Monthly Archives: December 2012

Starkey – Orbits (2012)

starkey-orbits

Tracklist:
1. Renegade Starship
2. Command
3. G V Star (Part 1)
4. G V Star (Part 2)
5. Thugs
6. Lzr
7. Synchronize
8. Dystopia
9. …and then God built the Cosmos
10. Crashing Sphere
11. The Shuttle
12. Magnet
13. Distant Star

First, I have to admit that I’m not overly acquainted with electronic music apart from genres like Ambient or Vocal Trance (well, those days of childhood…). I became aware of Starkey when strolling about on several music blogs, finding both cover and description quite appealing. Of course I didn’t know what to expect – which can be quite refreshing, because in my opinion expectations often blur the listening experience – so it struck me rather by surprise when hearing the first tunes. Starkey manages to blend harsh drum/bass patterns with melodic and incredibly catchy, freaked out melodies in a really satisfying way. It’s an overall very good release, but ‘Command’ and ‘…and then God built the Cosmos’ really stand out. Well, because I lack the fitting terms to describe this kind of music… listen to Orbits by Starkey since it is an unlikely entertaining musical release.

USA, 2012
Dubstep, Grime
Website || Listen

4.25/5.0

Khoma – A Final Storm (2010)

dfa1051fd45755bcf4348b36903

Tracklist:
1. Army of One
2. From the Hands of Sinners
3. Harvest
4. Osiris
5. A Final Storm
6. Inquisition
7. The Tide
8. All Like Serpents
9. In It For Fighting
10. By the Gallows
11. Mist

Hailing from Umeå, Sweden (birthtown to lots of talented bands such as Cult of Luna or Meshuggah) it seems somehow predestined that the guys of Khoma also create some very intense and beautiful music. And you won’t be disappointed when listening to their 2010’s release A Final Storm. Immediately after the first track kicks in, you can sense a very strong instrumental influence of Cult of Luna. Sludgy, memorizable riffs combined with progressive and propulsive drum patterns build the musical fundament. But then it’s these incredible, expressive and sometimes haunting clean vocals that really make the difference and shift the impression from ‘Oh, a mediocre Cult of Luna ripoff’ to ‘God damn, that’s some serious stuff.’ I would love to recommend you a specific track on this album but alas, I can’t. It’s just too amazing overall. If you enjoy music in the vein of Cult of Luna, Callisto or Junius (the symbiosis of heavy and dreamy, ‘poppy’ parts so to say) then you should definitely listen to Khoma. No excuses.

Sweden, 2010
Atmospheric Post-Rock
Website || Listen

4.75/5.0

Lunar Aurora – Hoagascht (2012)

Hoagascht

Tracklist:
1. Im Gartn
2. Nachteule
3. Sterna
4. Beagliachda
5. Håbergoaß
6. Wedaleichtn
7. Geisterwoid
8. Reng

Lunar Aurora has been one of the first black metal bands I seriously listened to. 2007’s ‘Andacht’ opened my mind to this obscure genre (at that time I used to make fun of it a lot) and paved the way to let it become one of my favorite music genres of all time. So you can probably imagine how much I connected to them and how stoked I was when I heard about the release of their newest effort ‘Hoagascht’. Completely written in the upper bavarian dialect it’s a quite unique album with such an intense and haunting atmosphere (yeah, you probably noticed that for me, music’s all about the atmosphere). I won’t bother describing how almost every song (apart from Håbergoaß; I don’t know why, but I just can’t remember it) is able to let me immerse into the Bavarian Woods and makes me feel deeply enthralled. The music itself relinquishes complex song structures but its this simplicity combined with the superb use of the keyboards that creates an almost trancelike mood you can sink yourself into. I recommend this album to everyone who has even the slightest interest in black metal or metal in general. Personal favorites: ‘Sterna’, ‘Beagliachda’, ‘Geisterwoid’ and ‘Reng’.

