Lykotonon are a Denver side-project composed of members from Blood Incantation, Wayfaerer and Stormkeep to name but a few. The band, who have assumed aliases for the purposes of the project; pseudonyms so unusual that they give Elon Musk‘s son X Æ A-12 a run for his money.
Darkwave and synth have been seeing a push in popularity thanks to the hugely successful Netflix series, Stranger Things. The television show which is set in the eighties opening theme has acted as a gateway into synthwave with more and more people checking out the dark and ominous blend of electronic sound.
Respect where it is due. Heavy metal titan, political activist hero and System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian has yet to offer up a project or product unworthy of the intense and continued attention of those who love music, love the world around them and care deeply about the overt inadequacies of those entrusted with its protection and future.
Remixes and collaborations, and the concept that the growth and life and mutations and splices and impositions to a song don’t stop once it has been committed to a released format, have become so ingrained and integral to HEALTH that their reworkings of songs are as patiently awaited as the origin pieces.Continue reading →
GosT has, since 2013, been the vehicle for producer and singer James Lollar. Loosely fitting into the synthwave bracket, GosT’s music in fact takes influence from many areas including post-punk, industrial and black metal. Moreover, Lollar has regularly shared stages with metal bands including Pig Destroyer, The Black Dahlia Murder and Mayhem, as well as fellow synthwave acts such as Perturbator and Carpenter Brut.
Viking Metal started out by combining the epic energy of Black Metal with the mystical grace of Folk music. Enslaved is a band at the pinnacle of this heavy, Nordic sound. Starting out as teenagers, this Norweigian act has successively enhanced the Scandinavian metal scene for nearly thirty years. Their beginnings were more in the realm of the extreme, but over time Enslaved has not been afraid to dip into other genres like Prog Rock and Jazz. It’s encouraging to witness their ability to be undaunted by their explorations while still being true to their Viking roots. Their new fifteenth full-length album, Utgard (Nuclear Blast) verifies their astute ambition of experimentmentation and expression.
Wraith sees London-based post-electronic pioneers Teeth Of The Sea taking a step away from the noise inflected menace of their earlier work following the departure of Mat Colegate after 2015’s Highly Deadly Black Tarantula (both Rocket Records). Yet their latest outing feels like the answer to a challenge, of sorts. In its absence, the progressive, playfully experimental composition style (paired with an often unapologetically wry approach to theme) brings to the fore the bands inherently theatrical bent. The result is something akin to the lost soundtrack to a late 90s Indie, cyber-Punk thriller.Continue reading →
Supergroup is a term bandied about too much these days, including here at this very website. It’s hard to help it in the streaming music age, which coincidently has also fostered a new openness and freedom for artists to come together as never before. Perhaps we need another terminology to describe these collectives. How about “artistic hive-mind”? That’s one that definitely suits The Black Queen, who is more than a mere musical group, but carry these sensibilities in everything they do from songs and lyrics to album art, videos, t-shirts, and visual performances live. The sum of their recorded output is but one facet of what can be possible when they get together.
There comes a point, it seems, for a lot of bands where they decide to go in a direction that would seem directly opposed to their core sound, or sound with which they are most associated with. Now, and this will not turn into a witch hunt or anything, but these creative directions often split fan bases and in turn lead to a lot of anger, comment, though in balance, often also acclaim. At one such crossroads are Aussie metalcore band The Amity Affliction, and their sixth album Misery (Roadrunner).Continue reading →
It’s a cruel irony that, for music which is such a personal and unrestrained expression, so much Noise sounds interchangeable. By forcing the player to respond to orthodox patterns, traditional instruments make it much easier to develop a singular “voice” – by making and manipulating their own sounds out of nothing, Noise artists ironically often end up sounding the same as each other.Continue reading →