100% Support: An Apostle, A Biopsy & Afternoon Tea
On the 5th of June, Bandcamp is again waiving their purchase fees, and if you don’t know what to spend all your hard earned cash on, we’ve got a few recommendations to throw your way.
It’s increasingly difficult to describe Antipope with any particular genre. The harsh vocals, several arrangements and even occasional riffs reminisce over their black (and death) metal days of yore, while the progressive rock influence that used to hide in the background (well, that’s a stretch) has been raised towards the front, and occasionally takes the center. Apostle of Infinite Joy is energetic, busy and even jovial, though what else could you expect with a title like that. Meanwhile melodic heavy metal, go-thicc atmospheres and and a few tricks loaned from the industrial bag dot the landscape.
The large amount of influences never comes unglued, and the influences are introduced within compositions, lending Apostle… a cohesive sound and a unified vision, instead of each song reaching for a different direction. Even though they do that as well.
This is French, incredibly melodic black metal whose melodic language could be described as “medieval”, if only because it would be easy to liken it to that of Véhémence‘s. A solo project of Raido’s, though featuring drums courtesy of Julian Helwin, Ferriterium’s Le Dernier Livre blasts forth for 41 minutes, but with just enough versatility in the riffs, freshness in the melodies and slower sections in the structure to allow for a few breathing moments and engagement.
Though Le Dernier Livre can get homogeneous, it’s never too repetitive. Similar melodic flavours can be found all over the French- and even Quebecois scene, but Ferriterium’s approach is less frostbitten than is usual for the latter at least. It’s familiar but not derivative, and one of my most returned to black metal albums from last year.
Born from the ashes of Atretic Intestine (more or less anyways), Cryogenocide took form as a brutal death metal band, but after witnessing Wormed, the group decided to take a more technical turn and embraced their new mission, combining gore and sci-fi. Their express intent is to not stray too far from their death metal roots, including little-to-no prog or jazz influences.
Back in 2017, our very own Shining Phallic Object of Penetration and Impalement wrote kind words in regards to the group’s debut EP, Torn Apart Between Two Gravities: “Torn Apart Between Two Gravities plays out like a combination of the aforementioned nuke-obsessed [Cytotoxin] with Wormed’s aesthetic, peppered with a wee bit of Voivod-style weirdness.”
He also said: “Despite only being three songs long, there’s a fair amount of variety on this EP. “Gravitational Gut” sets the stage with its bursts of rapid tremolo picking, chunky down-tuned riffing, abundant blastbeats, and thrashy middle section complete with a fiery guitar solo. Conversely, “Sickening Solar Mutations” sees the guitar taking a backseat to the bass and drums, which drive the song forward with a mixture of groove and speed. These two songs showcase what each part of the band can do separately before they go all-out on “Nebular Vomit,” the album’s closer. Miasmatic dissonance bookends the song, which is built on as much speed and power as the band can muster. It takes a surprisingly atmospheric turn towards the end in which the band brings their melodic side to bear” (man, having someone else write your paragraphs for you sure feels good).
Cryogenocide returned with a self-released digi-single, “Neural Biopsy”, just this past February. From frantic tremolo riffs interspersed with all the weedlies you could want, to another peek at their melodic side of the band before it closes on the airiest notes you’ll probably ever get out of this band, throwing just about everything but the kitchen sink at you in between. It still maintains cohesion throughout and every instrument gets the spotlight, while avoiding the swing style -standard structure where each soloist consecutively takes their turn; instead different sections emphasize different sides and instruments (hey, I’m not the tech-guy here). Bear-approved snare sound included—the Owl can chuck it [*angery reacts* ~Roldy].
I first became acquainted with the brainchild of Iranian composer and world music specialist Hamed Sadeghi through Art As Catharsis, as the Good Australians dropped their debut Nim Dong a couple of years back. Sadeghi, a Tar virtuoso himself, led a group of musicians in an attempt to combine traditional Persian music and dreamy Eastern sounds with Western style jazz fusion.
Not quite as hectic as that may sound, Nim Dong drew heavily from the Persian side of the spectrum, but their fresh sophomore, Afternoon Tea at Six, introduces a more fine-tuned balance between the elements, the Western contemporary influences now swallowed and merged into the entity. Especially bassist Elsen Price and saxophonist Michael Avgenicos seem comfortable in their new environment, but Afternoon Tea… is a balanced effort with no weak links and enthralling compositions.