Rainbows in the Dark: Jon Mueller — “Family Secret”

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: one of the reasons I love doing this column is for the chance to get a bigger sense of how different types of music is made.  With metal, it has its moments where the boundaries get pushed, and the genre is certainly no stranger to innovators, but oftentimes you need to go pretty far out there to get into some really creative artistic processes.  Even as far out as we have gone, I have never encountered a process quite as unique as Jon Mueller used on his newest release Family Secret.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Circulatory Garden — “Primordial Circulation”

Welcome back, dear reader!  It’s been a few weeks of year end posts around these parts (if you haven’t listened to Dan and Chris’ excellent and exhaustive podcast episode, please do yourself a favor and check that out first), but we’re back, cracking open a fresh new year that promises to be chock full of some seriously good non-metal releases.  First up, we have quite an interesting listen from the wild ether, courtesy of the enigmatic dark ambient artist Circulatory Garden and their cinematic, mega-creepy EP Primordial Circulation.  Hop below the cut to get started on a wild journey.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Ian’s Best of 2020 List for Nonmetal

Best of 2020

This past year has seen some of the most exhilarating and emotionally deep metal that I’ve seen in a while, but what about the non-metal side of things?  Well, fortunately we’ve had just as many pleasant surprises on that front, and just as much music that will ultimately be talked about for years to come.  It bears repeating that I am humbled that I am in the position to be able to talk at length about all of this, and boy there sure is a lot to talk about.  From deep, brooding atmosphere to technical wizardry to lo-fi indie glory, polished folk and everything in between, there’s a lot to get into, so strap in as we bring you the very best of all things non-metal and metal adjacent.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Vælastrasz — “Sunstrider”

I guess I’m something of a dungeon synth fan now! Since my last foray into the genre went so well, and since it’s been a little while since we’ve had a Rainbows up in here, I figured I would give it a shot.  There’s something about the gloomy, melancholic vibes and the meditative soundscapes that the genre throws out that mesh very nicely with the changing weather and the dropping temperatures.  Couple that with a healthy dose of inspiration from, what else, World of Warcraft and what do you get?  Vælastrasz and their monumental twenty first full length release, Sunstrider.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Pågå — “The Evil Year”

2020 can be described as a lot of things, most of them far from pleasant.  I don’t think “evil” is a stretch, considering all of the rampant bullshit abounding and the world being a dumpster fire growing hotter and smellier every single day.  I have no idea if Sweden’s Pågå are referring specifically to this year with the title of their debut album The Evil Year, but considering the whole affair is winding down and this album is chock full of all things strange, outlandish and psychedelic, I have to think that’s where at least some inspiration came from.

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