Friday, September 30, 2011 0 Engineers

EP: Rosetta & Junius - Split

Band: Rosetta & Junius
Album: Split
Label: Translation Loss Records
Year: 2011

01. Rosetta - TMA-3
02. Junius - A Dark Day With Night
03. Rosetta - 4th Of July (Soundgarden Cover)
04. Junius - Fire Head (Hum Cover)

Philadelphia quartet Rosetta push the boundaries between metal, progressive rock, post-rock, space rock, and hardcore punk, employing an experimental songwriting technique filled with chaos and atmospherics. Their sounds range from Pink Floydian / progressive rock sonic layering to walls of pure static ambience to crushing, sweeping sludgey riffage. Their first album (The Galilean Satellites, 2005) was an especially ambitious project: the goal was to record two discs of equal length (one a metal album, the other a noise/ambient/drone album), each of which could stand on its own, but played together would create a third, more intense experience. The technique fits well with the band’s unique experiments in noise, sampling, feedback and power. The sheer amount of aural input means every listen becomes a new experience, allowing the listener to pick up on more and more layers within the sounds.  

Their next album (Wake/Lift, 2007) was a bit more restrained, but for this reason, really allows the band’s songwriting to solidify and proves them worthy of the “mainstream” of the avant-metal world.  

The third full-length album, A Determinism of Morality, was released in May of 2010, and featured shorter, faster songs, with a bit more attention to technical playing and compositional structure.

Junius has been electrifying rapt audiences with its spellbinding walls of reverb-drenched guitars, haunting vocals and self-made lights since 2003. The band’s music is both cinematic and accessible, building to crescendos which echo some of post rock’s most epic moments, but with vocals, hooks, and lyrics creating focus throughout. While Junius can be tough to categorize (they’ve been called a hybrid of Neurosis and The Smiths by Rolling Stone), band members have cited such artists as Bedhead (Junius singer/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez’s uncle Trini was their drummer), Philip Glass, Hum, and M83 among a long list of inspirations.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Candle Nine - The Muse In The Machine

Band: Candle Nine
Album: The Muse In The Machine
Label: Tympanik Audio
Year: 2010

01. Internally Threaded
02. Penumbra
03. Raison D'être
04. R5-D50-R8
05. Imperfect
06. Wintermute
07. Icarus Descending
08. Kerrianne's Spine
09. Someone Anyone
10. Wintermute (Access To Arasaka Remix)
11. R5-D50-R8 (R2-D2C3-PO Mix By Autoclav1.1)

From his humble beginnings as an acoustic songwriter in Michigan to his recent move to Tympanik’s hometown Chicago, Candle Nine has always immersed himself in the aesthetic of reinvention.  

From his first experience with a sequencer in 2006, the mysterious Candle Nine has done little else but constantly reshape and refine his own sound based upon his own path towards artistic aural expression. Heavily inspired by genre-breaking projects such as Gridlock, Haujobb, Converter, and Download, Candle Nine‘s music is altogether harsh, destructive, atmospheric, and splintered, while all at once being very moving and cerebral. With his mixture of ambient soundscapes, glitched synths and percussion, and shattered IDM-laced breakbeats, Candle Nine pays homage to his influences and ultimately creates a sound all his own.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 0 Engineers

EP: Clouds As Ocean - Tides

Band: Clouds As Ocean
Album: Tides EP
Label: Pattern-Hungry Records
Year: 2010

01. To Understand, Eventually
02. A Strategic Dip In The Pool
03. Across The Pacific
04. Gerhardt  
Download | Mirror

Clouds As Oceans began in early 2009 as an experiment in combining noise and more delicate melodies. Since then, the sounds have shifted around that general idea.They have played relentless amounts of shows in the Bloomington area and have shared the stage with both local and nationally touring acts.

Clouds As Oceans sound is at once tangible, but still completely ethereal. Using layered guitars,effects pedals, and good old fashioned rock ideas to create their own breed of thought stimulating sounds mixed with heavy beating grooves. All leading some listeners to call the project, "devastatingly beautiful."  

In 2010, the band released their first EP, entitled Tides. The four tracks focus on the songs they've been performing live over the past year and a half, but re-imagined for studio purposes. Maintaining the noise walls and devastating dynamics, while also focusing on bringing out more studio polished grooves and melodies. The result is a four song EP that documents the band's beginnings and live performances and also hints at the future of what's to come from the band. An introduction to a band that's equally as captivating as their intense live performances. "An experiment in ambient rock chaos gone terribly right."  

