Articles by Ben Jones
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.
A gentle, meandering album, Ribbons’ countrified stylings hide a sinister undercurrent.
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.
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.
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.
Norwegian avant-garde legends don’t quite reach their highest standards, but continue to prove they are the masters of black metal atmospherics.
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 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.
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.
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.
LA prog metallers Redemption return with a new vocalist and their best album in almost a decade.
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.
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’s third album may be a slow burn, but proves to be an excellent slice of tranquil electronica and swelling violins.
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.
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.
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.
An uneven third album from indie prog star Charlie Barnes. Catchy tunes, but a lack of depth ironically lets Oceanography down.
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.
A melancholy, dreamy debut from a Mexican duo with a great talent. Mint Field have created a work of great beauty.
An ambitious album from the California bruisers that struggles to find a coherent direction among a din of new ideas.