Melopoeia – Tolkien – Valaquenta
Here is an unusual project for which I am playing drums. It falls under the classification of scriptophonic microtonal black metal.
For anyone unfamiliar, in scriptophonic music, the artist designs an algorithm which converts text into musical notes.
Again for anyone unfamiliar, microtonal music utilizes pitches that fall outside of the standard twelve tone equal divisions of the octave musical system (12edo). In this case, we are dividing the octave into 26 equal parts (26edo), one for each letter of the alphabet.
We are converting the entirety of Tolkien’s Valaquenta into music via an algorithm that Dave Tremblay programmed using Python. The algorithm generates the guitar parts from the text, which are played by Dave on a real 26edo guitar and bass. I am then given free rein to write and record drum parts that support those guitar parts. Finally, Brian Leong is providing the vocals, placing the words that were used to generate the guitar parts on top of each section.
There are 29 pieces total and we are recording and releasing them one at a time. The scope of this project is very large and so it will probably take a long time to finish!
26 more to come.
Delmak-O – The Colony
10 tracks (56 minutes) of sci-fi / dark synth. Mastered at Big Name.
[syzygy] – [loiterer]
In 2017, I was experimenting with algorithmic composition using Pure Data. I made two songs, Key West and Adrift. I intended to make many more and to eventually put the collection on Bandcamp but other projects took precedence. I have finally decided to rectify their absence on the page.
More information about Key West (a brief writeup):
More information about Adrift (a thorough writeup, with video of the exact playthrough found on this release):
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.”
Yaeth – MMXX
This album is a look back at the hellish year behind us with its attempted authoritarian takeover of the US government, mass death brought about by a bungled federal government response to a deadly global pandemic, crushing misery and isolation brought about by that same pandemic, severe civil unrest due to deep-seated racial inequities, and massive natural disasters fueled by the poor environmental choices collectively made by humanity. It is a prayer for a better world ahead.
Like my album [xendeavor one] from February 2020, this album explores ways of dividing the octave other than the standard 12 equally spaced notes, which is the system that the vast majority of music in the world utilizes. These alternate systems can result in strange and otherworldly tonalities. I had been wanting to make a microtonal black metal album for a few years, and I began this album in early March. As we all know, this is right when the year’s events really kicked off, and so the creation of this album is intimately tied to and influenced by these world events.
Yaeth is the pseudonym I use in my band Bull of Apis Bull of Bronze. This album turned out stylistically and thematically similar in many ways to that project. Once I finished work composing the album I realized that, due to those ties, Yaeth was the only fitting name for this project.
Cover art by Laura Lervold.
Available on cassette via Bandcamp – BNR2020.
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
Fogweaver – Vedurnan
8 tracks (44 minutes) of dungeon synth. Mastered at Big Name.