This year, in an attempt to cover more music that would all-too-oft slip through the very large cracks, we're trying something new and novel around these parts. Namely, we're gonna actually publish the little one-off reviews that were previously (and arbitrarily) deemed too short for publication. In that spirit, here's a mini-review of a single worth checking out.
Written by: The Administrator
For those of ye unfamiliar, Settle For Shadows makes music that feels distinctly weird. This is evidenced across a swath of quality projects over the past few years. Even those earliest releases, which feel a little easier to nail down, are nonetheless quite quirky in their willingness to throw unexpected passages into the fray with nary a backward glance.
That said, Settle For Shadows makes a fairly substantial turn on this latest single "The Mourn," delivering a blistering blend of raw symphonic black metal with a healthy deathcore stomp and vigor. There's an underlying chug on display that isn't present in the jazzy avant-gardism of Settle For Shadow's (excellent) 2022 The Bleak Demo, alongside a potent sense of organic chaos that feels a far cry from the punkier early EPs. The Bleak also presents a marching momentum that feels almost industrial from a percussive point of view, yet the vocals and symphonic elements lend the whole affair a delightfully untethered quality. Balancing the ethereal with the more overt aggression is always going to be a difficult game, but here, Settle For Shadows walks that line pretty damn well.
"The Mourn" is a very cool single. Moreover, it is an intriguing and enjoyable new direction for a band that has consistently delivered intriguing and enjoyable music. I'd be very excited to hear more music like this, but would also consider myself suffonsified should Settle For Shadows elect to switch up the formula on the next release. Unpredictability is an underrated characteristic. Bottom line? I recommend you snag it here.
Settle For Shadows - The Mourn was released August 5th, 2022
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Since the debut demo Krønike I in 2020, Dødskvad were a band I’ve found quite intriguing. Crafting a clear sense for death metal in a very non-traditional fashion, these Norwegians brought forth a nasty taste of history and mythology coated in synths, blackened feel, and unsettling production. Now, they’ve followed this up with another treat simply titled Krønike II. In some ways it’s a clearer vision, more of what came before, but there’s certainly a brighter element of focus.
By that, I mean this second onslaught of harsh and unlovable tunes seems to have a better idea of what it wants to be. Things progressively get a lot doomier, as the passages themselves slow down, with sharp percussion and bouncy bass popping through the surface to take precedence. Percussion is really big across the board, more so than before. Considering the synth overlaying and galloping rhythms aren’t going anywhere, this manages to pack so much into four songs.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.