Ben Jones

Articles by Ben Jones

Batushka – Hospodi

Mired in controversy and disputes over legitimacy, Batushka’s second album fails to match its predecessor, The formula still works, but ultimately ‘Hospodi’ feels muddy and a little rushed.

Bibio – Ribbons

A gentle, meandering album, Ribbons’ countrified stylings hide a sinister undercurrent.

Pozi – PZ1

A promising debut from London newcomers Pozi. The band have a unique sound, melding violins with punk rock sensibilities, but are let down by an uneven tone.

Helium Horse Fly – Hollowed

A surreal, unnerving journey through noise rock’s outer reaches. Hollowed crackles with an uneasy energy that at times makes it a hard, but ultimately rewarding listen.

A Swarm of the Sun – The Woods

If misery makes for the best music then this is one of the best albums ever written. ‘The Woods’ is a mesmeric winter album – bleak, cold, lonely, touching on everything A Swarm of the Sun do well and taking it in a new, epic direction.

In the Woods… – Cease the Day

Norwegian avant-garde legends don’t quite reach their highest standards, but continue to prove they are the masters of black metal atmospherics.

Black Peaks – All That Divides

They have effortlessly continued where they left off, with All That Divides a perfect and logical evolution of the band’s sound, Gardner’s ability to write anthemic choruses remains sure to electrify.

Riverside – Wasteland

Riverside return from tragedy with a raw, emotional slice of progressive metal. Wasteland isn’t a perfect album but successfully showcases a deep fragility to the band’s progressive leanings.

Ben Chatwin – Drone Signals

An even more minimalist partner album to Staccato Signals, Drone Signals sees Ben Chatwin oozing in icy atmosphere once again, even if it fails to reach the same heights.

Vodun – Ascend

A confident second album from one of Britain’s most unique bands. Ascend solidifies Vodun’s frenetic mix of African beats and Sabbathian riffs, creating an assured package that glides effortlessly between fast paced riffing and bluesy soul.

Redemption – Long Night’s Journey Into Day

LA prog metallers Redemption return with a new vocalist and their best album in almost a decade.

Finnr’s Cane – Elegy

Canada’s Finnr’s Cane prove to be a beguiling addition to the atmospheric black metal scene. ‘Elegy’ is an enchanting album that showcases the best of the genre, if at times playing a bit too safe.

The Sea Within – The Sea Within

A surprising song focused album from a collection of prog rock’s finest players. The Sea Within is not a perfect album, but has some excellent moments.

Ben Chatwin – Staccato Signals

Ben Chatwin’s third album may be a slow burn, but proves to be an excellent slice of tranquil electronica and swelling violins.

Lunatic Soul – Under the Fragmented Sky

Glitchy and hypnotic, Lunatic Soul’s follow up to Fractured feels a bit uneven in places, but as always Mariusz Duda proves he is a master at tugging the heartstrings.

Ihsahn – Ámr

Emperor’s enigmatic frontman returns to solo duty with his seventh album. Black metal fans beware though – Ihsahn is at his most accessible here with a record oozing in 80s influences and electronic sounds.

Moon Hooch – Light it Up

A short, concise hit of techno-infused jazz. Moon Hooch’s latest is an excellent starting point for new fans to get into their unique sound, but those familiar with the band will find nothing new here.

Charlie Barnes – Oceanography

An uneven third album from indie prog star Charlie Barnes. Catchy tunes, but a lack of depth ironically lets Oceanography down.

Therion – Beloved Antichrist

The culmination of the Metal Opera concept – ‘Beloved Antichrist’ sounds majestic at times, but is largely bloated nonsense that hasn’t got half as much to say as it thinks it does.

Mint Field – Pasar De Las Luces

A melancholy, dreamy debut from a Mexican duo with a great talent. Mint Field have created a work of great beauty.

Machine Head – Catharsis

An ambitious album from the California bruisers that struggles to find a coherent direction among a din of new ideas.

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