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09-21-13 3:00 pm
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A thorough improvement over Unsleep, Markov Soroka fully embraces the oceanic concept with Subaqueous. The organic sounds of water and the distant cries of whales on Mother Cetacean deftly set the atmosphere for the next 40 minutes. The roar of vocals sound like they're coming from under the water, the sound is masterfully mixed - the bass is a notable highlight - and the entire album feels mournful without being glacial in pace. At times the pace is almost frenetic, like the drumming and guitar work at 14:00 on Father Subaqueous or the strings at 16:00, which could have been pulled from a Godspeed You! record. The atmosphere works: sorrow, l
West of Eden
Have you ever wondered what disillusioned London punks in a Western Saloon would sound like playing over a lone jukebox
on an endless loop of Xiu Xiu, Soft Cell, and trap beats? If it sounds crazy - you'd be right. Chaotic? Bizarre? Of course! But I
haven?t been struck by such glammed-up, entirely over-the-top sincerity since My Chemical Romance?s Black Parade.
Because this isn't so much genre-blending as it is a veritable Pokemon index of sound, and the only thing holding it together
is their absolute commitment, and the striking intimacy of the lyrics. To be clear: the music box and bouncing piano that
The Fallen Crimson
More experimental, heartfelt, and self-assured than Envy has sounded in years. Tetsuya Fukagawa sounds amazing, the instrumentation has never sounded more vibrant, and most crucially: this is the first time post-rock has sounded like it *matters* in years. It's not just that each song is structured to be it's own structure, each a castle of sound - it's that it sounds critical, vital. There hasn't been anything in this genre that grips the listener so urgently since Sunbather in 2013. Rhythm is a beautiful outlier that pays off beautifully, giving the following Marginalized Thread - itself a heroic piece alone - so much more gravitas. The alb
Sidewalks And Skeletons
Great Witch House record: the energy and mixing is vastly improved over The Void, the addition of Goo Munday's vocals add needed variety and depth, and there's noticeable differentiation between tracks. The album deserves credit for how much more cohesive and listenable it is than prior efforts: much of that is due to the pacing between quieter tracks like the angelic Take Me or the ghost loops of Empath and blistering cuts like Zero or Destroy. In multiple spots this album matches the alien, void-like intensity of prior track standouts off of White Light.
On first listen, this album is a 2 hit wonder: Rats and Dance Macabre are obvious standouts in a sea of forgettable tracks. But much like a plague of rats overrunning a city (fuck you, this analogy is going to work) this album goes from Rats alone to quietly and consistently overpowering the listener. Sax solos, triumphant, arena-rock song about rotting corpses, the roiling opening of Faith to the ghostly longing of Life Eternal - this album is about so much more than the highlights. The only misstep is the incredibly cheesy, repetitive structure of Pro Memoria.
Animated Violence Mild
Between Animated Violence Mild and HEALTH's VOL4: SLAVES OF FEAR, 2019 was an *excellent* year for violent, morbid, essential electronic sounds. Where 2017's World Eater kicked the doors open with Rehesus Negative, Animated Violence Mild opens in an even more aggressive, driving rhythm. The track titles, the vocals, the very instruments used all point to a dire urgency. The soaring House Vs. House shines all the brighter after the roar of Death Drop, and with the exception of the respite of Creature/West Fuqua, the hits keep landing, sounding in turn deadly, venomous, monstrous. This is highly aggressive, highly compelling electronic music.
Heart Like A Grave
Pale Morning Star and Twilight Trails are two of the strongest songs Insomnium has ever done. They are honestly moving, and capture a raw feeling that few melodic death bands carry. But beyond these two tracks... some songs are just decent: Valediction and The Offering aren't *bad* but they don't feel like they matter with the same intensity. Other tracks drag on or feel unnecessary and the two bonus tracks feel out of place. rIt's a joy to hear this band when everything clicks and they bring the same energy and emotional weight found in songs like Mortal Share - and there's a few tracks that do that very thing.
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