Meshuggah

Like Summer 2018 Music to Your Ears playlist + Music Quickies

Like usual in the summertime I have not looked out for that much new music but focused on… Just summer I guess. I dunno where it went. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been new tracks on my playlist. Not all of the chosen music is summery, in fact most isn’t. Instead of idiotic hip summer music, the playlist has plain really fucking good tracks.

Metals of summer 2018

-6122529-1411671592-2798At The Gates published their new album To Drink From The Night Itself in 2018. It’s a pretty good effort with some memorable tracks (To Drink From The Night Itself, In Nameless Sleep, The Mirror Black) but most of all it made me retry their previous album At War With Reality (2014). Somehow I had skipped it altogether and it proved to be a mistake, it’s an extremely solid melodic death metal album that only loses a bit of punch by the end. And I don’t get excited about melodic death metal easily. Circular Ruins has a grandiose last half, great chorus, lovely guitar harmonies and fierce vocals (even the Crawling Chaos from H.P. Lovecraft gets a mention), what’s not to like.


Slugdge-Esoteric-Malacology-e1519751375282Slugdge – Spectral Burrows. Esoteric Malacology is probably my favourite album of 2018 so far. Cosmic progressive death metal with a gimmicky lyric theme, that does not reflect to the overall quality of the music. How the hell a band that sings about snails makes lyrics and music this good.

 



R-10663576-1501951371-9132.jpegMagoth – Requiem Deus (Anti Terrestrial Black Metal, 2017). So, there’s these rare songs that starts with a chorus. Really untypical but you find them sometimes. Requiem Deus is one of those but on top of that, the chorus is instrumental! That’s even rarer I guess! The basis is a strong as shit tremolo melody. I bet a lot of black metal bands could have composed this tremolo but how the track is arranged brings so much more power to it.


R-12160526-1529516094-5694.jpegCraft‘s 2018 album White Noise and Black Metal does not seem to be as strong as Void (2011), but Void was ridiculously good. Cosmic Sphere Falls is right there among the best tracks of Craft’s career. Summer and black metal baby.

 

 


102919-awakeningAsunojokei – Spring of Passion (Awakening, 2018). Combining black metal, post-hardcore and Japanese anime music melodies. How can it not fail? Asunojokei’s compositions sound so logical that on paper they sound much more weird than what they actually sound!

 


homeland

My Reflection – Homeland (single, 2018) Out of the blue My Reflection published the best song of their career. Extremely symphonic melodic metal with a graceful music video that was shot in a time span of one year to portray Finnish nature and the seasons. The track celebrates the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. Homeland should satisfy the fans of bands like Wintersun and Nightwish. The 2 minute intro already cuts the mustard and it warms my heart that the soaring female vocals are paired with strongly grunted, black metallish rasp and some good ol’ blast beating sections. I also just published a short article about the track: https://likemusictoyourears.com/2018/08/10/my-reflection-homeland-epic-symphonic-melodic-metal/


leprousLeprous – Stuck (Malina, 2017). Leprous gig in Tuska was among the best of the festival. The band looks like school boys and at best sounds like jazz musicians doing their impression of catchy progressive metal. The weird drumming style and lots of rhythmic hooks have drawn me quite in to their style. The last 1.5 minutes of rhythmics on Stuck are such a bliss.

 


doomedDoomed – Our Gifts (6 Anti-Odes to Life, 2018). Death/doom. Strong album that might lack a bit of high-points but the overall quality makes up for it. Especially The Doors and Our Gifts are high class atmospheric death-doom tracks. Strangely the tacit and slow instrumental Layers (Ode To Life) has been playing in my head after waking up, I guess it’s beautiful enough. As a satisfyingly logical detail, it is also the 7th track of the record!

 


Meshuggah_-_The_Violent_Sleep_of_Reason

Meshuggah – By The Ton (Violent Sleep of Reason, 2016). Another high point of Tuska 2018. The rhythmic majesty combined with the supreme light-show at times induced a catharsis. For example the title track of the record had a super satisfying effect of white lights going down on rhythm and speed with huge downward slides of one of the central riffs (first appearing at 0:34). By focusing on the lights they brought a completely new visual rhythm element to the show. By The Ton is still my favourite track of the record.


Electronics of summer 2018

a0487580087_10Slipdrive – Nova Byzantium a Thousand Spires of Light (River of Heaven OST, 2014). A complete random find from a soundtrack of a pen an paper roleplaying game I’ve never played and probably never will. The soundtrack is lovely sci-fi-game music-chillout-electro. Nova Byzantium and The Coming Renunciation seem to launch the listener straight into space.

 


42084Vector Lovers – Monologue (iPhonica, 2013). Music that sounds like you were on drugs. Sounds that seem to come from an other dimension in surprising relaxing symmetry. Such weird sensations and damn if I like it!

 

 


glanko orvotGlanko – Orvot (single, 2018). Glanko’s progressive sci-fi IDM or what the heck it is always activates my synapses. Chillout electronic track with really strong astral spacey vibes. Ideal for watching a spacestation move slowly with a small beam drive, multicoloured star rings and nebulas shining around it.

 


Finnish music of summer 2018 (sad list)

R-12137234-1529049213-7911.jpegPaperi T – Muutos (Kaikki on hyvin, 2018). My mainstream sin. The flow and sound of Paperi-T’s vocals and the cunning punning lyrics are a joy to listen. Even though his darker compositions and lyrics seem to be in the past, when Paperi-T is at his darkest that’s when I enjoy him the most. One of those lyricists that makes you want to google what the hell he is singing about but can also surprise with straight-forward lines and stories. New album is quite uneven but has a really good starting trinity.

