Catch Up Before the Apocalypse, Part TwoPosted 10/09/2012 08:55AM by Jake Oliver as Article
Cloudkicker — Fade
This album’s a nice sleeper pick for those of you who enjoy a band that approaches their art with little to no pretense. While Fade won’t set the world on fire, it’s quality instrumental post-rock flecked with shoegaze influences and would make a worthy addition to your collection. Also, the album’s free on Cloudkicker’s Bandcamp page, so what have you got to lose?
Woman Is the Earth — This Place That Contains My Spirit
These three men from the Black Hills region of South Dakota have gone out and released one of the year’s top black metal records. They augment their lo-fi attack with touches of folk and the kind of atmospherics that are the trademark wind in the sails of the blackgaze set. The songs sprawl without dragging and do seem to suggest a kind of communion with the primal essence of nature.
Evoken — Atra Mors
Atra Mors represents another genre standard. These legends succeed wildly in striking at the heart of man’s fear and sorrow, delivering their tectonic doom with all of the uplift of a rain-soaked funeral. The drums thunder and the synths are spade to the guitars’ sodden earth. Evoken has created an excellent album that can be at once beautiful and brutal.
Sun Devoured Earth — Sounds of Desolation
Sun Devoured Earth obviously owes a huge debt to Justin Broadrick, but fortunately Sounds of Desolation is not content to merely shadow this man’s incredible work, but rather continue to try to explore the limits of what “metal” has to offer. From sublime electronic textures to outright black metal, Sounds of Desolation re-combines forms to create this depressive yet frequently soaring work. Another Bandcamp freebie so get the fuck on it!
Assembly of Light — Assembly of Light
This extensive female choir’s previously made a name for themselves collaborating with gloom merchants The Body, but their eponymous debut focuses more on the heights of human experience rather than on the grim underbelly. Indeed, “Into the Woods I-III” are carried solely by the choir’s voices, and even the foreboding of a song like “Transitions” is charged with the prospect of a kind of metaphoric salvation. “Insides” is such a stunning opening it feels like you’ve died and are dissipating into the endless blue ether.
Worm Ouroboros — Come the Thaw
Worm Ouroboros is another band that feels more tangential to metal than actually dwelling within its confines. They focus more on creating a haunting atmosphere than bludgeoning you to death with blasts and other shouty bollocks (sort of a joke). Their greatest asset, like Assembly of Light, lies in the fact that their vocal interplay takes the bed-rock instrumentals and elevates the entire experience to a new plane.
Chrome Waves — Chrome Waves
First-rate blackgaze featuring members who’ve been attached to projects like Nachtmystium and The Atlas Moth. Go forth, child. You know what to do.
BLKOUT — Point of No Return
Much has been written on this site about the wealth of good music being pumped out of the continent of Australia. In this instance, BLKOUT’s rough-n-ready NYHC stylings tread on the fat side, often recalling an outfit like Born Low, with some requisite Madball for good measure. The band also brackets the meat of the album with relatively expansive offerings in “Sun God” and “Remember When” to add diversity.
Apologies, I Have None — London
These ten songs both are and are not paeans to the (former?) financial capital of Europe. Mixed with heartbreak and poignancy, London is anthemic and personal, furious and melancholy, hopeful and resigned. In short, everything a great record needs, feeding off unresolved tensions and brilliant song-craft. London is a year-end contender in one of the deepest years in recent memory.
Marmozets — Vexed
Marmozets are like Rolo Tomassi’s spunky kid sibling, in all their trashed-room-because-I-got-grounded glory, dragging songs through sometimes over six minutes of the sweet-and-sour. Vocalist Becca MacIntyre may not be Eva Spence (yet), but her personality colors this band of kin with plenty of attitude.