Written by: Izzy
As a genre like metal ages, it is natural that there will be waves of innovation and experimentation. However, after decades, you sometimes may worry that we’re running out of ideas and closer to the end than the beginning. Like, at some point it feels like so much ground has been covered that anything new would come in the form of a ridiculous gimmick idea you’d think of while stoned, like jazz fusion nu metal or death metal played by a classical chamber ensemble (both of which already exist). It’s an exercise in both patience and persistence to continue the search for something that truly sounds like the next step.
But of course, it always comes. If you don’t let yourself get stuck in the mindset that music stopped being good at one point or another, you will always find new artists doing new things and creating new sounds, and listening to the new Victory Over the Sun album reminded me exactly why it’s worth waiting and searching for those visionaries that challenge our common conceptions and assumptions about music as an art form.
Written by: Lunar Fanatic
Dissonant black death metal is nothing new, in fact the subgenre feels a bit trite by this point. That being said Labored Breath’s debut album, Dyspnea, is a fresh, bludgeoning entry into what I’d consider one of metal’s darkest styles. This album from the one-man project from Oakland, CA wastes no time in setting the album’s tone.
Cavernous (and that description is truly earned here), bleeding dissonant notes erupt into pure auditory violence on opening track "Hypothesia." The drumming is explosive, and the guitar work swirls around it, made even more prominent by the excellent use of panning. Both ears are under constant yet varied assault throughout the album, and the beautifully raw production obscures enough detail from the surface to make diving deeper into the ocean of the winding song structures featured throughout Dyspnea.
Today's review is brought to us by Erin Palmer, who you may know as the sole member of both raw black metal outfit Dread Maw and black metal/black n' roll entity Rage of Devils. This is Erin's second guest post here at the Village--a fact for which we are eternally grateful. Enjoy! - Ed.
Guest post written by: Erin Palmer
As I've mentioned before, my favorite bands are the ones that make music where I can't quite conceive of actual people creating it. The best metal, to me, is inhuman, music that seems like a force of nature rather than something played with instruments. Enter Febris Manea.
Febris Manea are a raw black metal band from the United States, originally based in California but now residing in Salt Lake City. The artist, known only as D.O., stated in an interview that the project was created to express feelings he couldn't otherwise “without serious social or legal repercussions,” and...yeah, that checks out.
This is not black metal for the uninitiated. This is the pure, uncut form of the genre. Their most recent release, Through Pale Opulence Thy Reign is Doomed, begins with an ominous, horror movie-style intro, and then immediately strikes the listener in the face with a howling, swirling wall of guitars and unhinged screams. Throughout the album, the soundscape D.O. creates with his music is so rough and nasty as to almost verge on harsh noise at points. Everything blends together in a riptide of deranged sound that constantly washes over you, threatening to pull you under.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!