MonuMENTAL Metal oddities

MonuMENTAL Metal oddities collection is wrapped around bizarre bands BUT NOT humour music. Odd turns, eccentric elements, milestones of human vocal capacity and also some instrumental extremities. This collection ought to surprise and bewilder the listener, however its middle point is still great compositions.

1. The starting track, Dysrhythmia‘s probably most rhythmic and meaningful song, Room of Vertigo starts with a lot of groove. Dysrhythmia excels in making seemingly random mess that starts to make sense on further listens. Room of Vertigo is one of the easiest tracks to grasp as it has immediately catchy dreamlike melodies and a steady beat.

2., 3., 4. Next to follow are tracks from Pryapisme’s Futurologie epic, which is one track divided to 11 different movements. At best Pryapisme is masterful in combining everything possible in their soup and yeah, they are French. Obviously the last track of Futurolgie release is a 23 minute orchestrative version of the release. Figures.

5. Havoc Unit started as Festerday in the beginning of 90s, quite a regular grindcore/death metal hybrid. They switched their name to Cardinal in 92, to Peacefrog in 93, to Raw Energy in 93 and 95 they finally slid off to oddland by becoming …And Oceans, symphonic black metal electro hybrid.

Their second album The Symmetry of I / the Circle of O was a double release with a symphonic black metal album + a electronic/ambient/noise album. Which is really quite boring to be honest. Later on they incorporated more electronic and industrial elements and kept having extremely weird track titles in various languages. How about Äcid Sex and Marble Teeth (You-phoria), I Wish I Was Pregnant, Mikrobotik Fields / Uråldrig saga och sång or Angelina: Chthonian Earth: Her Face Forms Worms. The list goes on.

In 2005 …And Oceans became Havoc Unit and released a brilliant brutal death / industrial / experimental album h.IV+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia) 2008, along with a few splits. Klan Korps [Volkssturm & Erregung] (feat. Strom EC.) is a piece from this album. The circle (of O) closed in 2013 when Havoc Unit became… you guessed it, Festerday!

6. After Havoc Unit there are a few milestones. First Demilich’s When the Sun Drank the Weight of Water. A finnish progressive death metal band which is musically magnificent and also has a distinctive feature. Their singer Antti Boman (un?)officially has the deepest growl in human history. His growl goes so deep that in the 90s when they were active Terrorizer hired an expert to state that the growl cannot have been made without pitch shifting. But apparently it is! Demilich is also known for weird track titles. Some of my favourites are. The Sixteenth Six-Tooth Son of Fourteen Four-Regional Dimensions (Still Unnamed) and Inherited Bowel Levitation – Reduced Without Any Effort.

7. Fleurety is exactly the opposite extremity in pitch. Their singer Alexander Nordgaren ruined his vocal chords by shrieking like a fucking eagle. It sounds really painful and it is incredible singing like that is even possible. Profanations Beneath the Bleeding Stars is also a surprisingly solid track, however their next release Min tid skal komme is the real jewel of their discography. One of many “lost” metal releases that many consider a classic but most people have never heard about.

8. Amesoeurs can be thought to belong to what some people not all unscornfully regard as hipster metal. Their only full length from 2009 is in my opinion not too great but it appealed to a lot of people. Sure enough it has some brilliant bits. La Reine Trayeuse sums it up well by starting as a weak pop track. In the middle of its length things turn so bewildering I’m not sure any other except French people could pull this off so magnificently. First the pop base turns to fast paced black metal then the female vocalist puts on quite a lot more a torturous shriek you’d ever expect this band to be capable of. And I mean its not just 3 seconds, it lasts about half a minute. The end of the track is also damn excellent.

9. Meads of Asphodel and 10. Sigh are rare breed who both formed to monsters of mixing different genres to their mostly metal basis on their own. Just listen how My Psychotic Sand Deity switches between hard hitting metal and dreamy interludes turning into angelic female singing to hard rock soloing to black metal. Or how Amnesia Blues’s away with growling vocals and the smoothest piano jazz solo in metal history.

11. More monumental vocal and instrumental extremities with You Suffer by Napalm Death. The shortest track ever recorded and also one of the fastest lyrical outputs ever. “You suffer, but why?”. All this in exactly 1.316 seconds.

12. Behold… The Arctopus annoys me quite a bit when listened in large quantities but they work well served in careful small doses. Like the short bursting Putrefucktion. They are one of the most extreme bands in terms of the amount of different sections every track contains. Putrefucktion is more just a mindfuck, a very entertaining and peculiar mindfuck.

13., 14., 15. Meshuggah the old odd groovemonster that somehow influenced one generation of teens to create an own popular genre, Djent. The album Catch-33 is clearly my favourite bit of Meshuggah discography with its lovely rhythmic background. It is nearly a one track album as it flows from one track to another so smoothly. Just when you think you get the rhythm, it changes to something else! The last four tracks are all diamond, but in this collection I left out the last one, ending it with Shed, Persona Non Gratae and Dehumanization.

I am getting an unsubstantial amount of satisfaction about the unpredictability of these tracks, especially the end of Dehumanization. I tried to further help the listening mood by placing the tracks in rather eccentric order. The plan was to fuck with ones brain, but also to deliver logical transformations too. This was probably the funniest compilation to do and I think it transfers well to listening experience.