Gridlink-Longhena40) Gridlink – Longhena

It’s hard to keep from heaping as many superlatives on this album as I possibly can. One of the most important, interesting and intense bands in the world delivering one of the best grindcore albums of all time, as their swan song, no less. In the space of 24 minutes, Gridlink cover more ground than other bands do in fifty, and they do it without a second of filler. They may never be as visible and acclaimed as bands like Napalm Death, but they should be. What a note to end on. (Colin Kauffman)


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the mire glass cathedrals39) The Mire – Glass Cathedrals

Post-Metal is a genre filled with little variation, which makes it insanely hard for new bands entering the scene to stand out. The Mire found a way to do that however with their newest release Glass Cathedrals in many different ways. Incorporating some awesome cleans, writing tasty riff after tasty riff, and expanding on the sound the include something that borders on jazz at some parts is a feat that is not easily achieved. However, the band released this album with a definite, solid idea of what they wanted, and they definitely got it. Glass Cathedrals is an incredibly rewarding sonic journey, driven by one of the best up and coming bands in the metal scene. I am incredibly excited to see what the band will do next, and if this record is any indication, then we’re all in for a treat. (Spencer Snitil)

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yob-clearing-the-path-to-ascend38) YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend

Better get used to the term Doom Revival™ because we are not going to stop using it. Perhaps one of the records that best explains what it’s all about is YOB’s Clearing the Path to Ascend. Where others preferred to use the doom basics as a launching point for experimentation, YOB dug deep, hooking their guitar cords and drum kit into the tellurian pillars of the slow moving doom. The vocals orchestrate over crushing instrumentation, preferring to invoke fear or rage instead of sadness. That exists in heaps as well, as the album takes a refreshing and original turn before its last track begins, setting the stage for one of the most touching and effective tracks in the form of ‘Marrow’. When all I said and done, the rest of the bands aboard this Revival movement might be remembered for further building upon the monolith that is the long career of doom metal but YOB shall be described as its eternal guardians. Operating from the very dawn of the style, they have lost nothing to age. Instead, they have become relentless, stalwart and sincere. (Eden Kupermintz)



the algorithm octopus437) The Algorithm – OCTUPUS4

French electronic/metal crossover act The Algorithm continued its impressive evolution in this year’s OCTOPUS4. Mastermind Remi Galego is becoming more comfortable as a musician and is further exploring the possibilities of what The Algorithm can actually be; trace, hip-hop, djent, and retro-futuristic funk litter the soundscapes of OCTOPUS4 as The Algorithm is developed a touch further as an electronic-based project. The transformation into a live act certainly influenced the feel of this record, as synths dart angularly through grooving breakdowns and bass wobs with a refined sense of songwriting. The Algorithm is moving further away from the avant-garde metal sound that was hinted at in early demos and EPs, but the streamlined approach is doing more for this act as an oddity in the tech-metal music scene. (Jimmy Rowe)

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full of hell merzbow36) Full of Hell & Merzbow – Full of Hell & Merzbow

Long story short: noise legend Masami Akita, more popularly known as Merzbow sent the Full of Hell dudes an hour of material to work with and they created a cerebral experience of a record split into two parts. The first part of the record, entitled Full of Hell & Merzbow, is consisted of ~70% Full of Hell, and ~30% Merzbow. This side of the record is much better in my opinion, as it pushes the limits of what both of these artists can do and it’s much more accessible (whatever that means in a grindcore/harsh noise perspective). The songs transition very well into one another with noise segments, while the chaotic song structures really resonate with the listener as his aural organs are slowly broken to bits by the abrasive insanity that lives even in this part of the album.

The second part of the record, entitled Sister Fawn is much less accessible than Part I, as it is composed of ~70% Merzbow, and ~30% Full of Hell. If you really enjoy harsh noise and power electronics, you’ll enjoy this part of the record, but if you don’t, Part I still kicks major ass. This side of the record barely contains any vocals, aside from on ‘Aphid’, which adds to the claustrophobic sensation that something in this album just hates your fucking guts. Full of Hell remain one of my favorite artists, live shows especially, and hopefully this killer album leads to more collaboration in the future. Maybe Merzbow will even grace the US with his presence? We’ll see. In the meantime, spin this album for some killer noise, harsh hardcore and a down right brutal experience. (Maclyn Bean)

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