One of the most enjoyable trends we as a community have seen over the past few years is the gradual increase in bands and artists that are unafraid to diversify their sound from the outset. There are certainly arguments to be made for sonic consistency, but a band implementing a variety of influences and sounds over a metal skeleton is generally seen as a noble endeavor; a band challenging themselves musically and consequently elevating their sound is, at least on paper, a clear win-win situation for them. But for that to translate into music that is just as entertaining and enjoyable from the average listener’s perspective? That requires a bit more; a narrow balance needs to be struck between monotonous consistency and wildly unfocused eclecticism.
Three is the magic number, especially when it comes to trios in music. Anti jokes aside, this particular trident of musicians call themselves Bungler but in no way or shape come off as clumsy or incompetent, as the dictionary definiation of their name would suggest. These Buffalo natives may be few in number but play a form of hardcore that is incandescent enough to merit mathcore murmurings and direct enough to smash holes through any other alternative act around. The Nature of Being New is the album, Bungler are the band, this review is about to commence.
Voyager have been on our scopes for a while now; the progressive metal band are known not only for their brand of uplifting and engaging metal but also for a great live act and an overall energy that’s hard to resist. And so, when we learned that they were undertaking a crowdfunding campaign, we knew we had to pitch in. However, there was also within us a burning desire to know what made such a juggernaut of progressive energy tick; it’s always interesting to look into the influences which make such bands exist.
Darkness. The walls of Schinmanski, Brooklyn are all expectant, together with the audience, for the French phenom called Carpenter Brut to take the stage, incarnated into the form of drummer, guitarist and keyboards. For all those familiar with the act’s predilections what comes next should have probably been obvious; for those uninitiated, Brut’s early moments of the show might have come as a surprise.
From Ingrats’ opening jazzy piano and drum duo on “Gimme a break,” it’s apparent that one-man experimental black metal project netra is taking on the genre from a more sophisticated headspace than the torch-bearing, forest-wandering forefathers of the genre. It’s easy to connect the dots to more progressive-leaning artists like Ulver or Altar of Plagues, and to a lesser degree, Norway’s Shining, but those comparisons fall short of capturing netra’s homogenous blend of nostalgic blackened melodies with ambitious electronic leanings.