Zvi – Deer Pink

Sometimes music critics can benefit from adhering to the notion that “form follows function.” It’s an abstract use of the bauhaus principle, but one which feels especially relevant in the modern music landscape. We often slather genre tags on scenes and artists that are growing more and more stylistically agnostic,…

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HEALTH – VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR

As far as I can remember, I’ve never started out a review with a personal anecdote. But HEALTH holds a special place in my musical journey. Back in 2008, my dad took me to see my first concert: Nine Inch Nails at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.…

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DIRGE – Lost Empyrean

For fans of post-anything metal, there was a turning point where we came to dismiss instant gratification. The point where we came to fall in love with the longform sonic journey, the gradual and subtle expanse of musical ideas, or the entrancing (and at times physical) nature of cascading, droning riffing and phantasmal leadwork. Bigger than that, it’s where we abandoned immediacy in exchange for the ambient, the psychedelic, the densely layered, or the ruminating.

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Hey! Listen to Område!

“Avant-garde” is arguably the most misused genre descriptor in modern metal. Whether in blog posts or comment sections, there’s always someone that’s heard a slightly off-kilter metal album and immediately slapped on the old “A-G” tag. That said, I’m not going to use Område as an example to parse out the differences between avant-garde, experimental and progressive metal (an article worth writing by someone who actually wants that to be their hill to die on). I’m actually here because of the French duo’s invigorating take on avant-garde metal—an approach that captures the essence of the genre in gorgeous, meticulous detail. Whereas bands like maudlin of the Well and Pan.Thy.Monium found success by thrusting death metal into avant-garde territory, Område excel by nailing down the core of avant-garde metal and renovating it’s structure with intricate furnishings and vibrant coats of paint. There may be no shortage of high-quality albums to recommend to metal fans flirting withe the avant-garde, but there are a sparse few that rival Nåde’s marriage of accessibility and bold artistry.