Right off the bat, the most striking thing about Vattnet Viskar’s sophomore album would be its bright and happy cover art. If you didn’t know any better you could imagine that an album of cheery electronic music lies within it. However, Vattnet Viskar is a post-metal band and that photo isn’t as cheery as you may think it is. If you are from my generation (the 80s) or earlier you surely remember the Challenger mission. Things didn’t go very well and spaceships exploded and lives were lost. The photo in the cover art is inspired by a photo of Christa McAuliffe while she was on a ‘Vomit Comet’ training simulation about a year prior to being tragically lost in the Challenger launch disaster. It’s a quite a surreal and contrasting pic. So happy and at a peak in life only to have it all soon violently ripped away from her. But, still kind of life-affirming in a way. Now, does that cover art look a bit more metal to you?
Release Date: January 30, 2015, Version Studio Records
Tracks: 9 tracks, 52 minutes
Previous releases: The King of Everything 2007, Zenith 2010
Recommended for fans of: Katatonia, My Dying Bride, Aoria, Anathema, Agalloch
It always soothes my soul when I come across a chunk of proggy, shoegaze-y post-metal that has a truly original sound to it. For as much as I like the genre, I have to admit lots of themes do tend to get rehashed and repeated. Build up, crescendo, trippy section, atmosphere, atmosphere, rinse and repeat (not necessarily in that order). Here we have the newly released record Far Above the Pines by one man band Dust Sculptures, and while he does follow the structure a bit, there’s something about his sound that feels unique to the genre. Maybe its the weird electronic sections, the heartfelt clean vocals, the emotional punch of the heavier bits,or that melancholic atmosphere that somehow allows just enough light through to make the whole thing feel really uplifting. Whatever it is, this album is unlike anything I’ve heard before.
If you fancy bands like Isis, Deafheaven, Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Skyharbor, Pink Floyd, or *shels I really recommend giving this record a listen even though none of those bands sound remotely like the album in this post. As always, if you like what you hear, be a great human being and toss the artist some spare change and buy a download of the album, and be even more super by sharing the recommendation with friends you think will dig the music. Let me know what you think of Dust Sculptures down in the comments. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Songs: 5 tracks, 29 minutes
Genre: Post metal
Studio Albums: This is their debut EP
Location: Drogheda, Ireland
No, this isn’t an album stream by a cheesy hip hop artist that accidentally snuck into our records, or ridiculously upbeat songs by an obscure indie band whose members wear brightly coloured jeans. The band name might, understandably, lead to such associations. If you press play, you will soon find out that Crib45 is dense, heavy and beautiful post metal. So if you’re into that style, I highly recommend giving this album a listen:
“Mid-summer…when the alchemy of Nature transmutes the sylvan landscape to one vivid and almost homogeneous mass of green; when the senses are well-nigh intoxicated with the surging seas of moist verdure and the subtly indefinable odours of the soil and the vegetation. In such surroundings the mind loses its perspective; time and space become trivial and unreal, and echoes of a forgotten prehistoric past beat insistently upon the enthralled consciousness.”
H. P. Lovecraft, “The Tomb”
Nature is chaotic, random, and imperfect. There is no perfect symmetry, order, nothing follows the rules; each of its parts is unique unto itself. And in this imperfection we can find perfection. Not in the sense of something tangible, but in a more profound sense. If everything we could hear, see, smell, touch were perfect, we might as well just curl up and pass on to whatever lies next; there would be nothing to explore, to contemplate, to surprise us. Yet in imperfection we can explore, contemplate, and be surprised. As we delve into the questions Nature presents to us we tangentially discover things about us and our world on a much deeper level. Something spiritual. And that makes us happy, and what is happiness but taking one step closer to finding perfection in Ourselves?
If there’s one thing Agalloch is synonymous with, it’s nature. Each of their releases has the band exploring haunted, snow-capped forests and reveling in the majesty of vast and intimidating mountain and valley landscapes. If you pop on any Agalloch record, you are going to be transported into a neo-folk cum black metal whirlwind of mysticism, intrigue, and Earthen beauty. For their latest release, The Serpent and the Sphere, we get to listen to the black metal shamans take their well established sound one step further. But, how could they go beyond their already perfect interpretations of Mother Earth in all her natural beauty? Well, by tackling something more astral.
