Jute Gyte – Birefringence

Up to this point, Jute Gyte has made an almost annual tradition of releasing the boldest black metal album of the year. With this project, multi-instrumentalist Adam Kalmbach has channeled the black metal blueprint through classical composition techniques—microtonality and serialism, primarily—and paired the results with elements of dark ambient, industrial,…

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Moon Tooth – Crux

Moon Tooth came swinging out of the gate in 2016 with their debut full-length Chromaparagon. It presents the listener with a variety of different musical styles that are as colorful as the album title itself. One moment you’re rocking out to stoner with mild-psych touches, the next you’re headbanging to…

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Spaceslug – Eye the Tide

Last year, Polish trio stoner doom trio Spaceslug coughed up two worthwhile slabs of psychedelic and forward-thinking beefiness. They are great albums, but more importantly, they cemented the group’s distinct identity. They aren’t quite your daddy’s bloodshot-eyed stoner metal dirtbags, nor do they strive to achieve soul-crushing gloom via monolithic…

Chaos Echœs – Mouvement

First impressions have always been a powerful force when it comes to music consumption. Whether due to a lack of time and/or money, listeners have limited resources to dedicate to the ceaseless torrent of new music and the seemingly bottomless pool of vintage releases. And as superficial as it may…

Ufomammut – 8

Ufomammut are a strange band. Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat. The Italian trio of metallers moonlight as professional graphic artists in the Malleus art collective, and also have an expansive back catalog of albums that plunder elements of psychedelic, stoner, and sludge-infused doom with reckless abandon. Given this mix of styles, the band are fairly difficult to pigeon hole into any specific subgenre niche in metal. Which is simultaneously both one of the best things about their music and one of the worst aspects of it when trying to explain how they sound in a review. But bravely shall I endure for the cause.

Yazz Ahmed – La Saboteuse

World fusion’s possibilities are truly endless; this year alone, clarinetist/composer Wacław Zimpel led his ensemble Saagara through a blend of jazz and Indian classical music on 2, while Nguyên Lê and Ngo Hong Quang spliced Vietnamese folk music and jazz guitar on Hà Nội Duo. Not only does Yazz Ahmed ‘s phenomenal La Saboteuse add to 2017’s exceptional world fusion offerings, her sophomore album is easily one of the most significant releases in modern Arabic jazz. The London-based composer, trumpeter and flugelhorn player leads an eclectic nine-member ensemble through psychedelic chamber pieces that effortlessly continue in the legacy of Arabic jazz greats like Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Rabih Abou-Khalil and Anouar Brahem.