4 albums not to miss in this loaded yet diverse week
Releases of the Week 16/2021 with Aphexia, Blackbriar, Ciccada, Crypts of Despair, and more...
This week, our Highlight picks include a “post-progressive electronica” release by Aphexia, the long-awaited symphonic metal debut album by Blackbriar, a modern yet eclectic return from Ciccada, and the dark & riffy death metal sophomore album by Crypts of Despair. Be sure to take a look at the other releases as well! There are plenty of proggy and experimental stuff to discover from this week.
Aphexia - Interdependence
The attention of all prog lovers who fancy some electronic sounds for a change sometimes will lie upon Mariusz Duda’s new solo release today, I’m sure. What if I told you there was a record in a similar vein coming out last Sunday already that deserves your attention just as much? Aphexia’s “Interdependence” is full of slow beats, dark ambient soundscapes, industrial percussion samples and slick synth bass lines. The rare appearance of an electric guitar lead (or even riff) adds diversity while not taking away a bit from the overall sound concept and coherent mood and vibe. Self described as ‘post-progressive electronica’, “Interdependence” is Ophelia Sullivan’s third album under the Aphexia moniker and it is a strong artistic statement that deserves to be heard!
Blackbriar - The Cause of Shipwreck
The Netherlands have been a center for the Symphonic Metal scene ever since its initial rise to prominence in the mid/late 90s. Throughout the last decade or so, Blackbriar have paved their way to the forefront of the genre with three EPs, a couple of singles and a hands on independent DIY attitude and approach. Now, the six-piece is finally releasing their debut, with a little help from their fans, more notably another highly successful crowdfunding campaign. “The Cause of Shipwreck” is a collection of stories told through the expressive melodies and poetry of vocalist Zora Cock, a bit like an anthology TV series. Each song has its own charm, and production, courtesy of Joost van den Broek (Ayreon, Epica, Blind Guardian etc…), and performances definitely hold up against the big names of the genre. If you’re a fan of symphonic metal with slight prog tendencies here and there, Blackbriar is a name you should take note of if you haven’t done so already.
Ciccada - Harvest
Six years after the release of the fantastic “The Finest Of Miracles” Greek prog-rockers Ciccada are finally back with a new album. Sadly we did not get a promo for this one, but one track was available on their Bandcamp, and a radio show streamed the entire album, so I had the chance to listen, and my first impression of this new offering is very positive. This is folky and progressive music, with its feet solidly planted in the ’70s, while still managing to sound modern and exciting. There are certain jazzy elements that bring to mind Canterbury bands like Hatfield and The North, or National Health, but it’s mixed with an earthiness that reminds me of more folk-based bands like Lindisfarne or Fairport Convention. The album seems to be brimming with melodies and ideas, and the skilful use of flues and saxophones help elevate the album further. There is a warm, pastoral feeling surrounding “Harvest“, and I can imagine people who love ’70s prog, or even modern band like Wobbler or Il Tempio delle Clesidre would find lots to enjoy here.
Crypts of Despair - All Light Swallowed
Glorious riffs! Lithuanian dark death metal band, Crypts of Despair have really brought it on their sophomore release, “All Light Swallowed”. If that title doesn’t tell you enough, well this record is dark, heavy, and dissonant. The way they meld the groove-oriented old school riffs with cavernous doom is otherworldly, and has some unpredictable tempo changes that will keep any listener hooked. Musically reminds of Asphyx, but with the dissonance and atmosphere of early Ulcerate. The production is also very impressive as it delivers both the punch and the atmosphere required for such a combination, so you won’t be disappointed. This album could potentially squeeze into any death metal fan’s end of the year list, and I recommend metal fans in general to give this a shot regardless, because it is quite the journey!
More releases for 23 April, 2021
- Obsolete - Animate//Isolate (April 19) Bandcamp
- Kartoum - Maelstrom (April 20) Bandcamp
- French TV - All Our Failures Are Behind Us (April 20) Bandcamp
- Schizofrantik - Funk From Hell (April 22)
- Michael Whalen - Future Shock
- Mariusz Duda - Claustrophobic Universe
- Tilian - Factory Reset
- Neptunian Maximalism - Solar Drone Ceremony Bandcamp
- Spectral Lore - Ετερόφωτος Bandcamp
- Victory Over the Sun - Nowherer Bandcamp
- Sanction - The Overview Effect
- Altarage - Succumb
- Big Brave - Vital
- Cicada the Burrower - Corpseflower Bandcamp
- Dead World Reclamation - Aura of Iniquity Bandcamp Read Our Review
- Monobody - Comma
- Hideous Divinity - LV-426
- When Waves Collide - Chasm
- Ennoven - Empty Passes, Silent Trails (April 24) Bandcamp
- Victor Go - Tales From McIntyre Lake (April 24) Bandcamp