Review: Feast of the Epiphany – Practicing Loss

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Label: Kincsem Records

Drone is often considered a genre lacking in melody; where the atmospheres and textures rule supreme, and change comes at a glacial pace. Whilst this is certainly true for much of the genre – especially its bigger names – Practicing Loss by Feast of the Epiphany presents a strong counter-argument. Though drone is a chief component of the album, especially in overall effect as much as sound, that’s not all there is to the album. There’s also a lot of folk and psychedelic rock here too, all filtered through an avant-garde mindset similar to that which gave birth to Kraut rock, that makes Practicing Loss an absorbing, yet challenging album. It is filled with complex music that takes time to unlock, yet it is constantly encouraging the listener on, wanting them to revel in what it offers.

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Review: Some Became Hollow Tubes – Keep it in the Ground

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Label: Gizeh Records

It can sometimes seem like improvised drone is ubiquitous within the genre, and that you can’t go onto Bandcamp without stumbling across some new record that was recorded in a single take, constructed of drum loops, manipulated guitars, and more effects pedals than is healthy for one human to own. With this in mind, what sets Keep it in the Ground apart from other examples of the genre? Well, other than that Some Became Hollow Tubes comprise of Eric Quach (thisquietarmy) and Aidan Girt (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), which is on its own enough to generate excitement, Keep it in the Ground succeeds in striking that balance between the ominous and the awe-inspiring; the terrifying and the life-affirming. A hugely captivating album, it also possesses a rare sense of narrative and flow.

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Review: Suspiral – Chasm

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Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories

Metal, at its most extreme, becomes a genre of seemingly contradictory forces that are reliant upon one another to succeed. As volume and speed increases, bringing with it a sense of chaos, so too does the need for control. After all, a great deal of technical proficiency and practice is needed to strike the right balance between a song sounding rampaging and it simply sounding sloppy. It’s that sense of contradiction that Chasm, the new album from Spanish black/death metal band Suspiral, is forged upon. A combination of bestial carnage and ritual-esque repetition, the album is the sound of a tightly-bound beast, straining at its chains, desiring nothing more than to be let loose upon the world to unleash devastation; and yet there is an almost religious aspect to the control displayed, making Chasm a ritual in a very real sense.

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Aidan Baker / Simon Goff / Thor Harris – Noplace

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Label: Gizeh Records

Recorded in a few short, improvised hours one day in May 2017 by the trio of Aidan Baker (Nadja), Simon Goff (Molecular), and Thor Harris (Swans, Thor & Friends), Noplace is an album that possesses the kind of depth that would never hint at the way it was created, even if it has been edited down from that improvised session. Hypnotic in the most wonderful of ways, Noplace is an album that creates a psychedelic haze, taking the listener to some place more relaxing and spiritually cleansing than whatever place you may find yourself physically within. This is music that is good for the soul.

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