Archive for the Experimental Category

Agon – Hollowed Lake

Posted in Experimental, Metal with tags , , on 6th December 2018 by izaforestspirit

Agon
Hollowed Lake
Released 21st October 2018
Atmospheric Black Metal
Self-Released

Agon - Hollowed Lake

‘Hollowed Lake’ is the debut album from the American atmospheric black metal artist Agon. The project is the brainchild of solo musician and vocalist Andre Basora, based in Miami, Florida.

Miami is hardly the place that you would typically associate with black metal. It offers a sharp contrast to the grim and frostbitten northern landscapes where the genre first became popular. Straight from the start of the opening track My Yearning Heart you get a sense of the haunting atmosphere. If I were to imagine a setting which would fit this kind of music, it would be a dark forest on a stormy autumn night. The guitars sound raw, abrasive with an eerie feel and the bleak keyboard only adds to the gloomy ambiance. The vocals are fairly sporadic, coarse sounding rasps and yet they are still clear enough for you to follow the lyrics. Tunnel of Desolation is a bit of an acquired taste – if you are a fan of avantgarde metal with lots of distorted guitar noise then this is the song for you. Personally speaking that track gave me a headache and I would rather skip it.

Luckily what follows is more atmospheric black metal. We are still roaming through the dark forests, desperately searching for shelter from the ongoing storm. There is constant sense of fear and dread of what might be lurking in the shadows. The title track also caught my attention mainly due to the shift in style from black metal to early Burzum-esque dark ambient in the first half before returning to raw and eerie black metal for the remainder of the song.

In summary, ‘Hollowed Lake’ is a decent black metal album which succeeds in creating an eerie atmosphere whilst offering enough variety to keep the listener interested. However, at times it feels as though the avantgarde elements have been taken a bit too far, making the music disjointed.

3/5
Iza Raittila

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Mortiis announces new ‘Era 1’ tour dates

Posted in Experimental, Industrial, Metal, Misc., News with tags , , on 12th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Good news for Mortiis fans, particularly those who like the band’s older works. The band has announced a series of new tour dates continuing with the Mortiis Era 1 Tour. As the tour name suggests, these shows will include songs from the band’s dark ambient era which ended with The Stargate album.

Image result for mortiis era 1 tour poster 2018

 

They have recently played two shows in Russia. Here’s the rest of the schedule:

14. 11 Lo Barnechea, Chile
15. 11 Buenos Aires, Argentina
16.11 La Paz, Bolivia
17.11 Quito, Ecuador
30.11 Erfurt, Germany
1.12 Mannheim, Germany
2.12 Stretch, The Netherlands
13.12 Brighton, United Kingdom
14.12 Belfast, Ireland
15.12 Dublin, Ireland
28.12 Tampere, Finland
29.12 Helsinki, Finland

For further details go to:

https://www.facebook.com/officialmortiis

https://downloadmusic.mortiis.com/

Turbowolf – The Free Life

Posted in CD, Experimental, Punk Rock, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , on 20th February 2018 by mickbirchy

Artist: Turbowolf

Album: The Free Life

Genre, Psychedelic, Punk, Electronic

Released: 09 March 2018

via So Recordings

The Bristol based psychedelic punk rockers, Turbowolf, are back with their third album, The Free Life. They’re definitely one of those bands that are so different and distinct that you either love the sound or hate it. I personally, love what they produce. I like bands that really challenge their listeners and do something different and Turbowolf have that spark, something that their fans can connect with which leaves casual fans with intrigue (and I’m sure some confusion). I loved their 2011 self-titled debut so much. It was a burst of creativity and really delivered a full package of excitement, not bad for a first outing. Their 2015 album, Two Hands, left me a little disappointed, maybe it was just the victim of over-hype, but it just wasn’t as good. Some great songs individually but the album wasn’t as well put together for my liking. However, early demos and singles from this album sounded interesting enough for me to want to get the whole album and a proper spin.

The album sparks with energy straight off of the bat, with the infectious No, No, No. The synth, guitars and bass all meld together to create this delicious soup of electronic noise. Exactly how you want a record to open, with a punch of punk right in the senses. Across the board Turbowolf seem to have more of a toned sound on this album. Guitarist Andy Ghosh and bassist Lianna Lee Davies bring the heavy riffs that feel heavier. When they kick into full punk mode you feel this rush of psychedelic electronic sounds. The riffs are tight and the basslines are highly enjoyable. Every second of this album hits hard and fast with all of the verbose and intricate sounds that Turbowolf have become known for. Chris Georgiadis’s vocals fit well. He delivers the lyrics in such a way that you have to pay attention to what he’s saying. Then when the vocal harmonies come in, it leaves an impact. On a sound design level The Free Life impresses and on writing level it’s excellent. Turbowolf do everything in their power to bend the very concept of music to their whims.

