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.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Aaron Turner and Jon Mueller — “Now That You’ve Found It”

Aaaah, it feels good to be back at my old station.  While this year has been an absolutely incredible year for metal, I guess I’m taking a page out of my sibling’s book and diving more into the non-metal territory recently.  Even if that wasn’t the case, though, any project with Aaron Turner’s name on it is enough to get my attention, and when he is collaborating with Jon Mueller (whose most recent solo release I had the absolute pleasure of reviewing) you *know* things are going to get weird.  On Now That You’ve Found It, weird is certainly one way of putting it.

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Album Review:  Messa — “Close”

Fans have waited four long years for a new release from experimental doom act, Messa, and the band’s latest release, Close, is well worth the wait. It does not disappoint as it is an elevated offering that dives into new instrumentation and techniques while expanding on the band’s already established unique sound.  Messa started out as a progressive doom band before evolving to incorporate various influences including jazz, blues, sludge, black metal, and dark ambience.  Close brings together all these elements while also adding cultural inspirations and instruments.  In addition to the uniqueness of style and sound, the production is clean and crisp helping listeners unearth each new piece while flowing brilliantly from movement to movement.

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Album Review: MRTVI — “Autology: The Shadow Work”

MRTVI are no stranger to the…let’s say unconventional in their practice of psychedelic, experimental, completely out-there black metal.  Last year’s Omniscient Hallucinatory Delusion was quite something in the way that it broke down into tiny parts everything you thought you knew about black metal, or even music in general, for that matter.  Not even a year later, the project is back with yet another mind-bending full-length, Autology: The Shadow Work, which is their fourth release.  This time around, things somehow get weirder, if you can even believe such a thing was possible.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Leila Abdul-Rauf — “Phantasiai”

Phantasiai is an album that sets out to answer the age-old question that I physically cannot stop tumbling out of my accursed brain anytime anyone utters the phrase “I’m dying”: “Is it blissful?”  Well, according to multi-instrumental wizard Leila Abdul-Rauf, while it might be like a dream, the answer is a resounding “NO.”  The album is a high-minded journey through ancient philosophy, existentialism, performance art, and much more all wrapped up in dark textures and eerie beauty that showcase her immense talent at a wide variety of musical fields.  Just be careful of how deep you go.

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