At the initial listen, I was intrigued by the sound of Pakistan based Realm Unseen’s ‘The Origin’– with its phone call start and to be startled by the following track and its start. It works as a concept, as the intro plays it so that the startling is one that can be seemingly justified.
It’s not often that one comes across some progressive black metal. While the progressive term often finds itself attached to genres like death metal, heavy metal, power metal etc, black metal is usually prefixed with terms like avant-garde and experimental. While one might argue that progressive black metal does exist in stuff like the later Emperor records, the early Ihsahn albums and the early albums of bands like Deathspell Omega, these albums are never credited as progressive black metal. It is understandable as progressive metal and black metal are polar opposites in terms of their themes and execution. While progressive metal relies on complex structuring and technical playing, black metal emphasises on nihilism which is reflected in the music and production aspects as well. Glasgow based Maelstrom attempt to combine these two on their latest full length ‘Sunlight’, leading to some interesting results
Judging by the name, Alien Syndrome 777, I expected it to be a musical equivalent to a campy sci-fi movie like ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space’. But the band’s debut full length titled ‘Outer’, is a much more sinister affair that manages to invoke the strange atmosphere somewhat akin to the one experienced on starship Nostromo with a Xenomorph on the loose. Based out of Italy, France and Spain, Alien Syndrome 777 have a very weird take on black metal with a lot of avant-garde and industrial elements that make their album feel like an engaging experience in outer space.
Chances are you have probably never heard of Tetragrammacide. But what do I know? Maybe you are well invested in the underground Indian black metal scene. Anyway, that’s not the point. Released through Iron Bonehead Productions, Tetragrammacides debut is called ‘Typhonian Wormholes: Indecipherable Antistructural Formulae’. Get it? Of course you do.
When promotional blurbs claim a band to be “extreme metal”, the sound usually draws influence from a variety of metal sub-genres, making it hard to nail them under one category. This was my expectation going into Otargos’s sixth full length, ‘Xeno Kaos’. However, in the case of these Frenchmen, the sound is actually a straight forward mix of black metal and death metal, leaning a bit more towards the death metal side when compared to the band’s previous releases. At a time when I’m growing tired of the entire war metal scene, Otargos come as a respite with their sharp riffs and industrial undercurrents.