Currently Clouds As Oceans is writing their follow up to Tides and playing shows in the Midwest area, and touring within the next year. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Unfold - Cosmogon

Band: Unfold
Album: Cosmogon
Label: Division Records
Year: 2011

01. Erebe
02. Hemere
03. Hystrion
04. Hexahedron
05. Ethera
06. Eschaton

Unfold is a Swiss Metal band from Yverdon, formed in 1996. Their first album, Pure, came out on Division Records. It was produced by Daniel Bergstrand. They then recorded Aeon Aony for Division Records in 2003, an album they self produced but which was mixed by Pelle Henricsson and Magnus Lindberg. This album is also licensed in the USA by Earache Records. Unfold’s third album Cosmogon has been released on September 27th, 2011 on Division Records.

Monday, September 26, 2011 0 Engineers

EP: I Am Waiting For You Last Summer - Come Full Circle

Band: I Am Waiting For You Last Summer
Album: Come Full Circle EP
Label: Self Released
Year: 2011

01. Event Horizon
02. And Nothing Changed Yet
03. Nevermore
04. Sleep

Alex and Eugene met at local bar examing the rig of “This Will Destroy You” in October 2010. Alex played in a band called «Epsilon Lyr» and Eugene was a gutarist of « I Am Waiting For You Last Summer» These bands hardly breathed, and so at one of the parties at the same bar, drunk a fair amount of whiskey, Alex came up to Eugene and asked him if he wanted to play together. Eugene agreed and guys started writing material and rehearsing. Soon they invited his friend dj Leo on one rehearsal as listener, and soon he became a member of the band, responsible for the electronic component of music.

Sunday, September 25, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Upward Arrows - Upward Arrows

Band: Upward Arrows
Album: Upward Arrows
Label: Under The Spire
Year: 2010

01. ^
02. ^^
03. ^^^
04. ^^^^
05. ^^^^^
06. ^^^^^^
07. ^^^^^^^
08. ^^^^^^^^
09. ^^^^^^^^^
10. ^^^^^^^^^^

Part Timer's John McCaffrey unveils a new guise for the Under The Spire, delivering an album specifically with that label's agenda in mind. Even the project's name references Under The Spire: "the name Upward Arrows is an allusion to the thousands of church spires that pepper the world, all pointing upwards like arrows aimed at the sky" says McCaffrey. In musical terms McCaffrey has adapted his musical strategy to what he perceives as in-keeping with the Under The Spire sound, venturing into the border territories between the modern classical and ambient genres. Taking as his starting point unfinished pieces from his hard drive, field recordings and even sounds provided by William Ryan Fritch (a contributor to Asthmatic Kitty's Library Catalog Music Series) and the Fourplay String Quartet, McCaffrey takes a step in a new direction without totally abandoning the tone of his established oeuvre. You'll still hear snatches of the kind of fluttering, processed guitars you'd find on a Part Timer record, and a similarly warm, melodious atmosphere is conjured along the way, but Upward Arrows feels a little more ambitious, embracing hazy, Tim Hecker-like expanses of reverb and a kind of slow, stately orchestral feel that at times recalls Stars Of The Lid. Delightful stuff that's sure to please both Part Timer and UtS fans.

Buy (sold out at the moment)
Saturday, September 24, 2011 0 Engineers

EP: King Of The Castle - Demo '11

Band: King Of The Castle
Album: Demo '11
Label: Self Released
Year: 2011

01. Demo 01 (Instrumental)
02. Demo 02 (Instrumental)
03. Demo 03 (Instrumental)

King Of The Castle is a project hailing from the South of England, with the aim of forming a full line-up; to become a fully fledged, record producing, tour playing, real band! Their demo is produced by Jonny Renshaw of Devil Sold His Soul

If you are one of the following, please get in touch:
- Drummer (Must be able to play to the standard of the demo's, or as near as possible.)
- Bassist (Must be able to play to the standard of the demo's, and would be a bonus if you are able to write bass lines that are a bit more interesting!)

All must have/be willing to get their own equipment, and be passionate about what we're trying to achieve. It's not a requirement to contribute toward song composition, but it would be a huge plus if you are able to long as we're all on the same page! Live experience would also be an advantage.

Email for more info.

