Amazing Metal You’re Not Hearing – 6.30.12
As you may or may not know, things are a bit slower around KSSU during the summer, and while I have taken the hot part of the year off, there are still plenty of awesome metal records dropping in stores near you.
Shall we go over a few in the first installment of AMYNH? (Pronounced “Amy-neh.”)
in this first post I will be covering some great albums that you may have missed by artists from the far off lands of Australia, Norway, France, Sweden, Canada, and Miami!
Ne Obliviscaris – The Portal of I (Code 666)
On the surface, Ne Obliviscaris is an easy band to describe as they are a progressive black metal band with a violin player in tow, but the band takes a fairly traditional approach to melodic metal and creates something amazing. The Portal of I is the long-awaited full-length album I’ve been waiting for since 2008 when I stumbled upon their demo, and it really was worth the wait. I cannot truly put into words how much I adore this album other than it might be my favorite black metal album ever. It’s by no means kvlt/harsh/lo-fi/etc but there is enough darkness and melancholy to peak the interest of those with a taste for the grim. Seriously though, “Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract,” “And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope,” “Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise,” and the rest are unbelievable.
This one is for fans of Opeth, classical, all things awesome, hyperbole.
Ihsahn - Emerita (Candlelight Records)
This is the follow-up to the acclaimed (and rightfully so) After and it is just as good. Much like After, Emerita continues the amazing feel that Ihsahn has created to differentiate his solo material from his work with Emperor, and does so without feeling stale. The awesome, yet sort of goofy “Something Out There” harks to his black metal days with blasting and fast guitar work. “The Grave” presents a really interesting mix of doom metal lurching with avant-garde jazz with the help of The Shining’s Blackjazz saxophonist Jorgen Munkeby. Munkeby isn’t the only guest on this gem of an album. Also featured are former Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis, Star of One mastermind/Ihsahn’s wife Heidi Tvetian, and Far Beyond Metal favorite Devin Townsend.
This one is for fans of Emperor, progressive metal, The Shining, and corpsepaintless black metal.
Gojira - L’Enfant Sauvage (Roadrunner Records)
Oh my god you guys! How have I never given Gojira a real chance? I have an odd feeling that long times fan might dismiss this one for some reason, but I’m certainly sold on the band now. My favorite track on the album is the melodic yet driving “Liquid Fire,” but the album keeps my interest start to finish. However, one thing I did notice about the album that may turn off new listeners is the frequent use of harmonics. The title track, “Explosia,” “The Axe” and the aforementioned “Liquid Fire” all feature this guitar trick. That would be my only gripe with the disc, but other than that it’s flawless. I foresee a top ten album for this one come year’s end.
This one is for fans of Gojira. There aren’t a lot of similar bands to be honest. I guess if you like cool rhythmic work but hate djent, try them.
Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Piñata (The Laser’s Edge/Sensory Records)
I have been in love with this band for a long while, possibly even since their first album (we got a hipster over here!). To those unfamiliar with the band, their name says a lot about them. They play metal (Diablo) with a swing influence (Swing) and they have a horn section (Orchestra). I know it sounds weird but it’s so good, and Pandora’s Piñata is a great place for people to get introduced to the band. “Guerilla Laments” has some great groove to it and it really makes me want to dance, and I am not a dancer. Also, “Kevlar Sweethearts” has some awesome string work. Definitely a good one for those looking for something different from the metal status quo.
This one is for fans of Polkadot Cadaver, uneXpect, swing music and operatic metal.
Torche – Harmonicraft (Volcom)
These guys are probably the ones that will bring low-tuned sludgy, stoner metal to a whole new level of popularity — and rightfully so. Harmonicraft presents Torche’s self-described “Thunder Pop” at it’s finest. “Skin Moth,” “Kicking,” and “Kiss Me Dudely” are great examples of a band doing what Mastodon did on The Hunter, while managing to make it even more fun. It’s also worth mentioning that the title track is a fantastic instrumental exploration of sound. Until the new Baroness, this will have to hold you over as your favorite catchy stoner album of the year.
This one is for fans of Mastodon, Baroness, and Ratatat (if they tuned lower and had vocals), fun music.
That’s all for this week…Except for one honorable mention.
Devin Townsend Project – By A Thread Live in London (hevyDevy)
It’s no secret that I loved Townsend’s latest batch of albums, with all four albums landing in my top ten lists for their respective release years; so it should be no surprise that I was stoked when I found out he was performing each album in full in London last year and recording them. I was nervous about some of the live translations, but the result does not disappoint. Ki retains it’s multiple personalities as it is equally haunting, heavy, and beautiful. Addicted turned out to be my favorite of the four, with guest vocalist Anneke Van Giersbergen an even more prominent figure in the music. Deconstruction presented the technical musicianship by Townsend and his band in a live setting, and that made it even more impressive. Finally, Ghost had even more emotion behind it, which I didn’t think was possible. I’d say that if you enjoyed any of the DTP albums, and you have 50 or so dollars to invest in hours and hours of entertainment — there are nine discs, and tons of easter eggs — buy this. Another incentive that might sway you would be the inclusion of the encores from each night which include DTP b-sides, Townsend classics and even Punky Brüster tunes.
This one is for fans of all things Townsend.
Thanks for reading and listen for me this fall on KSSU.com