Well, January is ending and I still haven’t said anything about any music that has come out this year so far. I’ve actually listened to a more than my average amount of music that released this month. I just haven’t been very excited about any of it. I’ll do an obligatory end-of-the-month post to say a few words about what I was listening to and what I thought about it.
Let it be known ahead of time that I think every one of the following albums actually has some really great stuff on them. It is just the whole package that doesn’t do it for me.
First up, Warfather – Orchestrating the Apocalypse. This album has a great sound to it. It really brings back the feel and tone of the old school death metal I’ve been listening to recently. Unfortunately, it misses the mark that the old stuff has been hitting. I just don’t find the riffs that interesting, and then they get repeated endlessly.
Each song is really built on basically one idea/pattern, and if you aren’t feeling that idea, then you aren’t going to like the song. Take the first track. It has one arpeggio pattern, and that repeats for basically the whole thing. It lacks depth and development to me.
Then there are the “experimental” elements. These are prominent in only two or three spots. I feel like they could have added a lot to the album if they were fully integrated consistently throughout. Instead, we get these weird moments that stick out and seem to have no purpose other than to “be experimental.” It is really unsuccessful to me.
Anyway, I’ve overall enjoyed listening to the album, but I just wouldn’t give a glowing recommendation for the above reasons.
Next, Tempel – On the Steps of the Temple. I was seeing comparisons to Sunn O))) and Neurosis. I was seeing rave reviews. I listened to it and was underwhelmed. There are some nice moments. There are some heavy moments, but it was just so forgettable. After each listen, I never felt an urge to go back and relisten.
This band is probably really great live. The best moments are where they build out of a soft soundscape and into a loud sludgy sound. I could see the live setting keeping me hooked, but when I’m just listening on headphones I find it hard to keep my attention on the music. Don’t get me wrong, it is enjoyable, and there are some great individual moments. I just don’t see what this offers above the hundreds of other albums that sound like this.
Last up, Murmur – Murmur. Again with the rave reviews. I’ll just reiterate what’s above. Sure there are some really great moments. They even get good enough for long enough stretches on this one that I think I can overlook the bad moments and like this album. Then the boring parts come back. There are long stretches of mathy repetition (really long stretches).
I just don’t understand how this aesthetic fits at all with the rest of the album. They have some dark black metal amazingness happening, and then it drops out into playing a single note in some rhythmic pattern on repeat for several minutes (at least it feels like several minutes). What? I guess they are going for some blended style of black metal/ambient/mathcore or something, but it isn’t working for me at all. Strangely, there is enough material on here that you could cut those parts and have an excellent album. Why didn’t they do this?
Other than these, I was hunting through GetMetal.org and checked out a few smaller names not getting any coverage. This usually is a promising way to find interesting stuff. Unfortunately, I kept getting these djenty mathcore things. I had a good laugh at how cliche the sound is. Do people actually play this stuff seriously anymore or have we finally moved on to people ironically doing it to make fun of the people who do it unironically?
Hopefully you’ve found some better releases this month than me.