Posted by ChristopherMammal
ESSENTIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Bookmark the Hybrid Circle page on Facebook. This is where you will go on Monday. June 30, to download your full, free copy of the album. Yes, they’re giving it away. Go here:
A Matter Of Faith is nothing short of magnificent. The band calls it post-prog metal, which is another tag to add to your dictionary of genres. What you’ll hear is a stunning blend of prog metal with injections of djent, metalcore and electro-prog rock.
Hybrid Circle formed in Italy in 2010. In 2012 they recorded their debut album, Before History. Last year they released an EP, Science Fiction. The new full-length album has a futuristic theme set to the sound of the metal of the future. Hats off to Antonio Di Campli (vocals), Simone Di Cicco (guitar and backing vocals), Alessandro Mitelli (guitar), Giuseppe Costantino (keyboard and samples), Matteo Mucci (bass) and Vittorio Del Prete (drums).
Damn, I’m playing the album again for about the fourth time. It’s addictive.
Do you see the brilliant spheres?
This night knows countless years.
You step out onto your porch, gaze up, and look right through histories upon histories in the universe. Yet, you are here, glaring into a majesty you can’t even begin to comprehend. You look into infinite space, you see stars that haven’t existed for millions of years, planets that have come and gone, and bygone times you never knew or would have imagined existed. And you are here. You feel small, but unwittingly fulfilled that you are part of it all, whatever it is. You are part of that history, that energy, that existence that just maybe some other being is gazing of towards. You look down, across the cityscape, into trees, over to your dog, or to where ever your Earthly abode is and you feel a loving connection; gratitude to where your feet ground you. You are happy to be alive and given the chance to ponder and appreciate, to feel pain and loss, to experience love and life. You look back up and feel one.
For me, trying to describe the objective sound or style found on The Old Believer would be doing The Atlas Moth a huge disservice. I could say the record calls to mind White Pony-era Deftones with heavy black metal and post metal influences, but it’s so much more than that. I could say textures and layers of music paired with intriguing and introspective lyrics create journeys through the human and celestial mind and soul. I could say that visceral (and very understandable) blackened screams running in tandem with a beautiful baritone clean singing as well as layer upon layer of ominous keys, melodic and crushing guitars, thick grooved bass, and hypnotizing drum all work perfectly together to create a marrow chilling dynamic. I could say this album just about brought me to tears. But no. I’m just going to shut my mouth and implore you to take my word for it that this record needs to be in your collection and in your ears as soon as possible. I’ll just leave you with another sample lyric that hit me particularly. Peace Love and Metal! 5/5
To become whole I must first fall
The sky is the only one who knows how
To assemble the pieces like before
Eruption leads to rebirth
Just let go
The Old Believer is out June 10th 2014 through Profound Lore Records. You can order through their site to get the super cool physical CD (you dip the cover in water and it changes!!!) or go digital through Bandcamp. Give The Atlas Moth a ‘Like’ on Facebook and if you didn’t take my suggestion to listen to the advance stream the other day, here ya’ go.
I was lucky enough to have an early work day and see that The Atlas Moth were streaming an advance stream of their upcoming album The Old Believer courtesy of Pitchfork. That was about 4 hours ago, I haven’t stopped listening since. O’ what a lucky day it’s been!!!
I loved their previous release An Ache for the Distance, and damn, not to downplay that release, but this blows that out of the water in every regard. From songwriting to performance to production The Old Believer is a massive improvement and maturation in every sense.
If you happen to dig on bands like Isis, The Ocean, Cormorant, and other proggy post metal bands and haven’t heard of or bypassed The Atlas Moth before, here is your chance to redeem yourself.
The Old Believer is out next week (June 10th, 2014) through Profound Lore Records (USA, EU, and ROW orders can be made through Profound Lore, if you just want digital, check the bands Bandcamp page). If you are a fan of cool physical CD formats make sure you grab this on CD. You can dip it in water and the artwork changes :)