I’ve listened to a bit of music since my last review, but nothing has made me want to do any reviews. I’ll just do a few mini reviews instead to let you all know I’m alive. I have to say, I’ve really liked Ephel Duath in the past, so I’m excited to check out their new release. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. These might be low quality, but at least the second review is of a band many people probably aren’t aware of and are worth checking out.
I’ve been periodically listening to East of the Wall’s Reaction Artifacts. It has been well worth returning to. This has some truly great stuff on it. On an intellectual level this really does it for me. I could go on and on about the bizarre tonalities and interesting ways they play with time. The layered vocals are pretty cool too with some simultaneous cleans on top of screams.
I’m not sure why I’m not more excited about it. It is a really solid release. As an album it coheres well with some thematic material that gets passed back and forth between tracks. Maybe it somehow feels too familiar. Maybe its the mastering which makes it feel like a lot of the same stuff. Maybe it is the end of the semester, so I just can’t get excited about anything right now (or motivated to write anything of worth apparently).
A lot of these songs remind me of Intronaut’s and The Ocean’s releases. To be fair, I actually think these tracks are a bit more complex and interesting than what you find in general on those two. This is also my favorite East of the Wall I’ve heard in terms of band sound and direction. I’ve just been a little more excited by the previous releases. Maybe if they could get their old intensity back with this level of intellectual stimulation I’d be fully on board. I’ll give this an 8/10 for now.
Here’s a sample:
Next up is Orbweaver’s Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon. I can honestly say that this is some pretty original stuff. Overall it has some parts that seem to fit into standard metal genres like some death metal influences and sludge, but as an overall album I don’t think I’d try to fit it into any subgenre.
It is quite an impressive feat, because it treads the line nicely of being both familiar and something that I haven’t really heard before. The first track is a really noisy, dirty song with some great sounds on it. It is a bit too repetitive for my tastes, and now that I’ve been through the album many times I find myself skipping it.
The second track has a lot more atmosphere to it. It alternates between some tech death stuff similar to the first track and a down tempo trippy soundscape which is pretty great because they use pitch bending all over the place to give you an unsettled feeling. Tracks three and four are probably my favorite. The third to me is just a more coherent and overall more successful version of the experiments they were doing on the first two tracks.
The fourth track really changes gear and they have almost a Mourning Beloveth type of sound. Then they throw in some crazy electronica stuff. I’d never think it would work, but they somehow pull it off. I’m not sure how to describe it. Maybe sci-fi meets Aphex Twin meets sludge? It is pretty fascinating. Overall, I’d recommend this to anyone interested in experimental metal, but isn’t looking for something totally unrecognizable. It is a great album overall. I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll give it a 9/10. Here’s a sample:
Other than that I’ve been listening to Carcass Surgical Steel, Ferocity The Sovereign, and Kataklysm Waiting for the End to Come. I’ll probably start going through some of Angry Metal Guy’s “things you might have missed in 2013” posts, too. The year is wrapping up, so I need to cram in a bit more before making a year end list.