Dario | Nov 22, 2023 | 0
7 out of 44: they just keep coming… Dive into the new releases!
Releases of the Week 42/2022 with Black Math Horseman, Avatarium, Brutus, Divine Realm, Alta Forma, O.R.k., God Alone. & Gob Ribbons
Once again what started out as a simple Highlights trifecta (Black Math Horseman, Avatarium & Brutus) grew quickly into 7 highlights with the addition of Divine Realm, Alta Forma & O.R.k. with Colin’s pick, God Alone., and the last minute decision, Gob Ribbon. That shouldn’t stop you from checking out the 36 other releases that dropped this week. Dive in!
Black Math Horseman - Black Math Horseman EP
13 years after their debut album “Wyllt”, Californian doom crew Black Math Horseman is back with an intense self-titled EP. A 25 minute journey, divided into four chapters but intended to be listened to as a whole, we follow the titular character on a journey of self-destruction and the subsequent struggle to rise again and become someone new. The music captures the turmoil of these tribulations in breathtaking fashion. Dark, moody and captivating, the quartet has created a rare gem with this stellar comeback release. Now I really hope they’ll stay for good this time and continue the story of the Black Math Horseman. Dark Tower vibes for real.
Avatarium - Death, Where Is Your Sting
When Swedish doom quintet Avatarium stormed onto the scene with their self-titled debut masterpiece in 2009, I was not so sure how this ‘new project of Candlemass mastermind Leif Edling’ would last. Whether it would remain a one off thing of greatness or destined to last. Now, almost 10 years and 4 albums later I’m delighted to see that I should never have doubted the longevity and perseverance of Jennie-Ann Smith and Marcus Jidell, who quickly took over the Avatarium boat and made it the vessel of their songwriting, vocals and guitar magic. Now, with the direct reference to Brahms’ “German Requiem” in the title of their fifth studio album “Death, Where Is Your Sting”, I had expected something more orchestral somehow, but once I put these expectations aside, I got sucked in by their immaculate songwriting, that works just as well in full on heavy doom rock mode as it does in an intimate acoustic setting, or anywhere in between. Absolutely marvelous.
Brutus - Unison Life
Decidedly the least doomy of this week’s triumvirat of highlights with powerful women at the front: Brutus from Belgium. Despite sporting massive post-hardcore and post-punk vibes, two sub genres I’m usually not too keen on, they managed to grab me immediately with their energetic and heartfelt third full length, “Unison Life”. Powerful, yet vulnerable and fragile, the trio around drummer and vocalist Stefanie Mannaerts make each and every one of the 10 songs an intense ride and I’m sure the energy will explode a thousand fold once these songs are thrown into a live setting, as it will beon their upcoming Spring Tour throughout central Europe at the beginning of next year. Go get your tickets now!
Divine Realm - Emergence EP
From atmosphere and energy driven doom and post-hardcore to a more classically prog metal instrumental guitar release with “Emergence”, the new EP from Ontario based one-man-project Divine Realm. That’s not to say Leo Diensthuber’s music is lacking atmosphere or energy, on the contrary. The surprising use of a mellotron in ‘Echoes (Youth Nostalgia)’ for example makes for a great infusion of atmosphere. But primarily, the music of Divine Realm is very much (lead) guitar driven and just overall a very different approach to music compared to our first three highlights this week. ‘The Grand Bedlam’ sounds like Opeth wanted to make a little guitar shred song. Other parts are more reminiscent of Plini or also some more old school guitar shred heroes. Cool stuff that should appeal to anyone who loves themselves a little bit of shred with purpose embedded in actual songs.
Alta Forma - Spatium & Tempus
After his stunning collaboration with Gavin Harrison in an orchestral setting on 2020s “Chemical Reaction”, bass virtuoso Antoine Fafard stepped out of his usual comfort zone once more, or even more than ever. Instead of his usual top notch instrumental fusion fare, he went for a vocal approach this time, inviting singer and songwriter JK Harrison alongside his longtime musical collaborator Todd Sucherman on drums for his new project Alta Forma. Providing a rich, intricate instrumental tapestry (not only with his tasty (fretless) bass lines, but also with some flawless guitar skills together with Sucherman’s groovy drumming) for JK Harrison’s raspy and engaging vocals to shine, Fafard created quite the curious thing with “Spatium & Tempus”. With the instrumental section being so complex and strong on its own, one might think it would overshadow the vocals, but instead, everything comes together perfectly, with JK Harrison ably standing his ground beside and, most importantly, together with those two instrumental giants. Maybe a jazzy version of Enchant could be a good reference point, or the massively underrated Thought Chamber. A killer release in all regards.
