There have been lot of new and awesome albums released in 2017. Unfortunately, a lot of releases get overlooked for coverage by the release date due to limited resources (or interest). These are a collection of releases that for no fault of their own, did not get picked for coverage on their own. That could be because no one knew what they were, no one cared, or we just missed them because we suck. I wanted to take some time and discuss five of these releases. These releases have nothing to do with each other and would probably never be put together other than they unfortunately are all getting reviewed by me.
Emma Ruth Rundle & Jaye Jayle – The Time Between Us
The first release I want to talk about is Emma Ruth Rundle and Jaye Jayle’s The Time Between Us. This release is fan service if I’ve ever seen it. Emma Ruth Rundle’s Marked for Death was probably my favorite non-metal album of 2016, so for her to have another release out so soon is wonderful. Emma made a name for herself in the bands Marriages and Red Sparrows. She started releasing solo material in 2014, and she has been crushing it with every release. Emma Ruth Rundle satisfies my insatiable hunger for more music in the strain of artists like Chelsea Wolfe or Emptiness. Jaye Jayle is a “pen name” for Evan Patterson of Young Widows/Breather Resist. I love Young Widows, so my interest is piqued with any of their members’ projects. The Jaye Jayle side of this is a blend of bluesy, dark Americana that is not terribly removed from what Young Widows did with In and Out of Lightness, but rather allows a fantastic artist to allow some of his other influences to rise to the top. For me, this is Chelsea Wolfe and King Dude’s Sing Songs Together all over again. You can easily draw comparisons between Chelsea Wolfe/Emma Ruth Rundle and King Dude/Jaye Jayle, but I think the greatest similarity is how perfectly suited each side of both releases is to the other side. Playing through the songs and journeying from Emma’s songs to Jayle’s songs seems like you are listening to one album that flows together rather than two artists writing two different releases that end up getting packaged together.
All in all, this release is soothing, haunting or whatever you need it to be when you decide to spin it. Pick it up immediately.
Vinyl is seriously available everywhere (Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes & Noble, etc).
Body Void – Ruins
Next up is Body Void Ruins. I think the album is called Ruins because that’s what it does to the listener. Body Void specializes in just the kind of aural putridity that I have a masochistic obsession with. There are obvious comparisons to bands like Indian, Lord Mantis, Primitive Man, and Coffinworm; if you know me, that is one of the nicest things I could ever say about an album. It may have only 4 tracks, but those tracks clock in at over 40 minutes. Each of those tracks cover a cavernous amount of genre bending territory. Whether they are blasting away on fiery, blackened frenzy, spooky ambience, vomitus sludge, or fist pumping fuzzed out doom riffs, Body Void never lose the slightest sense of filth and depravity.
I should probably shower and pray after listening to this, but I refuse to shower.
Skáphe – Untitled
I want to take a minute to talk about Skáphe. I know nothing about this band other than they are a 2-piece with a member from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and one from Iceland, and they make some of the most awe-inspiring, nightmarish black metal I have ever heard. I first subjected myself to Skáphe in 2016 when they released Skáphe² last January and immediately earned a spot in my top records of the year. The band dropped this track on March 9th entitled “VII” with the release listed as Untitled. While it may be one track, that track clocks in at over 22 minutes. If this is your first time hearing them, I doubt you would survive listening to anything more than this one track. Skáphe are very much their own unholy entity, but the sounds they produce sound like they were conjured while taking acid at the altars of Portal, Deathspell Omega, and Ævangelist. Even trying to recreate the feeling or songwriting of any of those bands is a task that is impossible enough, but Skáphe have done that and more. It would be unfair to say they were influenced by those bands, but rather Skáphe stand amongst those bands as equals.
“VII” is available from the band’s bandcamp as a pay what you like download. Download if you dare.
Friendship – I&II
Next we have Japan powerviolence/grind Friendship with album I&II. In that sentence, I said just about everything interesting I could say about this band. I have seen people attempt to attach tags like “bleak”, “sludge”, and “doom” and comparing them to bands like Godflesh and Swans. The people who say that are either trying to be funny or completely deluded. It sounds like old Nails and Weekend Nachos. If you like your violence powered with nothing but solid mosh parts, then this is for you. I imagine this band would be fun to see live, but the crowd-killing for their set has to be completely insane. I recommend listening to this while sitting in rush hour traffic.
*Neither the writer nor Nine Circles condone mosh pitting with cars*
Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light
I have loved Junius for a while now, and they were one of my favorite live bands I’ve ever seen. Reports From the Threshhold of Death is an absolutely fantastic record that must have been darn near impossible to follow up. I am pleased to say that Junius have successfully progressed from their previous releases and stepped up their game even more with Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light. The Deftones influence is still present, but Junius have experimented in other directions to make their sound even more of their own. The beautiful melodies are even richer and gorgeously layered. The heavier parts hit harder. The most obvious and strongest change is the development of synth throughout this record. A lot of bands have been playing around more with the 80s style synths. It could be from the building popularity of bands like Perturbator or almost universal approval of Netflix series “Stranger Things”. With the release of the first single “The Queen’s Constellation” from the new Junius album, I immediately thought of the soundtrack of “Stranger Things.” Some bands that have tried incorporating these sounds into their music has been done poorly or sounds forced, but it is beautifully paired with the sound and feel of “Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light”.
Author & Punisher – Pressure Mine
So this dropped out of nowhere when I was typing out this article. Author & Punisher had one of my favorite records of 2015, so obviously, I think A & P is worth everyone’s time. Pressure Mine is a very different vibe than Melk En Honing. While the 2015 release was harsh and aggressive, the tracks on this new release are more melodic and emotive. I didn’t know that I needed A&P to be anything different than it was, but I am loving the melancholy feel with an increased presence of melodic/softer vocals and 8-bit video game soundtrack sounding synths. Definitely pick this up now!