With her self-titled solo debut, Moon Duo keyboardist Sanae Yamada has produced a stunning, contemplative combination of krautrock and space rock elements with a progressive electronic foundation, resulting in seven soundscapes defined by immediate appeal and endless furrows to unravel.
Editor’s note: Yes, it’s that time of the year again! While our own Album of the Year list is already published by the time you read this, we still have a ton of end of year content for you. Over the coming week, we’ll be exploring 2017 in various of ways: through curated summaries for specific genres, editorials on specific phenomena we found interesting and, of course, guest lists! This time around, we have a band who’s name should by synonymous with metal’s success in 2017: Artificial Brain. Infrared Horizon, their album from this year, is top of the crop in the extremely busy and prolific technical death metal field. With all the releases coming from the sub-genre this year, Artificial Brain still managed to prove they’re a cut above the rest, providing an aggressive, abrasive and yet strangely captivating science fiction masterpiece.
Their list makes a lot of sense, in that regard. It’s chock full of overwhelming and abrasive metal from bands like Aosoth, Thantifaxath and Dying Fetus. But it also includes more beguiling and subtle choices, like Circle or the avant-garde trappings of Fleurety. Thus, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself and see what’s what for Arti-B in 2017!
After nearly two decades of silence and side projects, Sweden’s melodic death metal maestros At the Gates dropped 2014’s seamless At War With Reality and have been assaulting the entire globe with a touring schedule as relentless as the riffs ever since. With a confidence and chemistry most full-time bands would kill for year after years of relentless practice, At the Gates really do seem like one of the most proficiently savage and insanely-catchy bands to ever emerge (and then re-emerge) from this subgenre.
Today’s offering comes from Birmingham (pronounced ‘Birmingum’)-based doom troupe Esoteric. I’m only just becoming aware of the UK’s sludgier scene, and Esoteric’s name was put forward to me by a dude from my home town because, well, he’s the drummer. Best played at loud volumes to get the full effect.…