Friday, September 23, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: As We Draw & Euglena & Hexis - Split

Band: As We Draw & Euglena & Hexis
Album: Split
Label: Throatruiner Records
Year: 2011

As We Draw
01. Fingers To Point
02. Fingers To Stab

03. Before After
04. After The Before
05. Renaissance

06. Crux
07. Nex

As We Draw •• Nearly one year after their first album "Lines Breaking Circles" which propel them into the rank of the biggest european outsiders of their style, the young princes of french post-metal are back to punish everybody once again with these two tracks, more muscular and tighter than never before. Five-stars songwriting, outrageous emotional power and contagious anxiety, this is caviar filled with cyanide.
For fans of : Breach, Ken Mode, Old Man Gloom

EUGLENA •• They are coming from the red nation but could have come from the pink city; the hardcore from russians Euglena is as dissonant as buzzing, not so far from the know-how of toulousians I Pilot Daemon & Plebeian Grandstand. These three tracks are a good session of revigorating apnea, slower and dirtier continuation of their previous EP "An Anxious Surface".
For fans of : Buried Inside, Plebeian Grandstand, Botch

HEXIS •• A Danish butchery : hardcore, black metal, sludge and blast beats thrown in the most epic and brutal way. If their first eponymous EP has already teared a strip off some people, "Crux" and "Nex" are following the going-over by stepping up their urgency and helped by a nauseous as-fuck sound.

1 Engineers

Album: La Dispute - Wildlife

Band: La Dispute
Album: Wildlife
Label: No Sleep Records
Year: 2011

01. A Departure
02. Harder Harmonies
03. St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church Blues
04. Edit Your Hometown
05. A Letter
06. Safer In The Forest/Love Song For Poor Michigan
07. The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit
08. A Poem
09. King Park
10. Edward Benz, 27 Times
11. I See Everything
12. A Broken Jar
13. All Our Bruised Bodies And The Whole Heart Shrinks
14. You and I in Unison

La Dispute is five close friends from the Upper Midwest with a mutual passion for using music as a means to express, challenge, inform, and connect, but also as a fantastic excuse to have fun, make tons of new friends, and travel anywhere and everywhere that people will have them. Always learning, often touring, sometimes writing (as much as time and circumstance allows), La Dispute has been making music for 3-6 years now (depending on how you look at it) and intends on continuing to do so for as long as they’re all physically and emotionally able to. Also of note, they love their friends and families immensely and are probably too proud about where they come from. Come say hello and they mean that.

Official Site
Thursday, September 22, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Entropia - Chimera EP

Band: Entropia
Album: Chimera EP
Label: Self Released
Year: 2010

01. Limits
02. Mermaid
03. ∞

 Entropia are a post-metal band from Oleśnica, Poland and this is their second EP.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Our Ceasing Voice - Live

Band: Our Ceasing Voice
Album: Live
Label: Self Released
Year: 2011

01. Summer's Orange Haze
02. The Inevitable Fall
03. Of Lives Once Lost
04. Highway Lights
05. Passenger Killed In Hit and Run
06. Hopes Of Yore
07. Dazzled Eyes Are Shut

In the middle of the Austrian Alps, the post-rock quartet Our Ceasing Voice was founded in late 2006. To achieve their depressing, yet incomprehensibly beautiful sound, Our Ceasing Voice utilizes the perfect blend between hypnotizing ambient and epic outbursts soaking with melancholia.

"Live" helps Our Ceasing Voice to compensate for future touring expenses. Please consider supporting the band by buying the digital or CDr Version.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 0 Engineers

Video: Collapse Under The Empire - Disclosure

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2 Engineers

Album: Omega Massif - Karpatia

Band: Omega Massif
Album: Karpatia
Label: Denovali Records
Year: 2011

01. Aura
02. Wölfe
03. Ursus Arctos
04. Im Karst
05. Karpatia
06. Steinernes Meer

This is maybe the most awaited (instrumental) metal record of the year. Founded in 2006, Omega Massif quickly seized the attention and interest of listeners from several genres (metal to doom to sludge to instrumental post-rock) through the years – and that’s a result of just 2 records in 5 years: their demo Kalt and the first full length Geisterstadt. Omega Massif are a convincing studio and live band. These aspects and the fact that they have a keen sense of sophisticated song structures are maybe the main reasons why Omega Massif filled bigger venues step by step – while having started with local squat, they have by now played festivals like Roadburn, Hellfest, Swingfest and others!  Their new and second album Karpatia, a result of two years songwriting, again unites the well known calm melodic components with an immense dynamic and dark feeling in the monolithic heavy parts. In contrast to other instrumental bands, Omega Massif invent their own sound and are able to maintain the tension throughout the whole record without the usage of cheap climax ideas.

