My promo inbox was fuller than Biden in an ice cream shop, so I handpicked a few good ones for you to check out.

Napalm | June 4th, 2021

First off, we have this tiny two-track EP from New Zealand, Sweden, Scotland, England, and Italy. that delivers some castle-core atmospheric black metal. Karhu reviewed their previous record with a correct middling review; it showed some promise, but there were issues with mixing and just overall busyness that I think are vastly improved on these new tracks. New vocalist Lucia Amelia Emmanueli has a tone and range that matches a little better with the growls, and the melodies are a little easier to parse and still nice and catchy.

Year of No LightConsolamentum
Pelagic | July 2nd, 2021
Year of No Light is one of those bands that is constantly doing splits and I do a terrible job of remembering to listen to those more than once. I’ve appreciated their tracks over the past many years, but I haven’t given them as much play-time as they deserve. They finally delivered their first LP since 2013 so I can once again revel in their mastery of instrumental sludgy post-metal. The way they play with dynamics is memorizing. Sometimes the buildup takes a little more time than most people are willing to wait, but the hypnotizing rhythms keep me on the hook.

Independent | June 11th, 2021
If you like Elder as much as I do, there’s no reason to not listen to Delving, the solo project from guitarist Nick DiSalvo. He has such a unique way of making ethereal melodies and grooves and I can’t get enough. Delving is a lot like Elder, but with slightly more relaxed pacing and some added electronics in the mix. Would I rather just have more Elder? Probably, but it’s still some of the best proggy psych rock out there, so I can’t complain too much. The end of “Wait and See” is a particularly excellent moment.

Fysisk Format | June 18th, 2021
I despise pretty much all of the indie rock scenes I encounter (which isn’t many). Duvel somehow sounds exactly like all the things I hate but is incredible instead. There’s a strong Future Islands resemblance with an added gothy post-punk-wave vibe that sounds both nostalgic and current. “All Out on You” has one of those insanely charming choruses that is constantly in my head. Give these Oslo boys a shot, and I guess anything else that comes out on Fysisk since they seem to be my go-to for not-quite-metal music these days.

Speed run!
Heavy TempleLupi Amoris
Magnetic Eye | June 18th, 2021
Certainly above average stoner doom/rock with incredibly high piercing vocals that push it over the top. Tons of energy, good but mostly tried-and-true riffs, and tons of shred on top of it.

Raphael Weinroth-BrowneWorlds Within Live
Independent | July 2nd, 2021
The cellist behind Musk Ox unleashes some of the most emotionally rich and breathtaking music with just an acoustic cello, amplifiers, and effects pedals. Love me some cello.

SundrownedBecome Ethereal
Fysisk Format | June 18th, 2021
More really good atmospheric blackgazy ala Alcest and Mol. There’s a general sleepiness to the record that I think I like, but still need a few spins to decide. The explosive moments hit all the right marks and they certainly find ways to stand out in a genre that’s filling up fast.

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