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.
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.
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.”
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:
Well, here’s a post that will only be relevant to a handful of people.
I had always wanted to be able to play the MIDI sounds included with most instances of Windows (i.e. Microsoft GS Wavetable) on a MIDI controller. After considering it passively for about 15 years, I finally took the initiative to figure out how to do it a few months ago.
Upon loading up the soundfont, I discovered that there are a bunch of instruments included in it that I had never heard before! I shared this information with some of my friends who have also been composing MIDI tracks for decades using the 128 sounds found in the main bank, and it was requested that I put together a demo of these sounds.
Some are duplicates of instruments from the main bank, some are sound samples pitch mapped to the keyboard (some of these are available in monophonic form in the soundbank’s drum channel SFX patch), some are modifications of instruments from the main bank, and some are totally unique! This was quite shocking for us and we all wish that our main MIDI composing tool (TabIt) had allowed us to access these sounds. It easily could have, considering that a few sounds from beyond the main bank actually were included. But not these.
My Life With Closed Eyes is an EP long in the making. As many people who have followed my releases over the years know, I like to invent a set of musical rules and then see what compositions come about when following those rules. For years my good friend Mike Thompson and I had joked about starting a project called “Basses Loaded,” which would feature every member of the band except the drummer playing bass.
In January 2018 I decided to play around with that formula. These songs were the result. Once I had the bass parts all written, I was struck by how video-game-music inspired it sounded, and decided that it made sense to use my v-drum kit for the kick, snare, and toms, to further lean into that sound. (The cymbals are real.)
Originally, I planned to sing on this release, but only bits and pieces of lyrics and melodies were coming to me. I had a mental block. I knew exactly why: every time I listened to the instrumental recordings, I imagined the voice of my old bandmate Buddy Hale. Buddy was the singer for my first reasonably-successful band, Phantom Float, way back in 2008. I have always been a fan of his work, and I felt like this EP would only be what it was supposed to be if I could get him to sing on it.
I was elated when he agreed to participate! I sent him the instrumentals and waited for a while. He would send me bits and pieces… an isolated vocal harmony here, the sound of scissors clipping there. I had no idea what to expect. Then one day, unexpectedly, a bounce with completed vocals appeared in my inbox. And I loved how it had all come together.
Then we spent a long time working on the mix, art, and release details. And here we are today. I could not be more excited to finally share this with the world.
Cover art by Laura Lervold.