Thursday, September 08, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Generation of Vipers - Howl and Filth

Band: Generation of Vipers
Album: Howl and Filth
Label: Redwitch Recording
Year: 2011

01. Ritual
02. Silent Shroud
03. All If This Is Mine
04. Eternal
05. Slow Burn
06. The Misery Coil

The newest studio album from Tennessee based Generation of Vipers. Recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou at God City Studios (Converge, Torche, Doomriders, Today Is The Day, etc.), Howl and Filth contains 6 tracks of the most aggressive and deeply personal music in the bands 7 year history. Fans of bands such as Unsane, Neurosis, Tombs and other forward thinking artists of that ilk will be pleasantly surprised. Generation of Vipers also features members of Neurot Recording artists U.S. Christmas and A Storm of Light.

Official Site
0 Engineers

EP: Memories Of A Dead Man - Maze

Band: Memories Of A Dead Man
Album: Maze
Label: Indie
Year: 2011

01. Spoken Yet Never Heard (feat. Mike Armine from Rosetta)
02. Commotion (feat. Thomas Thirrion & Julien Hekking from Aqme)
03. The Other Way Around (feat. Yann Ligner from Klone)
04. Lighthouse (feat. Alex D. from The Prestige)
05. The Great Escape

Working a tricky hybrid ground between Hardcore, Post-core and Ambient, Memories Of A Dead Man have been constantly evolving since their debut in 2006, giving their ability to step out of the norm and worrying about creating their own musical and visual identity.

The band managed to surprise in 2008 with a self-titled E.P, described by critics as mature and coherent. Flowing between dark melodies, haunting sonorities and fractious hard moments, MOADM’s music is a permanent up and down. They constantly play with their audience’s feelings by providing heavy changing atmospheric riffs. They dissect human kind and explore its flaws.

With over a hundred gigs throughout France and Belgium, the band quickly made itself at home anywhere it performed. MOADM shared the stage with bands such as New Model Army (UK), Devil Sold His Soul (UK), Saul Williams (US), Burning Skies (UK), Black Bomb A (FR), Zuul fx (FR), Sonic Syndicate (SWE), The Arrs (FR), and many more.

Joined by D. (ex guitarist of the worldwide distributed industrial rock band SIN), MOADM returned to the studio in March 2009. The band there cooked “Beyond the Legend”, its first full length, distributed by Season Of Mist. This 12 tracks piece - critically acclaimed - showed up another side of the band, proving again that it’s always evolving and testing new tricks and sounds.

As an habit, Memories of a Dead Man took a U turn and show up today with an experimental E.P. with special vocal feats. The band, who has cut in his line up and which name never fitted it much perfectly, delivers with Maze a purified sound, intimate as a musical diary. Recorded live in two days, this 5 tracks piece goes right to the point. As loud and painful as a stock of one’s life, it marks a turning point in the band’s life. Supported by coherent vocal feats (Mike A./Rosetta, Thomas M./AQME, Yann L./Klone, Alex D./The Prestige), Maze is a success and already announces a promising new full length to come.

0 Engineers

Album: Oh, Sleeper - Children Of Fire

Band: Oh, Sleeper
Album: Children Of Fire
Label: Solid State
Year: 2011

01. Endseekers
02. Shed Your Soul
03. The Marriage Of Steel And Skin
04. Hush Yael
05. The Conscience Speaks
06. Dealers Of Fame
07. Means To Believe
08. In The Wake Of Pigs
09. Claws Of A God
10. The Family Ruin
11. Chewing The Stitch
12. Children Of Fire

Oh, Sleeper have been consistently an above-average metalcore band. Releasing their debut record When I Am God in 2007, the band was able to come up with a sound that was not necessarily their own, but one that worked for them. Now with that being said, the album had a lot of room for improvement, and in their second album Son of The Morning, Oh, Sleeper tried to correct the flaws found in When I Am God. Their sophomore album found them experimenting with more technicality and more aggression, but still, something beneath the surface seemed to be lacking. The previous statements, however, no longer apply to their sound, thanks to their newest effort Children of Fire. 

