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!
Krautrock was a musical movement with roots in Germany during the sixties and seventies, with key focus on psychedelia, musical experimentation, and a heavy focus on repetition. Bands like Faust, Neu!, Kraftwerk (in their earlier years), and, of course, Can, were integral in pioneering this sound. However, Can’s adherence to the typical krautrock sound was short-lived, with this album as proof of that. While Tago Mago has krautrock elements in it (especially on the first half of the album), the band ultimately went beyond what others in the genre were doing and created something amazing and out there, full of experimentation with delay effects and tape music, among other things. It’s a long, dense listen that grows more difficult as the minutes go by, but it’s ultimately a rewarding experience that has proven to be a huge influence on modern music. Artists like Radiohead (specifically Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood), Primal Scream, The Jesus And Mary Chain, and Public Image Ltd all have cited inspiration from Tago Mago. And, of course, this is one of our favorite albums as well! So, have fun!
There’s no need to pay attention to your surroundings during the journey; there’s plenty to be discovered by sitting back and letting the album unravel on its own while it slowly coils around your psyche. I’m not entirely sure how I never stumbled across these guys before now, but once 2016 comes to a close, they’ll immediately land on my running “Anticipated Release” list. Of course, I’m more than satisfied right now with what Voix has to offer and highly recommend it to everyone willing to make the murky trek across the landscape Aluk Todolo have cultivated.