Album Review: FERN — “Intersubjective”

Solo projects are interesting vehicles for creative and sonic exploration, especially if the main project is known for creating extreme (metal) music. Exploring this so-called “side content” is a treat and something that allows a deeper dive into understanding how various musical influences come together in the mainline band album. In the case of FERN, the solo project of The Ocean’s drummer Paul Seidel, their debut album Intersubjective oscillates between art pop, industrial, and ambient electronica, pulling the already established fans into this intimate and heady atmosphere that offers a huge look under the hood.

Continue reading

Album Review: Putrescine / Kosmogyr — “Desolate Tides”

Whenever bands come together for a split, it fulfills two major conditions: it showcases their hard work in a unique way outside of the standard album idea, and it shows whether the two bands in question are able to find common ground in their music or if they’re too wildly different. A split that recently did this was Towards the Nameless Darkness, which found common ground in how both bands approached making black metal. On Desolate Tides, the new split between Putrescine and Kosmogyr, they not only find common ground—one bound by the sonic influences, emotional trappings, and the never-ending cycle of (musical) rebirth—but show a certain camaraderie that I don’t see that often with splits.

Continue reading

Album Review: Sigh — “Shiki”

Sigh - Shiki

Sigh is a trailblazer of a band with a career nearly spanning three decades. Any thoughts of this band sitting on their laurels or going through the motions are crushed within the opening cadence here. Sigh continues to strive toward new heights, constantly reinventing themselves to create music that is both hauntingly eerie and extremely catchy all at once. All of this is encapsulated on their twelfth album, Shiki, which not only showcases the beginning of something new, with the pomp and circumstance of ceremony, but also shows us a sense of this band’s mortality.

Continue reading

Album Review: Kekal – “Envisaged”

kekal - envisaged

As someone who prides themselves in knowing their black metal, it feels I have encountered a diamond in the rough with the Indonesian band/entity Kekal, whom have put out an impressive number of records in the last 27 years. Having originally heard 2018’s Deeper Underground in the last couple of years, Kekal impressed me with their blend of genres that reminded me of a more accessible Igorr, melding avant-garde black metal, electronica, and post-metal together into this chaotic yet colorful sound that swept me off my feet. Having missed out on their previous release, I decided to skip ahead and see what Envisaged had to offer, as my curiosity was once again piqued by this incredibly mysterious band.

Continue reading

Album Review: Grave Gnosis / Hvile I Kaos —“Towards the Nameless Darkness”

grave gnosis - towards the nameless darkness

I don’t tend to listen to splits, especially when the bands in question have different musical styles that might not work well together. Despite this, I still like giving splits the benefit of the doubt, as I think they are a good showcase for bands that you aren’t familiar with and you haven’t had the time to jump into a full-length album. In this scenario, Towards the Nameless Darkness is a teaser to what both Grave Gnosis and Hvile I Kaos have been working on as they prepare to release their next albums, and for someone who is familiar with one of the bands, it might be an opportunity to experience what I have heard so much about.

Continue reading