The album opens up with EndSeekers where dark melodies and eerie dissonance mark the platform for Micah Kinard's highly improved emotionally-charged vocals. Right from the bat the listener will notice a drastic improvement in the bands sound. Whether it is the aggressive drumming and the deep bass tones, or the sporadic, chaotic riffs, the guys in Oh, Sleeper really stepped up their performance in all areas. 

The guitars in the album really provide the solid backbone to set the tone of the album, whether that tone suggests utter chaos as in Shed Your Soul, or even a sense of reflection as in the acoustic driven Means To Believe. Now a lot of people may be skeptical (and rightfully so) of acoustic tracks on a "metal" album, but the band were really able to pull off not just one, but two acoustic tracks on this record. Both aforementioned Means To Believe and the song The Conscience Speaks are perfect songs of reflection amidst all of the chaos that is Children of Fire. Showcasing clean vocalist Shane Blay's talent at singing and wonderfully played acoustics, both songs are delightful breaks for the listener before they are thrust back into the turmoil.

Now Oh, Sleeper is a band that delights in concept albums. When I Am God is loosely based on a concept, whereas Son of Morning is a full on concept record depicting the events leading to, and including, the final battle between God and Satan. During Son of Morning's closer The Finisher, God cuts of Satan's horns in the dramatic climax of the album. This album, conceptually leaves off exactly where the previous album finished. As Satan's horns hit the ground, both him and God disappear, leading the world to believe that they killed each other off. This leaves the world in chaos, as former, shallow, believers lose faith at the disappearance of God, and former disbelievers (in God) begin growing in their faith after witnessing the battle. Micah Kinard uses beautifully composed lyrics to tell this story. Songs such as Hush Yael and Chidren of Fire leaves the listeners heart pounding, wondering where the plot will take them.

Oh, Sleeper have really stepped up their game with this release. Improvement shines like a beacon in the darkened genre that is metalcore. Combined with the heart-wrenching concept that everybody can relate to, and the instrumentals that will tear you to shreds, Children of Fire is an excellent record that gives hope to a dying genre.

Official Site
Wednesday, September 07, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Collapse Under The Empire - Shoulders & Giants

Band: Collapse Under The Empire 
Album: Shoulders & Giants
Label: Cargo Records
Year: 2011

01. Shoulders
02. Giants
03. There's No Sky
04. The Last Reminder
05. The Sky Is The Limit
06. Disclosure
07. After The Thaw
08. Days Of Freezing
09. Incident
10. A Riot Of Emotion

Fusion music is a style that’s often fraught with risk. The blending of two or more musical styles can either produce something quite extraordinary or crash and burn spectacularly. When one of the base genres is itself a fusion derivative of other genres, then it is clear that a masterful hand is required to make the resulting music a success. One band who has managed to achieve this and carve out for themselves a somewhat unique sound are the instrumental project, Collapse Under The Empire. Their folding of electronica into post-rock is subtle and delicate, intelligent and skilful, and this is truly reflected in their new album, Shoulders & Giants.

Collapse Under The Empire, who chose the name specifically so they could use C.U.T.E. as an acronym, are Martin Grimm (guitars, drums) and Chris Burda (keyboards, synthesiser, drums), hailing from Hamburg, Germany. Formed in 2007, they chose early to focus on instrumental post-rock, wanting their music to give the listener a certain feeling, emotion, and “story” to experience – a trip in which listeners could fully immerse themselves in. In a short period of time, several key international magazines took notice of the duo and proved themselves excited about the intense cinematic sound of their music.

Shoulders & Giants is the first half of a two-part concept work that thematically deals with the human existence, the dream of advancement, a life of absolute freedom, isolation, and death. The album is bleak and severe, but subtly lit from within with touches of hope and beauty. It immerses the listener in the sensation of being alone in the mountains and crevasses of an arctic environment – the harshness of the bitter solace, the joy at the soaring beauty of nature’s splendour.

Considering the average band of the post-rock genre is often comprised of at least four members and is very guitar-heavy, it could be said that this genre is ambitious for a two-man band to keep up with, let alone stand out in. However, Grimm and Burda do an excellent job of delivering the subtle ebbs and flows as well as the “wall of sound” and roaring crescendos – one would easily think they’re listening to a larger band.