Also, with this album comes a slew of featured musicians to collaborate on this project. Joe Talbot of fellow Bristol band Idles, lends his vocal talents to Capital X. Sebastian Grainger of Death From Above adds his musical mind to the track Cheap Magic. Mike Kerr of Royal Blood trades lines with Chris in the mind melter of a tune Domino. Finally, Chantal Brown of acclaimed psyche-metallers Vodun adds her flair to the song Very Bad. Usually I would say having this many featured guests cheapens a record. However every single one adds something unique to their respective song and makes the album all the more varied and diverse. One thing is for sure, you will not be bored with this album in a hurry. There is so much to appreciate and the talent on display is immense.

Now like I said Turbowolf are a very distinct band, so this will not be to everyone’s taste. If you’re not into this type of music then this album will do very little to change that mindset. They have definitely chosen their direction. Whereby they push the medium further with every release. I mean they do have some crossover appeal and casual audiences will probably take to the singles, as they do get radio play. However, the albums go full on weird mode and it can be a little much for the average listener. They’ve always had that effect though, so nothing new there. I’m very much into the sound on display here. There’s a creativity and splendor to the album that makes it sound so interesting. From its most intense punk moments to the mind-bending distortion and synths that gives them their signature sound. You will not mistake Turbowolf for anyone else, they hit the mark perfectly here.

5/5

Mick Birchall

Klaus Schulze – Another Green Mile

Posted in CD, Experimental, Instrumental with tags , , on 30th November 2016 by izaforestspirit

Klaus Schulze
Another Green Mile
Released 30th November 2016
Experimental Electronica, Ambient
Released via M.I.G. (Made in Germany) Music

Another Green Mile’ was originally released back in 2002 as a part of a very limited edition and long out-of-print 5CD box set known as ‘Contemporary Works vol. I & II’ by the German electronic artist Klaus Schulze (ex- Tangerine Dream). This is a re-issued version of that album featuring the bonus track ‘Voice’n’Harmony’ (which was originally released on ‘Contemporary Works II’ CD 10 – ‘Adds & Edits’.

The music on here is primary instrumental comprising a mixture of acoustic instruments: an oboe, a cello, a guitar and the electronic, ambient sounds of a synthesizer. There are three vocalized tracks: In The Streets, in the Rain, The Story Does Unfold and Vox’n’Harmony; all featuring operatic-style vocals from Julia Messenger. Her beautiful singing is precisely the reason why these songs caught my attention. Her range is very versatile, comfortably hitting the high notes as well as the more mellowed-down, tranquil whispers to match the speed of the music. The complete absence of the lyrics means that the vocals’ sole purpose is to convey emotion and add emphasis to the ambient music.

All the songs have this serene and atmospheric quality creating a calming effect on the listener. This this the kind of music that you might encounter at an art gallery or a lounge. The instruments, especially the synthesizer and the cello, have this sombre yet strangely soothing tone to them. I just wish that the performance itself was a bit more energetic. This just sounds like a soundtrack to an Sunday afternoon stroll in the park.

Overall, ‘Another Green Mile’ is a very atmospheric and tranquil ambient album. Some might find this type of music relaxing but personally I found it challenging to adjust to the slow pace. It’s all very melodic and emotional but ultimately it is quite purposefully low on energy.

3/5
Iza Raittila

Ice King announces European and U.K. tour dates

Posted in Alternative, Experimental, Misc., News, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 6th July 2016 by izaforestspirit

The Belgian “Epic Avant-Barde” musician iCE KiNG is currently on a European tour.

This is for those who enjoy experimental music filled with wide-ranging vocals, baritone guitars, keyboards with varying, intense and pure melodies, tonalities and rhythms…

You can catch him live at the following locations:

29th July 2016, Aachen (DE), Chico Mendes
4th August 2016, ‘s Hertogenbosch (NL), Lohengrin
27th August 2016, Leuven (BE), Sint-Donatuspark
16th September 2016 , Bridlington (GB), The Londesborough
17th September 2016 , Warhorns Festival – Selby (GB), The Venue
28th October 2016, Tienen (BE), Living room

For more information check out:

http://iceking.be/

Counter-World Experience – Pulsar

Posted in Alternative, CD, Experimental, Metal on 18th March 2016 by mickbirchy

Counter-World Experience

Pulsar

Jazz-Metal, Experimental, Progressive

Released: 18th March

via Hänsel & Gretel

Counter-World Experience have returned with their fifth album, Pulsar.  The German experimental metallers consisting of Benjamin Schwenen (guitar, guitar synth, programming), Sebastian Hoffmann (bass) and Thorsten Harnitz (drums) have clearly been up late in their music laboratory again to produce another album that sounds like it’s from the future.  Pulsar is a vibrant, dynamic album that oozes with energy and creativity and I have had a blast listening to it.

