Joaquin’s Rapid Review Round-Up
Inspired by the Reptilian, I dug into my deep promo well and picked out some highlights.
Vitrail– Les Pages Oubliées
Independent | April 2nd, 2021
Here we have some post-black metal from Montreal that has a strong Alcest and Deafheaven influence, and it’s pretty dang good! They step outside those boxes for some bluesy moments, which work well in the theme of the album. It’s quite a crowd pleaser and I’m surprised it didn’t get more attention before the release (points finger at self for letting the promo sit for months). Great cathartic melodies and even solos hidden within. If you’re a fan of the atmo-post-black scene, this is a must listen.
Bruit ≤ – The Machine is burning and now everyone knows it could happen again
Independent | April 2nd, 2021
I get about a million of these instrumental post-rock albums that are basically intense movie soundtracks, and most of them are pretty enjoyable actually. The problem is, nothing ever really sticks with me after listening, I’m not moved to listen again, and I have literally nothing to say about it. That last point is still mostly true about Bruit ≤, but they certainly stand out in the other two metrics. There’s some excellent folky cello and violin work, intense and enrapturing atmosphere, and it vibes so hard. These are some excellent musicians.
Prosthetic Records | May 7th, 2021
I was pretty pumped for this project from Nicholas Thornbury (Vattnet Viskar) on guitar and vocals and Brett Boland (Astronoid) on drums and bass, but I’m not sure the EP does as much for me as the members’ other projects. There are some nice atmospheric blackened moments, some interesting dips into more deathy stuff, and some unique takes on how to do both of those things. Every track has one nice riff, but I feel like the rest of the time is just waiting for that riff to show up. It’s enjoyable, but nothing really sticks with me. I’ll be curious to see if they can add some of that stickiness to an LP in the future.
Kyning – Ān
Independent | April 9th, 2021
I have no idea what’s going on with this album. The base is made of some really strong, conventional stoner prog/doom riffs, but the vocalist is doing some kind of grungy-heavy-metal-with-occasional-growls nonsense that I can’t comprehend. There are spots that go over-the-top for my tastes, but it’s so unique that it doesn’t stop me from listening. The pacing is great with nothing slow lingering for too long and many unexpected turns along the way. The oddness is going to be divisive I think, but I’m sure they’ll gather some die-hards quickly. H/T to reader Akira Watts for the rec.
Boss Keloid – Family The Smiling Thrush
Ripple Music | June 4th, 2021
I’m generally turned off by anything that has too heavy of a ’70s prog/psych rock vibe, but Boss Keloid rules so hard at it. They use it to imbue a mystical grandiosity to their sound, and then actually write a solid tune on top of it. The unconventional melodies often remind me of Intronaut, but with all the post-metal removed and replaced with a unique brand of sludgy rock instead. It’s nice when something this experimental, packed with rough edges, feels so masterfully done that it could actually have wide appeal.