O.R.k. - Screamnasium
After indulging in some more Stick Men progginess earlier this year with the “Tentacles” EP, King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto is back in more straightforward waters with a new O.R.k. album. With Colin Edwin (ex-Porcupine Tree) on bass, Carmelo Pipitone (Marta Sui Tubi) on guitars and Lorenzo Esposito Fornaro (LEF) on vocal duties, O.R.k. could easily be mistaken for a mere side project for any of those prolific musicians involved. But “Screamnasium” is already their fourth album in this formation, and the way the four distinct musical personalities gel into one distinct O.R.k. sound already since their 2015 debut “Inflamed Rides” makes it clear from the get go: O.R.k. is a proper band, a single entity, and they mean business. On top of it all, LEF’s incredibly powerful voice leads us through 10 tracks and every time I think oh this might be the coolest song on the album, the next one comes along and makes me rethink that assessment again. “Screamnasium” is sophisticated, yet powerful rock music of the highest caliber and perhaps O.R.k.’s most accomplished work to date. Jo Quail’s guest cello performance on the last song ‘Someone Waits’ is the icing on the already very delicious cake.
God Alone. - ETC
Irish post-hardcore group God Alone drop their sophomore album entitled “ETC”, and it’s their first release under the recent signing with Prosthetic Records. On this release, the band plays with different styles and ideas from track to track, ranging from math rock to proggy post-metal to screamo to sludge metal… and the ideas expressed within each genre are quite unique enough that any type of music fan will be impressed with what they hear on this album. Standard prog fans may not adapt as easily to the hardcore-oriented vocals, but instrumentally it’s incredibly dynamic. Trust me, you’ll want to come back to this, because I couldn’t help but smile with all of the cool ideas conveyed throughout, and the overall quality is so strong, I could easily label this as one of my favourite releases for 2022. Give this an open-minded spin! You won’t be disappointed.
Gob Ribbons - Imparted II: The Delian Driver EP
And here’s another highlight that I discovered by chance at the very last second before publishing this Releases of the Week article while curating the Spotify playlist. Gob Ribbons from Switzerland play a dark, melancholic kind of prog/post rock and their singer reminds me very much of the wonderfully dark timbre of Antimatter’s Mick Moss. Only three songs in just under 30 minutes, the compositions on their new EP called “Imparted II: The Delian Driver” unfold their dark beauty slow and steady and provide for a wonderfully gloomy autumn soundtrack.
More releases for 21 October, 2022
- Full of Hell - Aurora Leaking From an Open Wound (Oct. 18) Bandcamp
- Realisea - Fairly Carefree (Oct. 19) Bandcamp
- At the Graves - Fear is God (Oct. 20) Bandcamp
- Sede Vacante - Conium (Scarlet Records) Bandcamp Read Our Review
- Arena - The Theory of Molecular Inheritance
- Onelegman - Event Horizon (Rockshots Records)
- Lost in Kiev - Rupture (Pelagic Records) Bandcamp
- Ahleuchatistas - Expansion Bandcamp
- Beneath the Ruin - This Thing A Quiet Madness Made
- Freedom of Fear - Carpathia (EVP Recordings) Bandcamp
- Avantasia - A Paranormal Evening With the Moonflower Society
- Kodiac Empire - The Great Acceleration Bandcamp
- Mal - Malbum (Ordovician Records) Bandcamp
- Taking Balfour - Dawn of Polaris Bandcamp
- Mind Spun - Bloom Bandcamp
- The Tirith - Return of the Lydia Bandcamp
- MesaVerde - KY (Apollon Records) Bandcamp
- Mountainscape - Atoms Unfurling (Trepanation Recordings) Bandcamp
- Wesenwille - III: The Great Light Above Bandcamp
- Kajoshin - Chrisalys (Wormholedeath Records)
- MÜ - Du Reve a la Poussiere Bandcamp
- WIZRD - Seasons (Karisma Records) Bandcamp
- The Maple Verse - Prove Me Wrong Bandcamp
- The Otolith - Folium Liminal (Blues Funeral Recordings) Bandcamp
- Black Royal - Earthbound (M-Theory Audio) Bandcamp
- The End At The Beginning - Lightbringer
- Cabal - Magno Interitus (Nuclear Blast) Bandcamp
- The Lord & Petra Haden - Devotional (Southern Lord) Bandcamp
- Architects - the classic symptoms of a broken heart (Epitaph Records) Bandcamp
- Gg:ull - Ex Est (Consouling Sounds) Bandcamp
- Arthur Brown - Monster’s Ball Bandcamp
- Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxymore (Sony Music)
- St. Jupiter - Another Day EP Bandcamp
- Hyper Psychic - Deeper Psychosis EP Bandcamp
- Priorities - Human After All EP
- Ketha - Wendigo (Oct. 22) Bandcamp