There’s no elitism, just a desire to play fast and loud and to make their voices heard. If you’ve listened to Rotten Sound at all in the past 30 years, ‘Apocalypse’ will feel like an old comrade in arms dragging you back into the fray.
With nature morte, the Montreal trio have expanded the breadth of their sound and message while sacrificing none of what came before.
There’s enough variation that each of these eight cuts is able to forge its own identity while retaining a ‘last dance before doomsday’ vibe that is as authentic as it is relatable.
Every so often, a line-up crops up that just feels right. One where everyone on the bill has some sense of commonality that goes beyond a similarity in sound and into the realms of the existential, where the same sense of purpose and soul can be felt in every performer. This is one of those nights.
Disintegrate feels almost tailor-made for the doom crowd – the colossal scale, melancholy and misery are all hallmarks of the classics while the sense of timelessness that’s so deeply intertwined with its themes feels very much on-brand for a genre so primordial in nature.
Vocally and instrumentally, it’s a triumph of tradition and virtuosity.
Weight Of A God is an unpolished treasure, an absorbing and often harrowing work that wastes little time in burrowing under the skin.
Strega is a work that is genuinely powerful, sometimes harrowing and at others chillingly elegant, and for anyone seeking the perfect marriage of concept, conviction and sheer sonic punishment, it’s an absolute treat.
They have become so skilled at using every weapon in their arsenal to tug at the heartstrings and inflame the soul that they are simply playing to their strengths. The difference here is that their music can now drag the listener through the breadth of human experience in ten minutes rather than an hour.
Anthemic twin-guitar harmonies and virtuosic runs, lush goth symphonics, flashes of outrageous psychedelic weirdness and one of Mirai Kawashima’s most eclectic vocals performances to date combine forces to create an album that defies explanation but has to be heard at least once to be believed.
Touccan are a promising band. Both are capable musicians with the chops to nail a wide cross-section of styles with minimal embellishment, and they are already showing that they can sound eclectic without sacrificing melody or momentum. More than that, they’re simply a fun band to listen to.
II can be thought of as a musical triptych. Its three 19-minute-long pieces are each a distinct artistic work in their own right, filled with a degree of musical and tonal complexity that could easily be stretched out to fill an album, but when viewed together paint a larger picture, an epic journey through Elysian fields and Stygian underworlds.
MONO have shown over the years that they can pull off surprising stylistic shifts and this is one of their most thought-provoking curveballs to date. It avoids the tropes of both post-rock and of cinematic scoring as a whole and instead delivers a quietly beautiful listening experience that hopefully paves the way for future endeavours.
An incendiary and energetic work that captures both Quach’s exacting precision for creating unsettling but all-too-natural soundscapes and Girt’s turbulent energy but exists in its own pocket universe.
She takes a largely minimalist approach to her infectiously out-there pop and there’s an inherent surprise with every moment of this record that it’s as expansive as it is.
These are less 16 remixes than they are 16 separate collaborations between like minds, and every one is magnificent in its own right.
It’s a labyrinthine work, one where corridors sprout seemingly at will and serve only to draw the listener deeper into darkness, confusion and, if they are lucky, realisation.
Paired with the band’s strong ability to craft a compelling and emotionally complex narrative without lyrics, it sets Alder up as a standout, and occasionally inspired, presence in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
They have a quality that puts them up their with the greats, with the likes of Amorphis, Reverend Bizarre and, naturally, Swallow The Sun.
Taken together, the two halves of Fanges confidently bridge the gap between what has come before and what the band have always shown the potential to create. Those who were already on board will lap up what’s here but anyone who’s interested in challenging music being made by skilled artists will want to have a listen to this.
David Bowes spoke to Boris guitarist and vocalist Wata to discuss the creation of their latest full-length ‘W’ and her new signature pedal.