Track Premiere and Interview: Melopoeia – “Of the Valar, Part I: Seven and Seven”
Dave Tremblay, Melopœia’s principle songwriter, describes his technique as a kind of translation of the text into music using a self-devised system. This method of songwriting is as literal as it sounds—J.R.R. Tolkien is credited as composer here, with Melopœia using close reading of The Silmarillion to go word by word through Tolkien’s densest book. The songwriting is less granular than it was on the band’s last release, Ainulindalë, which was crafted electronically going letter by letter—the band notes that while Ainulindalë could be listened to alongside the text, Valaquenta is much more of a palimpsest, with words translating as tone rows over the top of the original writing. This gives Valaquenta a grander aspect than its predecessor and makes for a more immediate listen…
Full article here.
Thank you Toilet ov Hell for doing a proper premiere for part of this massive project for us. This article also has a number of interview questions answered by Dave and Brian, for anyone interested in exactly what we are doing with this project.
Indonesian’s Most Wanted – 4 Metal Albums Must Be Listened by Metal Lovers and Hardliners
This review was originally written in Indonesian. Via Google Translate:
Actually, whether we realize it or not, as the years go by, most of us are more interested in exploring the album or music released by the latest year. Supported by the proliferation of review articles, recommendations, and music promotion channels that are more inclined to recommend the latest albums, indirectly focusing our attention entirely on the latest album catalogs. I think our space and time are getting narrower to go back to digging for old releases that haven’t been on our personal playlists at all. Especially when we feel comfortable and don’t want to leave the music that has been our favorite for a long time. It feels like we have to think twice about whether we are willing to leave our comfort zone for uncertainty.
I remember very well that ‘A God or an Other’ was one of the bands that became my first practice reviewing an album. Written on a small notepad, I wrote that their ‘post-black metal’ tagline should be removed from the metal archives page. Until now, when I re-listen to this album, that opinion has not changed at all. Since countless copycats of Deafheaven and Alcest have appeared, blackgaze is often associated with the texture of black metal music but has a melancholy and gray feel to the extraction of shoegaze musical elements.
Highlighted moments in this album also seem to be divided into 2, sometimes the texture of the music is more atmospheric, as if acting as a storyteller, who narrates expressions and emotions through musical textures. On the other hand, the musical elements sound more witty, and brutal as if the recipient of the story receives the emotional consequences of turmoil when listening to a terrible story. Unfortunately, ‘Chaotic Symbiosis’ became the last chapter of this Seattle band. Because ‘A God or an Other’ disbanded in the same year, when this album was released.
Can This Even Be Called Music? – Void, Yaeth, Svirfneblin, and Nautilus
Here’s a 2020 latecomer: Yaeth‘s avant-garde, atmospheric, microtonal black metal tape in four different temperaments. With over forty minutes of material for the four compositions on record, you can guess that they are pretty substantial… It is to be said that the entire project lies on the shoulders of Jon Lervold, who is an amazing drummer and musician… be sure to check this one out!
Full article here.
MMXX was also included in both Dave and Matt’s 2020 Albums of the Year lists on CTEBCM. Thanks, guys.
Machine Music – Nine Songs I Liked This Week In List Form Dec 27 – Jan 2 – Plague (Black Metal) Edition #40
5. Yaeth – “The Stench on the Wind [16edo],” from MMXX (Black Metal – Independent). Larger than life, immersive, spellbinding, aggressive, twisted, and more words of that nature. This first recording (demo?) from Colorado project Yaeth really provides a ton of food for thought. … [S]ome amazing music for lovers of expansive, somewhat atmospheric black metal from an intriguing figure at the center of Colorado’s black metal scene (drummer for Bulls of Apis Bull of Bronze and studio owner/engineer).
Full article here.
Reshimotohu – The Note of Chaos Notes Albums of 2020 (Part 2)
This review was originally written in Hebrew. I’ve included the full review translated via Google Translate since I imagine the vast majority of readers on my site would not be able to read it otherwise.
“Generally, artistic attempts by professionals do not bear fruit. Their law is the act of masturbation: there is some fun in it, but it is not fruitful.
The various and strange flickers of quite a few technical wizards are doomed to be buried in the abyss of artistic oblivion. In a sense this is a bit of the private tragedy of the shadow people: on the one hand, they are wet to the pony in all the most intimate making of music from its bipnocho, but on the other hand: the creative value obtained at the end of their works often tends to be moldy, flat and perhaps most painful. The thrilling experience of good metal in an experience of great and impressive technical pyrotechnics. It just does not work.
