Finnish folk- and cinema-metal band Finntroll resembles nothing so much as rejects from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth by way of the local steampunk convention. All floppy ears, goggles, and horns, the band has six albums of dark, cartoonish metal featuring accordions, brass, and more.
At a time when the definition of “heavy” music seems to get narrower and narrower, LA quartet Intronaut continues to push forward, continually redefining its own sound and challenging genre conventions. One could call it “post-rock” or “prog/fusion metal,” but labels only serve to limit its sound.
Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.
“Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams”
Silencing Machine, Nachtmystium’s sixth full-length album, re-embraces the traditional Norwegian black-metal sound of its early efforts. The band’s first recordings were Darkthrone covers at heart, but by the time of Instinct: Decay in 2006, it had traded minimalism for riff salads and more textured songs. The Black Meddle series, consisting of Assassins (2008) and Addicts (2010), was purposefully experimental, drawing comparisons to Pink Floyd and Ministry.
Now Nachtmystium takes the lessons learned from experimentation and applies them to the conventional black-metal language of moveable minor chords and tremolo picking.