As electronica and post-rock have a number of commonalities in their use of the repetition of musical motifs and subtle changes with an extremely wide range of dynamics, it may not be too surprisingly that the elements of this album fit so well together. However, one of Grimm and Burda’s talents is recognising where the more traditional drums and guitars don’t utilise the full sound spectrum, and knowing just the right amount of synthetic melodies to inject, without overloading the music. The electronic aspects are integrated seamlessly, providing just the right touches in either the foreground or behind the guitars, and feel unexpectedly organic.

2011 has been an excellent year for post-rock releases, and Shoulders & Giants is a welcome addition to this plenitude. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of Collapse Under The Empire’s work, and I think that this ambitious project will definitely raise their profile with the post-rock genre. Sounding like the bastard child of Clint Mansell and God Is An Astronaut, this band have created an album that stands out for its uniqueness and embraces the core aspects of the styles it represents, yet is highly accessible for more mainstream listeners. This is easily one of the best albums I have listened to this year and I strongly recommend trying it out.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Kerretta - Saansilo

Band: Kerretta
Album: Saansilo
Label: Golden Antenna
Year: 2011

01. A Ways to Uprise
02. Halls to Wherever
03. Bloodlines
04. By the Throats
05. Shepherds Thread
06. Kept from the Brilliance of the Outer World
07. Onyxia

When you march your barbarian horde through the streets of a fallen city, atop a fifteen hands high silver wildebeest (using their horns as handles), laser beams sparkling and shimmering over the smoking battlefields, a thousand million pearlescent snakes coiling slowly through the dead city streets, tiny unicorns cowering in their cages, A Ways to Uprise, the first single from Kerretta’s sophomore album Saansilo, will be your soundtrack.

Spawned from the dark and forbidding streets of Kingsland, New Zealand, Kerretta are the mutant three headed progeny joined in an unholy matrimony. Their debut album Vilayer was one of the highlights of 2009, gaining praise and glory from fans and critics alike across the globe. In New Zealand it was nominated for the inaugural Taite Music Prize, an honour similar to being nominated for a Mercury prize in the UK. They toured the USA in 2010 and have supported a host of bands both here and abroad, including Jakob, Explosions In The Sky, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, and ex-DeadMoon folks Poison Arrows. At their 2010 SXSW performance, a dedicated and determined crowd braved the freak (and to be frank, quite sinister) arctic winds, that tore through the open-air venue with hurricane force, to stand transfixed (yet shivering in the night), bearing witness to the might and majesty that is the Kerretta live show.

Giving a cold shoulder, stony eyed glare and a quiet [expletive deleted] hissed under their collective breath at the outmoded idea that all bands need lead vocalists, Kerretta revel in their lack thereof and pursue, with steadfast glee, the ins and the outs, the ups and the downs of a purely sonic narrative. A narrative that is heavy and dark, twisted with shards of beauty and danger all sitting securely on top of a churning slow burn groove that’s fatter than a police line-up of bison.

Recorded over 2010/2011 Saansilo is a progression from “Vilayer”, keeping all those elements that worked so well on the first album – the heaviness, the volume, the unrelenting atmosphere of unholy and inhuman despair – and adding adventurous use of instrumentation and surprising (and very effective) changes in mood and texture.

Official Site
Friday, September 02, 2011 0 Engineers

Album: Yob - Atma

Band: Yob
Album: Atma
Label: Profound Lore
Year: 2011

01. Prepare The Ground
02. Atma
03. Before We Dreamed Of Two (feat. Scott Kelly)
04. Upon The Sight Of The Other Shore
05. Adrift In The Ocean (feat. Scott Kelly)

Despite the visibility a certain strain of doom has received in the last decade – owing largely to the high profile of Southern Lord releases, and a few very prominent bands in particular (no knock on them) – the sub-genre is still a fairly misunderstood one. Many folks will associate it with either the druggy riff-obsession of the Cathedral/Orange Goblin/Electric Wizard tradition or the heavy drones of the Earth/Esoteric/Sunn 0))) tradition. Not only is it simplifying to classify bands in those ways, even if we acknowledge the accuracy of those placeholders, there’s a shit-ton of doom left hanging that confounds these impressions. And this is where Oregon’s YOB has always lived, as the trio has carved out its own heavily melancholic, melodic, and emotionally heavy music over the course of four full-lengths (and one by Middian, singer/guitarist Mike Scheidt’s brief sojourn away from YOB).

