Now that I have finally downloaded the last.fm app for chrome, my fashionably-late self can now acquire more accurate play counts for all the stuff I listen to outside of itunes. Yayyy.
On the menu this month is plenty of metal and atmospheric/ambient drone, with a couple odd vaporwave artists thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!
- Hana Sumai
You would have never suspected this gorgeous body of atmospheric drone was the sibling of a goofy anime-themed breakcore act called Goreshit, but that – on top of the fact that he also works with black metal as Wounder – likely speaks in his favor as a versatile producer. Where his full-length self-titled album is fairly straightforward slow piano loops, it’s his 2 track single death is beautiful/withering coils that pushes for a noisier and much more captivating listen, with both tracks thankfully sitting on the curb ends of 15 minutes.
My experience with Death has been rocky, but Human has finally compelled me to inquire into the band on a legitimate level. Maybe it was the way “Flattening of Emotions” hit at such a vaguely melodic climax without ever really being melodic death metal, or how “See Through Dreams” contends for riffs as a persuasively dominant element of extreme music, but it just as easily could have been the sheer excellence of the music as well.
Grindcore is usually a really shoddy listening experience for me, but then bands like Discordance Axis or Florida’s Assück come and remind me that it’s a worthwhile genre after all. Though my time with the band was brief, their fusion of pummeling death metal and furious grind is proof that a full-on assault on almost every front can be attained.
- Venn Rain
Pastel, hypnagogic ambience for the monochrome daze. Place In the World might have the artwork of a glowing chillwave album, but it’s difficult imagining the album being any more colorless. Tense, lo-fi minimal loops scratch and hiss with an aesthetic truly belonging to the cassette tape format, building gradually in texture over extended periods of time into abrasive climaxes, submerging the weary listener into an enthralling daydream.
Nails’ 2013 animosity Abandon All Life might have the run time of an EP, but the sheer weight of its production testifies that this is actually a smart decision. The breadth of the anger erupting from every corner runs from suffocatingly distorted to cathartically concise, packing a punch most hardcore grind bands would lose sleep over attaining.
Though their debut had a lot of great ideas on display, it was oddly the hugely abrasive and underproduced Nattens Madrigal that caught my attention. Maybe it was the feeling of listening to black metal if it were somehow burned to a tattered crisp like a repudiated sacrifice at the throat of a smelted hole in the earth, but it was pretty rewarding in its relentlessness.
- Pig Destroyer
Terrifyer is one of my go-to grind albums for a technical treat, but this month’s MVP is Phantom Limb. J. R. Hayes’ poignant vocals remain one of the best I’ve heard in a grind band, while Scott Hull’s guitars lend a decidedly more Dimebag-ian groove to the music this time around, making Phantom Limb a perfectly competent, if less impressive, follow-up to Terrifyer.
- Thy Catafalque
Though a black metal outfit in essence, the Hungarian duo of Tamás Kátai and János Juhász barely even use typical black metal instrumentation. Beyond shredding guitars and drums, Thy Catafalque employs keyboards and synthesizers as a primary atmospheric device, specializing in sprawling, Dungeons and Dragons-reminiscent adventure with a touch of the organic for something simultaneously whimsical and nightmarish. The fact that such expertly-crafted music is available on a name-your-price basis is inexcusable for fans of experimental black metal.
- t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者
Though some of telepath’s songs are longer than some people’s albums, the ambient vaporwave producer has few problems engaging the listener into the deep end of the subgenre with swirling production, seamless transitions and hazy outside-looking-in approach. A spearhead on the flourishing Dream Catalogue label, with albums available for free download, you’re running out of excuses to not hear this any longer.
- C A S I N O ☆★☆★☆ M A S T E R
As far as total play time is concerned, this spot should technically be reserved for Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s thirty minute epics, but since this list is based on play count, it makes much more sense that the bite-sized pieces of electronic slot machine ambience that make up CASINO MASTER’s sole unpronounceable album would come out on top. The bombastic sound effects, cheerful Japanese voices, and electronic reels clamoring for replay are exactly the kind of enthrallingly gimmicky quasi-music I love stumbling across in the eternal bandcamp conquest.
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