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Arms of Tripoli – Dream in Tongues

Arms of Tripoli are an instrumental band out of LA built from members of various other local instrumental bands. While its core group of five musicians is a constant, they also bring in others to create more of a rotating ensemble, each iteration with its own unique musical flavor. As would be expected from such a collective ethos, collaboration is at the heart of the music they write. That spirit of collaboration is hugely evident throughout their debut album, Dream in Tongues, and the result is a thoroughly thrilling record brimming with energy and ideas that might just be one of the most promising post-rock debuts in a while.
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Alcest – Shelter

Let’s get the obvious and overstated out of the way: Shelter is in no way a metal album. Over the course of the French blackgaze/post-metal hybrid’s career, Alcest (i.e. Neige) has delicately straddled the line between black metal and heavy music’s touchstones and airy, cinematic soundscapes more akin to the likes of Sigur Rós or classic dream pop/shoegaze acts like Slowdive and Lush. Since the initial release of Le Secret in 2005, Neige has gradually pushed the project further away from its harsher roots to the point that his previous album, the sweeping Les Voyages De L’Âme, featured very little in the way of raspy screams and massive distortion in favor of clean tones and beautiful melodies.