Author: Javier

Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

People listen to and interpret music in a variety of ways. Some are lyrically or vocally based; others are influenced by atmosphere and mood, while others analyze its composition and structure, etc. One band that very much appeals to those that break down song structure and time signatures is Swedish metal titan Meshuggah. This band has long been at the forefront of technical death metal and the djent subgenre that they have inspired with their relentless auditory assault full of odd-time signatures and machine-like rhythms that has spanned two decades. This is continued and reinforced with their sixth full-length, The Violent Sleep of Reason. (more…)

Vril Jӓger – Vril Jӓger

Among the more outlandish conspiracy theories out there is the Hollow Earth theory and how the governments of the world are hiding the existence of an advanced civilization that dwells deep within the Earth. Such a thing seems far-fetched, but it is quite popular among UFO fanatics. Of the Wand & the Moon’s Kim Larsen and Die Weisse Rose’s Thomas Bøjden have formed a project, called Vril Jӓger, which explores this very topic. As expected, it is just as supernatural and disquieting as the subject matter implies. (more…)

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Yele Solma – Bokor

A few years ago I had ordered an album by Basque folk black metal band Ilbeltz off the French Antiiq Records label. Included was a pamphlet that featured more of their releases. Among them was an act called Yele Solma, which purported to play a form of voodoo-inspired African dark ambient. That description alone warranted a listen from me; however, unfortunately I forgot to follow up on the project until remembering them recently and discovering that their only album, Bokor, was now on Bandcamp. It became immediately apparent that it was a mistake on my part to not have sought this release out sooner. (more…)

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Korn – The Serenity of Suffering

Bands frequently claim their new album will be their heaviest, but how often is this actually true? The same claims were made for Korn’s twelfth full-length studio album, The Serenity of Suffering, by guitarist Brian “Head” Welch. Korn has long been among the pioneers of the much criticized genre of nu-metal, with their first handful of albums as classics to that era. However, the years that coincided with Welch’s absence brought forth some very up-and-down material, yet with his return, Korn has seen a return to form of sorts. The Serenity of Suffering cranks up the intensity and continues this trend of redemption, but with certain limitations. (more…)

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Cesar Saez – Perdido

Over the summer I was able to see Adan & Xavi y los Imanes, a project of Adan Jodorowsky, live at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles. Among the openers was Cesar Saez, an upcoming singer-songwriter in the Latino scene in LA. Although showing inexperience in live presentation, Cesar Saez and his Viajeros put on quite an impressive show that seemed to win over the crowd. Playing what he terms as indie bolero, I knew that this was an artist that warranted my attention as I later eagerly awaited the release of his debut EP, Perdido. (more…)

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ColdWorld – Autumn

Eight years. That is the length of time that has passed awaiting the successor to Melancholie²–the stellar debut of ColdWorld, the atmospheric black metal project of Georg Bӧrner. The inherent danger of such a time lapse is the prospect of being forgotten; however, with Autumn—an album that is more than worth the wait–ColdWorld erases all doubts and reestablishes their place within depressive atmospheric black metal. (more…)

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InMune – Universal

Sophomore albums, particularly after stellar debuts, are often the bane of an artist’s discography due in part to the difficulty in meeting newfound high-expectations. In the case of Spanish hard rock/alternative metal band InMune, no such worries are necessary here. The band’s second full-length, Universal, is for the most part the equal of its predecessor Ilumíname. It is another marvelous display of crunchy guitar riffs, pounding drums, and melodic vocals all contained within standard song structures in a powerful, yet straightforward release. (more…)

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Sôber – Vulcano

The leaders of the Spanish hard rock/alternative metal scene, Sôber, continue to school their peers on how this genre ought to be done. After a six year hiatus, during which splitting into Skizoo and Savia, Sôber release their third post-hiatus album—8th overall—titled Vulcano—one that makes up for the lethargic Letargo and one of the finest of their 20+ year career. Vulcano is 54 minutes of crunchy guitars riffs, soaring vocals, and all that you would want from an alternative metal album. (more…)

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Rome – The Hyperion Machine

The well of inspiration can only withstand pumping out an album per year for so long. There must surely come a point where there is a stumble and the goal of pushing boundaries is not quite achieved. Jerome Reuter’s music project, Rome, has been able to maintain an annual high quality output for a decade, but here I find, for the first time, with The Hyperion Machine a Rome album that comes off as lackluster. (more…)

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Gojira – Magma

Genuine artists often strive for constant change and experimentation. Sometimes these experimentations succeed, while oftentimes they do not. Magma, the sixth full-length from French progressive death metallers, Gojira, is one of these attempts in style-shift. During their over-sixteen-year tenure, Gojira has risen to be among the stalwarts of progressive death metal with a relentless auditory assault that has pushed the boundaries of metal. However, with Magma, we see Gojira, led by vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier and drummer Mario Duplantier, seek to simplify their music and attempt to confine it within a shorter, more accessible package. (more…)

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