The album really is a fascinating specimen combining the heavy electronic tones with genuinely beautiful melodies that grab your attention.  It really is something when at one minute you’re listening to a metal tune then the next it breaks down into electronica.  Also the album just flies through other genres like nothing else I’ve ever heard.  From jazz through funk and to blues, whilst always being encapsulated in the heaviness of metal.  Everything blends together so nicely and it’s over just like that, so obviously you want to listen to it again! It’s the perfect example of what I like to call “TARDIS” music, when listening to an album/song that feels like a short time but you’ve actually been listening to it for 2 hours.  Pulsar’s production is simply beautiful, nothing feels out of place and it’s all well balanced at every point.

I also like the idea behind the concept of Pulsar, in how every song is named after a star. It has this great sense of grandeur to it, it’s one of those albums that I could just sit and listen to, not caring for the rest of the world. Very similar to how I am with Mike Oldfield or Felix Martin songs. It only gets better when you look look at the featured guest list. Big musical legends such as Steve Di Giorgio (Testament, Sadus) on “Alpha Serpentis” and Hannes Grossmann (Blotted Science & ex-Obscura) on “Cygnus”, it all stands out like a who’s who of technical music and that’s only mentioning a couple of them.

Is this album going to be for everyone? Well… Ultimately no.  Not everyone can get behind music like this and I completely get that.  Some people just like music that follows a typical structure and they don’t like deviating from that.  However, if you’re looking for something different from the norm and you want to listen to musicians that truly care about pushing the limits of metal and creating a unique listening experience for the listener then I would definitely recommend this, in fact I’d recommend all of their albums.  If you’re like me and you need something different and interesting to spice up your music collection then it’s worth, at least, checking out.

4 ½ / 5

Mick Birchall

Monster Magnet – Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)

Posted in CD, Experimental, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , on 22nd November 2015 by mickbirchy

Monster Magnet
“Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)”
Heavy Rock
Released: 9th October 2015
Via Napalm Records

It’s funny, when a movie gets remade I tend to get in a twist and vent my frustrations.  However when I heard that rock ‘n’ roll legends, Monster Magnet were going to be reworking their 2010 record, Mastermind, I had nothing but curiosity as to what that was going to be like – I have absolutely nothing but respect for the man that is Dave Wyndorf.  Their last studio effort Milking The Stars gave another life to the 2013 album Last Patrol, so there’s no reason that this couldn’t do the same. This album brings a lot of themes of retrospection, isolation, drug and alcohol abuse and sexual fantasy. This is in contrast to the original record which themes were more about reality and exploitive American consumerism.

Right off of the bat the reworking begins with songs like “Dig That Hole” becoming the new song “She Digs That Hole” where Wyndorf warps the music into a brighter song with cleaner electric guitars and changing the message from drugs and reality TV to more about a sex fantasy involving a girlfriend who regularly brings other women into the bedroom. Also the new version of the title track “Mastermind” which is a sludgy and a pretty straight forward stoner rock song.  The newer version keeps the riff but adds more to it.  It’s cleans up the sound, adds in an organ and adds a false ending that fades out.  The whole thing in general feels more polished and easier to market.  The original Mastermind was very much in its niche whereas this seems more identifiable to a bigger market. Also the nine minute long Hallucination Bomb has a more experimental feel, still keeping a lot of that original haziness but there’s heavy string sounds and drudges along to a spectacle of a guitar solo.  

This is definitely not a slouch of an album.  Some people may call reworking your older albums a bit lazy but this feels like genuine effort rather than a cheap cash-in on already popular songs.  It actually feels new and interesting. Being a fan of this band for a lot time has certainly added context but I don’t think that it’s 100% necessary to fully enjoy this record.  This could be the first Monster Magnet album you’ve heard and it will still lead you into loving this band.  Dave Wyndorf is a wonderful songwriter who takes his work seriously and the rest of the guys Phil Caivano, Bob Pantella, Garrett Sweeny and Chris Kosnik are fantastic musicians who always perform the music excellently.

All I can say is this is one quality record, I always look forward to hearing new stuff from them and this was no different. The best tunes for me personally are “Watch Me Fade”, a bonus track on the original Mastermind and yes it’s still awesome. The breathtaking “Hallucination Bomb” just for being so epic sounding.  Also “Gods and Punks” for being far more downplayed than it’s original counterpart, it’s far more trippy and fun to listen to.  Superb album, I highly recommend this to any fan of rock or metal, especially if you have an interest in songwriting and composition.

4.5/5

Mick Birchall