Germany, 2012
Atmospheric Black Metal
Website || Listen

5.0/5.0

Exitmusic – Passage (2012)

Passage

Tracklist:
1. Passage
2. The Night
3. The City
4. White Noise
5. Storms
6. The Wanting
7. Stars
8. The Modern Age
9. The Cold
10. Sparks of Light

Thanks to glorious Spotify I’m discovering a whole bunch of fantastic music recently. Especially in combination with the Last.fm-App and its recommendations I’m listening to a shitload of new stuff. Exitmusic was one of the discoveries I made through using Spotify. And damn, what an immense discovery that is. Aleksa tends to have the most emotional voice I have ever heard in that style of music. This is pure bliss. Words cannot describe how much her vocals touch my innermost feelings. I just love it. The mood on Exitmusic’s debut reaches from melancholic eeriness to some parts, where the light seems to break through an almost irrevocably overcast sky. Meh, I’m degressing here. ‘Passage’, ‘The Night’, ‘White Noise’ and ‘The Modern Age’ are my favorite songs on this almost perfect release. The only criticism I can offer is that the other tracks aren’t as catchy and lack the vibe of the aforementioned.

USA, 2012
Dreampop, Shoegaze
Website || Listen

4.5/5.0

Forest of Shadows – Six Waves of Woe (2008)

Forest Of Shadows 2008 Six Waves Of Woe

Tracklist:
1. Submission
2. Selfdestructive
3. Detached
4. Moments in Solitude
5. Pernicious
6. Deprived

I had known Forest of Shadows for a long time but it’s only until now that I’ve discovered their brilliance in creating utterly emotional music. It’s been quite a few months, almost years, that I haven’t listened to the entire genre of Doom/Death Metal but somehow I stumbled upon Forest of Shadows whilst skimming my music library. And boy, am I glad that happened. They are able to create such an intense atmosphere of despair and longing without sounding pathetic at all. Especially the clean vocals do the trick for me. At some points they heavily remind me of Katatonia which is no bad thing at all. I can’t really distinguish a particular track as being the best of the whole album because it’s an incredible piece of music altogether. So make sure to check this one out – plus their EP ‘Where Dreams Turn to Dust’.

Sweden, 2008
Atmospheric Doom/Death Metal
Website || Listen

4.5/5.0

Barn Owl – Lost in the Glare (2011)

barn_jpg_300x300_crop-smart_q85

Tracklist:
1. Pale Star
2. Turiya
3. Devotion I
4. The Darkest Night Since 1683
5. Temple of the Winds
6. Midnight Tide
7. Light Echoes
8. Devotion II

I must admit that I’ve actually never heard of Barn Owl until a good friend of mine (Drakemirow) pointed out that they have released a new album. You must know that the whole genre of drone is a rather difficult one for me because there are many, many bands that I virtually don’t like but at the same time I came across the most breathtaking and tripping music I’ve ever listened to. Barn Owl is one of these artists that literally take me to other places when I’m losing myself in their sounds. I can’t figure out what exactly arouses these feelings. It has to be the sheer otherworldly composition and the almost perfect dynamics of dreamy interludes with folkish influences. Well, if there is anything left to say… this album is a masterpiece.

USA, 2011
Drone, Ambient, Psychedelic
Website/Listen

4.75/5.0

Burzum – From the Depths of Darkness (2011)

2011_from_the_depths_of_darkness

Tracklist:
1. The Coming (Introduction)
2. Feeble Screams From Forests Unknown
3. Sassu Wunnu (Introduction)
4. Ea, Lord of the Depths
5. Spell of Destruction
6. A Lost Forgotten Sad Spirit
7. My Journey to the Stars
8. Call of the Siren (Introduction)
9. Key to the Gate
10. Turn the Sign of the Microcosm (Snu Mikrokosmos’ Tegn)
11. Channeling the Power of Minds into a new God

No need to introduce Burzum, so let’s get straight to my thoughts about ‘From the Depths of Darkness’, a compilation of re-recordings of some older stuff from ‘Burzum’ and ‘Det Som Engang Var’. This release had quite an impact on me because I hadn’t cherished Varg’s solo outputs that much as yet (apart from ‘Hvis Lyset Tvar Oss’). However, after listening to his newest effort it kinda struck me that this man has some huge talent as a musician. I didn’t remember that his older releases were that entertaining and atmospheric at the same time. Comparing the re-recordings to the original tracks it’s rather easy to say that the rawness (especially of the vocals) of the original versions makes them a lot better than the new ones with their more clean, at some parts even ridiculously happy (‘My Journey to the Stars’) sound. But ‘From the Depths of Darkness’ is no bad release at all. I admit, for ingrained Burzum fans it could be a (huge?) disappointment. On the contrary, ‘I-don’t-really-have-a-clue-about-Burzum-but-I’m-talking-about-it-nonetheless’-people as me gain the oppurtunity to fully discover Varg’s musical potential.

Norway, 2011
Black Metal
Website

3.0/5.0