Short reviews of a few albums I’ve listened in the past year that I think deserve a lot more recognizion. Including The Moth Gatherer – A Bright Celestial Light (post-metal), Anti – The Insignificance of Life (depressive black metal), Adramelech – Pure Doom Blood (oldschool Finnish death metal) and DIRTYCREED – Bleeding Isle (neofolk).
Anti – The Insignificance of Life (2006)
Thick hypnotic depressive black metal. Landscape in Minor may be one of the pinnacles of the whole genre. Unlike bands like Xasthur who have jewels but a huge amount of crap, Anti only released one album that is throughoutly solid.
Full album in youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E36jyxh4cdw
Adramelech – Pure Doom Blood (1999)
Adramelech, A-grade Finnish oldschool death metal band was always good but lived in the shade of its more known counterparts like Demigod, Convulse and Demilich. Probably because it took them until 1996 to release their first length album.
Demilich was technical and a bit silly, Convulse and Demigod dark oldschool death metal. Adramelech is a cross between pitch black oldschool Finnish death and a fair amount of technicality without the silliness. The backbone is the groove of drummer Jarkko Rantanen and lead guitar work. The drums have something similar to Ken Owen of Carcass who also was quite a strange death metal drummer. Abomination 459 and Centuries of Murder are usually my choices when picking up individual tracks.
Neither Psychostasia (1996) or Pure Doom Blood (1999) are flawless but I personally find them more varied, groovy and melodic than what Convulse and Demigod ever did.
P.S. Pure Doom was finally re-released in 2018 and is available as a physical and digital copy.
Listen or buy a digital album from bandcamp: https://narex.bandcamp.com/album/pure-blood-doom
DIRTYCREED – Bleeding Isle (2017)
Chinese one man neofolk band finds a sweet atmospheric spot. Vocals are very limited dark whispering with broken English but it does not break the spell. If in doubt just listen to magical melodies on The Architect or Riverside. It’s hard to find something more beautiful than the main theme of The Architect. DIRTYCREED is just bursting with talent, a lot of stylish piano and violin arrangements with lush soundscapes.
The entirety is a bit overlong and starts to repeat itself but Bleeding Isle has scattered brilliant themes throughout. The near perfect acoustic guitar sound helps a ton too. The album is a grower, there’s a ton of layered melodies. Bleeding Isle is not a simple man and a guitar album that one would come to expect. It will for sure last time very well and might easily grow to be even better with time.
Listen or buy a digital album from bandcamp: https://pestproductions.bandcamp.com/album/bleeding-isle
The Moth Gatherer – A Bright Celestial Light (2013)
First impression of Swedish outfit The Moth Gatherer will forever be Cult of Luna. Even though The Moth Gatherer are an undeniably similar band, they skipped the early undynamic hardcore-sludge phase and went straight into the good bits. It’s refreshing to see apprentices taking notes and fine-tuning the craft of their idols. Dynamic, varied most of the best post-metal characteristics, including slow atmospheric sections that naturally lead to heavy riffs and memorable melodies are present.
There’s variation and pure groove in the riffs. Just listen to The Road of Gravel and Skulls or the crushing end of The Womb, The Woe, The Woman. Both tracks introduce a great riff in the beginning, and then do a whole lot in the middle section. Like wander in cinematic noir landscapes bringing in mind Callisto, there’s also a bit of gentle chord picking, small electronic parts and ominous riffing to end with a juiced up beginning riff.
The tracks usually lead to an end pinnacle, but The Moth Gatherer is still not as much as a build up band as some of its counterparts like Isis. There’s an ever present wave motion in the compositions that I’ve very much come to like in post-metal. Who needs choruses anyway?
P.S. Don’t try to search them from The Metal Archives, somehow they are not listed as metal. Probably because their 2015 album The Earth is the Sky and 2017 EP The Comfortable Low are post rockish. Great releases nevertheless. The Moth Gatherer has an extremely solid discography including a 2019 release Esoteric Oppression.