John Larbold, a sound engineer by profession, is almost the classic raw material of this tragedy. Still, his latest album particularly surprised me, in two ways: musically and experientially. As a protégé of the mother band from which he emerged – Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze, a man has a musical record not only as a sound engineer but also as a musician in the flesh and spirit, and yet I had other reasons not to fall in love with his work: Shalev who branched off from him and about whom I am now writing – tends very strongly to the districts of Antipa and her friend, who are as far away from me as heaven from earth; The intense scent of nervousness rising to the fevered minds of the ‘revolutionaries’ whose souls are forever uneasy, rising from every corner in their writing and presentation of musical materials. If you’ve been socially nervous, then I’m going to hear fine hardcore or grindcore, or maybe the punk CRASS,For every newborn metalist baby knows that punk is perhaps the sharpest and most elaborate expression of this kind of holy rage;
But here comes the interesting twist: Labrador does not produce angry metal at all, that is not where this energy goes. The whole piece before us is an attempt to express in the infrastructure of melodic black metal in a deep way, a kind of hope. This is because I do not think I have ever encountered it, at least not in this configuration. And the result is absolutely fantastic. In the hands of a talented artist, this musician manages to bring the experience back to the center of the work and evoke vague feelings of looking at a golden horizon almost throughout listening to the work. For me, as a natural anti-partner to this whole agenda, this experience was very interesting. It was an intriguing opportunity for me to watch the depths of the creator’s psyche far beyond the textual screens of the rippled arguments that have no beginning and no end and are useless.
Musically, Lerbold is daring: in his personal description of this work he says that he decided to have fun with unequal divisions of the octave, instead of the classical division into 12 equal parts as is customary. “I really wanted to produce microtonal black metal for a few years,” he says, “and I started this album in early March 2020.” For him, he says, it was an interesting symbiosis in light of the events of the year that began more or less in March, and this vile anti-inspiration of 2020 generated the creative energy behind MMXX (Latin: 2020).
I find myself urging all of you to go and listen to the parent band’s album as well, but Yaeth (the band’s artistic name) is definitely an interesting project and MMXX is perhaps the most authentic and playful translation I’ve heard so far of the 2020s, to a musical product that marks a renewed light.”
Been nice? Been naughty? Who are you kidding of course you’ve been naughty! No matter which list you or your Metal obsessed loved one is on, we have the gift for you just in time to give shipping a chance in hell of getting there…
Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze – Offerings of Flesh and Gold
This trio of talented musicians came out of nowhere to drop their debut LP on the world back in 2019. The blend of ambient atmosphere and fiery ritualistic Black Metal checks a lot of boxes for me, so much so that the release landed in the number one spot on my Top 50 that year, and if I were to do a Best-Of list for last decade, “Offerings” would hold the top spot there too.
Full article here:
IT’S A METAL VINYL CHRISTMAS: THE METAL WANDERLUST ESSENTIAL GIFT LIST
Mathcore Index: Best of Volumes 1-5
Mathcore Index: Best of Volumes 1-5, our very first physical compilation, distributed by Dark Trail Records and featuring 41 of the finest artists in extreme and underground music. 200 units in hand-numbered 2 disc digipacks made with 100% recycled materials. First 5 purchases receive a signed copy of Car Bomb – “Mordial” CD. 100% of profits go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Black VisionsCollective. Art by Karl Frandsen and layout and original logos by Keith Carlson. $12 USD + shipping, order here.
This compilation features some of the best and most well-known bands in the genre today and I am honored to have been asked to contribute my track Retail Monkey – Pass Me the Yogurt Chips Before I Cremate Myself, Emilio. (The full album the song is from can be found here.) So far we have raised over $1000 through this effort! Black lives matter.
Liminal Veil – S/T
Liminal Veil is a raw, visceral, and passionately violent skramz with math-rock influences. Six short but intense tracks of tragedy, passion, and emotional apocalypse. Drums and guitars create a rather dramatic orchestration, while vocals die out in desperation. Each track is unique and tunes are different from each other to keep the listeners engaged… Along the lines of Cowboys Become Folk Heroes, Ampere, and Converge, Liminal Veil holds a true potential of raw, visceral energy. The best gem of 2020.
Read the full review here.
Things You Might Have Missed – 1/10/20
…On paper, Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze should just be another ambient black metal band, but they are a sweet, sweet baby of some of the decade’s best-blackened offerings. While tragically underrated, Offerings of Flesh and Gold is a lovely fusion of sounds ancient and modern, offering furious black tremolos and riffs, doom percussion, hypnotic repetition, and unhinged vocals, all drenched in cold waves of ambiance and noise. It seems a doozy at three tracks and 47 minutes, but there never feels like a moment of filler, resulting in a surprisingly accessible listen. Mark this one down as one of the year’s most surprising…
Excerpted from the full article.