Bands like Jesu and Cult of Luna might be attracting the most attention with their distortion-drenched melodies, dubbed "metalgaze" by the perpetually pigeonholing music media, but it might surprise some that the Angelic Process have been doing it for longer than many of their peers. Comprised of the husband and wife duo of guitarist/drummer/vocalist K.Angylus and bassist/vocalist M.Dragynfly, the Athens, Georgia duo's latest album makes an astounding, indelible impression from the opening moments, combining brutality and noise with tenderness and aching melodies, unleashing wave after wave of aural beauty disguised as cacophony. The variation the pair displays is sublime: we get the drone of Boris, the experimental noise of Swans, the mechanical crunch of Godflesh, the epic scope of Isis, the awe-inspiring power of Neurosis, and the sumptuous beauty of My Bloody Valentine all at once, as the musicians croon and scream, the oblique vocals in the vein of classic shoegaze from the early 1990s. The enveloping effect of the album's mix is stunning, as the underlying melodies bring genuine warmth, radiating from the massive wall of sound. Far from a handful of iPod tracks, this is a full album that you need to set aside time for, an hour-long experience that haunts you as much as it entrances. It's one of the year's best extreme releases, and another top-flight release from the ever-reliable Profound Lore Records.
As The Final Year quietly argues, if the United States' electorate fails to elevate itself to a higher level of political vernacular than coarse tweets and reality TV-style colloquies, then 2016 may be the best year the US will have had for a long time to come.
New single from dark duo VOWWS conjures classic James Bond scores while avoiding all the stuff we've all heard before.
Soulful balladeer Reigen reminds us that sometimes not knowing is a real place to start understanding.
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The Hackensaw Boys reboot Blaze Foley's Reagan-era "Oval Room" in light of the current political climate with scorching results.
Eric Benoit fuses elements of dance, folk, and alternative styles in the experimental "Dragonflies", wherein the artist delves into some uncomfortable realities.
An avant-garde classic or a sneering joke? Third Reich 'n Roll may be over 40 years old, but it still sounds like it's been beamed down from the future.
Pulp functions less as a pulpy mystery or gangster tale than as a spoof of same, albeit a spoof that retains a noirish sense of fate and power.