Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rick's Discoveries Volume XXIII

During the last month or so, I found myself listening to tons of metalcore and hardcore--much more than I usually do. Because of that, I think I took notice of bands that fell outside of those genres a bit more as they were a distinct change of pace from what was usually coming through my headphones. What that means is this batch of discoveries will be a bit more diverse than some others. Enjoy!

Aerodyne Flex - Transmissions

If you had Between the Buried and Me listen to a bit of Devin Townsend's heaviest efforts and mix in some Corellia, you'd get a close approximation of what Aerodyne Flex sounds like. There aren't as many odd flourishes as you'd get with a BTBAM album, but there are definitely a lot of time changes, as you'd hear with BTBAM. There's also a healthy interspersing of ambiance and atmospheric slow-downs to temper the intermittent breakdowns and sledgehammer riffing.

Hypomanie - Calm Down, You Weren't Set on Fire

Be still my beating heart! It's true, you have found a blackglaze band that actually has solid production values and focuses on the "glaze" instead of the "black." Yes, there are still some underlying bass rolls and distorted guitar movements, but it's all there to accentuate the post-rock leaning shoegaze that Hypomanie uses to tug at your heartstrings, instilling an overwhelming sense of melancholy and bittersweetness. Fans of Alcestwith an appreciation for post-rock will definitely be fans of Hypomanie.

69 Chambers - Torque

I'm a sucker for female fronted hard rock and metal, so it's no surprise that I liked 69 Chambers' Torque. There are easy comparisons to make to All Ends, Lacuna Coil, and your favorite radio-friendly post-grunge bands. The majority of Torque sees the band playing grungy hard rock with some alternative metal tinges here and there. All of the songs are pretty easy on the ears and smooth going down… but it is a little overlong. With 14 songs on the album and half of them clocking in over 4:30 each, you may find yourself getting worn out, but taken in small bits 69 Chambers give you some great female fronted hard rock.

Leander - Szividomar

Leander comes to us from Hungary, bringing with them a combination of modern groove metal and alternative metal. I hear bits and pieces of mid-career Machine Head throughout the album, but with a lot less suck than mid-career Machine Head. You shouldn't have a hard time banging your head and air-guitaring to Szividomar, but unless you know Hungarian you'll have a bit of a difficult time singing along!

Jairus - Streams Over Sad Parades

Jairus have been flying under the radar for over a decade, mostly because they don't release much in the way of new music. I've been a fan ever since I picked up The Need to Change the Mapmaker thinking it was a Junius album I'd never heard of. What's odd is that the two bands aren't so different from one another. Jairus takes the space rock approach into the post-hardcore realm, infusing some bits of well placed aggression that counterbalance the Hopesfall influenced space rock of the rest of the EP. Again, we're treated to only a morsel of Jairus' musical talents as there are only 3 songs and an interlude clocking in for a total of 13 minutes to be found here, but it's definitely worth it.

MaLLy & The Sundance Kid - The Last Great…

MaLLy has had a presence here in the Minneapolis hip-hop scene for a few years. Up until The Last Great… he's shown tons of potential, but hasn't quite been able to nail down an album that exploits that potential. Here, however, he's finally found his groove and puts forth a great conscientious hip-hop effort that sounds a bit like a mix of Childish Gambino (his slower numbers), Atmosphere (their newer efforts), and a bit of Aesop Rock. Add to this some guest spots from K. Raydio, Brother Ali, and Claire de Lune and you have a pretty rock solid hip-hop effort.

Anatomy of the Bear - Anatomy of the Bear

I'll get my biggest criticism of this album out of the way right now--this album is overlong. That being said, Anatomy of the Bear's self titled album weaves its way in and out of the various post-rock sub-genres, focusing predominantly on the ambient side of things. There are moments of Sigur Ros' beauty, God Is an Astronaut's pacing, and The American Dollar's ambience all over the place. If you're a post-rock fan, this will cover all of the bases for you, just make sure you have the endurance to make it through as it is a 70 minute journey.

The Chant - A Healing Place

On their third album, it looks like The Chant have perfected their form of gothic rock topped with hints of ambient, alternative rock, and progressive rock. Sharing a lot in common with Paradise Lost and Katatonia, The Chant focus on lengthy compositions that provide plenty of time for the listener to get lost in the dreary, downtrodden atmosphere the band creates. With only one song under 6 minutes in length, The Chant don't rush anything and, for them, it pays off immensely.

Fail Emotions - Speed of Light

Ever wish that Enter Shikari was more electronic and less post-hardcore? Or that you could hear an early version of I See Stars without the extreme dosage of suck? Then Fail Emotions are right up your alley. They're very electronics heavy and layer their post-hardcore/metalcore influences into the electronics. Usually it's the other way around, but not here. With this inversion of the usual in this genre, you'll no doubt find yourself more inclined to have some dancing tendencies instead of moshing/spin-kicking to the songs.

Gigawatt - Detritus

Please note right now, there's a healthy amount of Meshuggah worship on this album. If you can overlook this fact (which isn't really that big of a deal, unless you're burnt out on djent), you'll find a solid progressive metal album with some lengthy compositions. Besides the Meshuggahinfluence, you'll also hear a bit of Nemertines in some of the dissonant playing patterns and dirty guitar tones. The focus of this album is mostly on big, meaty riffs and less on technical wizardry, which works out quite well.

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