Bunch of albums released in 2017 in quick and dirty reviews.
Wear Your Wounds — WYW
Side-project of Converge’s Jacob Bannon. If you’ve always digged the doomy and lengthier tracks with build up in Converge’s discography you need to check this out. The highs are really high and the lows are boring. WYW strips down almost all heavy guitars and a lot of times is quite a melancholic slowcore / post-rock / shoegaze album. Unsurprisingly the heaviest moments rank among the best. High points: Wear Your Wounds, Iron Rose, Best Cry Of Your Life, Fog.
There’s over 20 minutes of boring material in the midst of 63 minutes so I’m ranking it more for the good than for the bad. Difficult to get into and a possible grower. I am beginning to think the gigantic ups might rank it over Convege’s fine 2017 full-length The Dusk In Us.
Wvrm — Can You Hear The Wind Howl – grindcore / death metal
10 minutes is just the right length for this kind of furious album. 6 tracks with a 3 minute doomy headbanger in the midst. Epic track length in their standards.
Nyss — Princesse Terre (Three Studies of Silence and Death)
Contender for the best album of 2017. The start is a bit jarred, angelic ambient and voice clip (of Francis Bacon (artist)) suddenly turns into a raw riff. But the track soon gets better and more stellar as the atmosphere sets in place. And boy, does it get better by a ton.
Fantastic atmosphere, riffs and use of effective repetition. Climaxes, build-ups, some melodies, backing ambience. Absolute top tier atmospheric and hypnotic black metal. A good amount of airy elements without being post black metal.
The release is really cheap in Bandcamp, only 3.33 (plus taxes)! The bargain of the year. https://avantgardemusic.bandcamp.com/album/princesse-terre-three-studies-of-silence-and-death
KANASHIMI — INORI
Depressive black metal / funeral doom / japanese pop influences. Yes you read right, these elements actually fit together. Scar Of The Heart is a bullseye of a track, a nicely unique dsbm sound. Then the one man project repeats the sound nearly all album long… Classic one man band problem really. Fantastic cover art.
Glanko – Osmosi
Glanko’s first EP in 2012 was a very ready progressive IDM release. After that Glanko turned surprisingly dark-toned with a bunch of releases more inviting as background music (2014 Alset, 2016 Isometrik). I simply did not find much hooks from them. In 2015 the release 2244 included a great track and a few fantastic remixes. 2017 Sakugen single blew off with a friggingly catchy edm/idm hit. It was not a hit cause no one who could have made it a hit listened it.
2017 release Osmosi goes back to dark toned themes with sci-fi elements. This time Glanko has matured and found great melody lines to accompany beats more diverse than ever. Perfect music for reading sci-fi like Dan Simmonds Hyperion quartet! I think Glanko has finally found itself. Though I wouldn’t be against making an album of the elements in Sakugen. Fantastic release, unfitting cover art. Highpoints: Processo Interiore, Nictofilia, Argyria, Nube
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Flying Microtonal Banana
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — Gumboot Soup
The beginning of Flying Microtonal Banana is repetitive and jammy psychedelic rock, even reminding of kraut rock. The latter part is more a regular weird garage rock / psychedelic rock album. Rather a midtempo one when the great Nonagon Infinity from 2016 had both high and mid tempo tracks. High points: Billabong Valley.
Gumboot Soup has a lot softer base sound. Beginner’s Luck is my favourite of the softer tracks. Muddy Water is a lovelily repetitive jammer. All Is Known could well be a Nonagon Infinity outtake and The Great Chain of Being is nearly a stoner doom track! The Wheel and Greenhouse Heat Death remind of Flying Microtonal Banana. Nicely diverse effort.
I’ve only punctured the 5 listen mark on both of these so not all high points, or points altogether, are clear yet.
The rest of the 5 (!!!!!) albums they released this year I did not check properly yet.
Quick check on Polygondwanaland sounds like another real quality effort. It’s concept is worth a special mention. It was released with a statement “This album is FREE. Free as in, free. Free to download and if you wish, free to make copies. Make tapes, make CD’s, make records.” To date in discogs there’s 74 different releases! People have really taken care of the releasing process. Maybe you want to do it too? You are free to: http://kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com/polygondwanaland/index.html
Here’s a great & entertaining sumup video of their 5 album plan by a Youtube channel Middle 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjjCW6_fuXU.
King Gizzard is probably the most innovative rock band at the moment. I’ll continue to check the other of their efforts, maybe one of them will match Nonagon Infinity.