While the band has always had a fanatical following, until recently they’ve been sadly overlooked. This makes little sense, given an undeniably broad appetite for heaviness and trance-inducing music in the last decade. But then again, every listener has a shortlist of bands they deem more worthy of greater acclaim, and since moving to Profound Lore with 2009’s The Great Cessation, YOB has started a push toward the front rank that fifth album Atma should only continue.

With the first passages of “Prepare the Ground,” we’re reminded that YOB’s universe is defined by a certain kind of harmonic motion as much as by the power of the riff. Mike S’s particular melancholies – heard in his phaser-heaving guitar tone, his nasal keening cum bellow, and the tug of the chord progressions he favors – are immediately recognizable. And, at the usually glacial pace (nowhere more than on the lengthy epics that he includes on each album, here with the closing “Adrift in the Ocean”), it’s very hard to resist falling into this world. And indeed, the opener has the same kind of downward pull and angst heard on The Great Cessation. But lest you think it’s just another YOB album (no bad thing), the title track is a positively slashing, mid-tempo fury of repetition and punctuations. This level of aggression and rhythmic urgency is new for the band, and is pretty great live, too.

With “Before We Dreamed of Two” the band heads in the opposite direction, into territory that’s very spare even for this group. After an opening dirge riff, the piece dives into a section for clean guitar, the sound of waves, and a killer guest vocal from Neurosis’ Scott Kelly (who also croaks a couple passages on the closing tune). It’s a fitting preface to the catharsis of “Upon the Sight of the Other Shore,” with a nice contrast between the melodic filigree of the guitar and the misanthropic vocals. Hard to deny, though, that the most powerful piece is the closing “Adrift on the Ocean,” with a spacey reflectiveness that treads heavily in Scheidt’s recurring concerns. As a vocalist he’s long been preoccupied with vaguely Buddhist themes like the annihilation of the self and the sink into nothingness, notions that fit YOB’s musical obsessions in space, weight and the refrain. With Atma, the trio has perfected its blend of dynamics, space and texture, all of which serve to make one of the heaviest bands around more than merely heavy in any conventional sense.

Official Site
0 Engineers

Album: Kodiak + N - RN|XE

Band: Kodiak + N
Album: RN|XE
Label: Denovali
Year: 2011

01. RN
02. XE

After a yearlong phase of writing new material and playing selected concerts Kodiak are now back with a new 2 song record. Before they start to write a three album concept series in 2012 they decided to realize another collaboration: after the liasons with Nadja and Black Shape Of Nexus it is the drone ambient legend N who joined them to record an impressive wall of sound this time. Kodiak’s feeling for ultraheavy monolithic compositions and N’s eclectic intuition concerning complex soundscapes add up to a perfect musical symbiosis. The 2 pieces “Radon” and “Xenon” are combining the heavy approach of Sunn O))) with the soundscapes people like N, Troum or Thomas Köner have been experimenting with for 2 decades.

0 Engineers

Album: Blckwvs - 0140

Band: Blckwvs 
Album: 0140
Label: Per Koro/This Charming Man
Year: 2011

01. 0141 NO
02. 0142 RD
03. 0143 IC
04. 0144 NI
05. 0145 GH
06. 0146 TS

Heavy, monolithic instrumental.

Post-rock meets the unfriendly atmosphere of the early Switchblade and Cult Of Luna recordings. Dark riffing and spooky organ-vibes team up with a massive bass and drum work.

Blackwaves is an instrumental band from Münster/Bielefeld, whose members look back on an extended activity in various bands (Kinetic Crash Cooperation, Junes Tragic Drive, Love Song Company, Cheer Leaders Of The Apocalypse, Skapegoat). They create a menacing wall of sound consisting of percussion, guitar, bass and synth. Intensivity and atmospheric gravity. It..s heading in the direction of Neurosis or Cult of Luna. A video projection completes the whole project and emphasizes the horror movie soundtrack potential of Blackwaves.

Started as a three-piece without a bass player, BLCKWVS now perfected their sound with a fourth guy on bass. Recriuting their members from well knows HC acts (Cheerleaders Of The Apocalypse, Junes Tragic Drive, Kinetic Crash Cooperation, Lovesong Company, Scapegoat) you will get a quick understanding that this guys are not out to play popmusic. It seems to me, they are doing this stuff to destroy lovely pop afterall.

Over the last years they developed their own style of instrumental music, going the otherway around – from Postrock influenced delay driven guitar work (think of expolsions in the sky) to heavy & amp nihilistic Sludge/Doom infected Bulldozer rock.

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