When looking through a tag in music curation services, encountering “avant-garde black metal” means clicking play will either result in something incredible or terrible. Few artists have the combination of self-irreverence, self-respect, sense of the fundamentals and how to think outside of them to be able to pull off the latter. As if that’s not enough, take a black metal band, add a saxophone, power metal-esque clean singing, a blues/jazz tint – does it sound potentially disastrous already? Several bands this year alone have attempted this formula and failed. Well, good news is, the Greek masterminds Aenaon have totally nailed it with Hypnosophy.
Contrary to what many other sites and publications would have you believe, 2016 is, in fact, still not over yet. So while the first major wave of year-end lists has hit us this week, we’re here to tell you that there are still a bunch of recently-released albums that you seriously need to consider before settling on your own favorites for the year. It’s certainly true that by the time November rolls around the pace of high-profile and superb albums tends to drop off, especially compared to the September/October rush. There was some truly great music that came out this past month though, and the fact that all of it and any music released next month will be automatically disqualified by default from most end-of-year lists is both annoying and completely shitty for those bands. You’ll hear us talking about the problems and merits of end-of-year listmaking plenty in the coming days and weeks, but for now let’s just give a moment to some bands who will inevitably be shafted and discounted by far too many.
There must be something happening in New Zealand; the same musical climate that gave rise to post-death metal favorites Ulcerate has now birthed the equally powerful six-piece Setentia, whose debut album Darkness Transcend crept up as a late addition to the already impressive year in music. Darkness Transcend holds its own…
As time goes by, post rock is apparently being forced more and more into exploration under the sheer weight of its aesthetic. As a genre which deals with re-configuring and re-hashing rock, this is perhaps a much delayed return to the roots of the genre. We had long cried out for this form of experimantation, warning that stagnation lies in avoiding it. Thankfully, 2015 and 2016 seem to be heading on the right trend, with a host of new(ish) groups tackling the validity and relevance of post rock (Tumbleweed Dealer, Farfetch’d, VASA, Father Figure, Town Portal to name a few). Here’s another name for that list: Overhead, The Albatross.