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Old 02-25-2018, 10:47 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Honourable Mention Number Twelve


Coma Cluster Void - Thoughts From a Stone

Absolutely phenomenal twisted death metal. The album is divided into several tracks but it's definitely best taken in as a whole. It starts off with some modern classical strings before diving into hellish dissonance. The record is full of incredibly technical and precise playing and composition that just blows me away. There will be times when I think a part is dragging when they'll turn it on its head into some other dense and polyrhythmic concepts. There are some slower, atmospheric moments toward the end that climax before dissolving into a droning resolution. It's one of those albums that I find especially rewarding because every time I listen to it closely it still surprises me. Stylistically this is in the vein of Gorguts with the general twisted DM approach, Ulcerate with the intricate and atmospheric guitars, and Portal with their very deliberate, enveloping, chaos. The bassist comes in with some spoken word in the beginning that's a bit corny, but that's the only blemish on this maniacal masterpiece. I was a massive fan of their earlier release Mind Cemeteries, but this is on another level. Hopefully they continue that trajectory on their next release. Beautiful one-sided vinyl release for those interested in that.

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Old 03-25-2018, 01:44 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Honourable Mention Number Thirteen


Ehnahre - The Marrow

What a monster of a record. Modern classical, doom, electronics, explosive percussion...this is truly avant-garde metal, a term that too often is applied to Mr. Bungle or Zorn worship (or mimicry). The album kicks off with "The Crow Speaks." A hypnotic, rhythmically minimalist but melodically rich double bass solo introduces the track as it gets increasingly interrupted by electronics before descending into wild death tribalistic doom. Then it evolves into a quasi-improvisational call and response between the guitar and bass that's almost cinematic, all the while pocketed by what sounds like electronically processed percussion in addition to the drums. This track goes to so many places without giving an idea too much or too little time to evolve and the transitions between wildly different parts are far from awkward. It's chaotic yet methodical.

"A Wandering Fire" opens with cellos and interesting percussion with lonely drones and shrieks before falling into this weird heavy repetitive chamber music jazz fusion thing with some more prominent piano that's just ****ing wild.

"Godhead" dwells in a more ominous dirge approach with plodding piano and bowed bass with slowly pulsing drums and spoken word. A lead guitar comes into the picture with playing somewhat reminiscent of the solo from the end of This Heat's Fall of Saigon before the group explodes into a mindmelt of noisy, drony soundscape. The drumming on this track is just phenomenal.

Closing track "The Marrow" starts off in a more directly chamber music fashion, with some indescribably beautiful drones and ambience with minimalist, almost third-stream piano. The strings grow more weepy before the track closes with the final words "I would be near; I shut my eyes to see;
I bleed my bones, their marrow to bestow; Upon that god who knows what I would know." A gorgeous track and a highlight of the record, but the whole thing is strong from start to finish.

Listening to this record again for my review has me thinking that this should have been ranked higher. This might be a more appropriate candidate for the "Trout Mask Replica of metal" than Obscura by Gorguts. By that I don't just mean how much I love it, but how innovative it is in its deconstruction and how rewarding it is upon repeated listens. This is really a masterpiece.

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Old 05-27-2018, 12:29 PM   #103 (permalink)
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You should do what I do. Start posting albums and then stop for like 9 days.
Or two months and running...
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:31 PM   #104 (permalink)
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It's called building anticipation.
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:58 PM   #105 (permalink)
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Or two months and running...
I'm very bad at finishing things.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:40 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Ok ok ok ok

Honourable Mention Number Fourteen



Zeena Parkins - Three Harps, Tuning Forks & Electronics

Right like it says on the cover, folks. This is some music for three harps, tuning forks, and electronics. Some of the objects used to prepare and play said harps are e-bows, basting brushes, metal bolts, rubber/hard yarn and wooden mallets, and 2-inch ribbon. Zeena Parkins is joined by Nuiko Wadden, Kristen Theriault, and Megan Conley on this record. Long time collaborator Ikue Mori also appears on the track Tuning Forks (if you haven't heard Zeena and Ikue together, rectify that ASAP). As one should expect from Zeena Parkins, the harp technique on this record is insanely inventive and diverse. It goes beyond that with the performers having great interplay in their hypnotic minimalist electroacoustic soundscapes. The electronics bring this to another level imo. This is marked as indeterminacy on RYM but idk about that. The record is gorgeous, spaceous, surprising, and goddamn just some really ****ing good **** check it out.


Sidenote: since we're on the subject of electroacoustic harps, check out this 2018 release.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:23 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Honourable Mention Number Fifteen


Group Doueh & Cheveu - Dakhla Sahara Session

Genre bending French rock trio Cheveu collaborate with Saharawi legends Group Doueh. An unlikely combination, but still one that works really well. Neither group really bends toward the other, choosing instead to trade off as the focus of the song. Excellent frilly tishoumaren guitars, hypnotic rhythm section, awesome jams, gruff French vocals, (far better) Sarahan vocals, neat synths. The product is a really fun and fresh tishoumaren (African desert blues) record with post-punk and krautrock influences that absolutely shits on Tinariwen's or Mdou Moctar's 2017 redundant releases (old stuff is still solid though). These are great songs, I don't have much else to say about the record.

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Old 07-07-2018, 10:26 AM   #108 (permalink)
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Alright, it's too hot and I'm too broke to go out today, so I'm going to finish up my honourable mentions. Your window to guess what my number one album of 2017 will be officially closes at midnight PST. There's a prize for whoever guesses correctly.

In the game:
Anteater: Jake Paul - Litmas
Occulthawk: Elliott Sharp, Mary Halvorson, Marc Ribot - Err Guitar
Mindfulness: Shabazz Palaces - Quazarz versus the Jealous Machines
Micshazam: Diamanda Galas - All the Way
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Old 07-07-2018, 11:04 AM   #109 (permalink)
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Oooh sweet!

Is it this?



(I have no clue tbh)
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:45 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Hmm, what's this in my pocket?

*epic guitar solo blasts into my face*

DAMN IT MONDO
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