melancholy that is seeping through many of the nine tracks is purveyed via the long, stretching guitar lines that yearn for a life beyond the surroundings of Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, one can also hear the restraints that keeps them there. Maybe that is also better this way, as their sound might be different if they finally got away. Let this one not get away from you!
FFO Perfumed Saturnine Angels, Minor Movements, Lessener
Night Verses - Every Sound has a Color in the Valley of Night: Part One Djent , Progressive Metal | Rude Records | 2023-09-15 | Thorsten
There are musicians who are noticeable within a fragment of a second, and one of them is Tool’s Justin Chancellor; the way he uses his instrument and the little scraping sound he does on his strings are unique – also on ”Seance”, the final track of the new Night Verses record. More interestingly is the fact, that this isn’t the best track here, even though the collaboration is of course highly welcome. But the proggish kind of Djent (or djenty Prog-Metal?) that the band from Los Angeles gives us here is amazingly dense, yet never suffocating. A real highlight with a lot of nicely woven magical carpets that float along carrying you elegantly from one island of sound to the next, from track to track. This is much more intricate and powerful than it might sound – keep an eye out for Night Verses (and not only for Justin Chancellor!)
FFO Cloudkicker, Car Bomb, TesseracT
Reverence To Paroxysm – Lux Morte Old School Death Metal | Dark Descent Records | 2023-08-31 | Martin
A debut album like magma flowing in the deepest recesses of the earth. Lux Morte is an unstoppable force. Old School Death of the most subterranean kind from somewhere deep below Mexico City. Evoking an sepulchral atmosphere with monstruous riffing, a crackling and absolute filthy bass tone, pulverizing drums and the most guttural vocals you can imagine. But what makes this standout are the added nuances and textures throughout the whole record: Thrash elements, the use of unusual riffs, eerie soundscapes and subtle tempo shifts. Massive!
FFO Rippikoulu, Eternal Darkness, Krypts, Rottrevore, Incantation
Tomb Mold -The Enduring Spirit Tech Death Metal | 20 Buck Spin | 2023-09-15 | Thorsten
One must say that 2023 was a great, an awesome year for everything Death Metal, no matter if we are talking about OSDM, Avantgarde Death, Blackened Death or as in this case, Tech Death Metal. Tomb Mold prove that this genre is on a seemingly not-ending rise. If we keep on getting these amazing records that open with a classic drum intro, then speed along with blazing guitar riffs, licks and fills and add some of the nicest, meanest vocals on this side of modern Death Metal - then I will not be afraid for the genre.
FFO Witch Vomit, Spectral Voice, Vastum
VIRTA – Horros Jazz , Psychedelia | Svart Records | 2023-10-06 | Martin
Embrace the cinematic current (”virta”) and the otherworldly soundscapes of this album. Electroacoustic music from a finnish three-piece, mixing Ambient Electronica into Nordic Jazz, Post-Rock and Psychedelia. A voyage of discovery into a world of hibernation (”horros”), not static in the slightest, more so unveiling constantly new layers of wintry awe. Dynamic, diverse and coherent at the same time. A perfect companion for the upcoming cold season and an engaging listening experience situated in a melancholic twillight zone, litered with sparkling vibes and infectious grooves. Immersive!
FFO Oddarrang, NYOS, Aiming For Enrike, Moses Boyd, Luigi Tozzi