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.
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This, the seventh full-length from Maryland’s Dying Fetus, has the distinction of being the death-metal outfit’s first album to have the same lineup as its predecessor since its debut, Purification Through Violence, was released in 1996. Despite the many member shifts, however, Dying Fetus’ style hasn’t changed much. The band’s signature mixture of technicality, speed, and groove has spawned countless imitators and definitely helped — for better or worse — the invention of metalcore.
As Harvestman, Neurosis guitarist Steve Von Till channels Germanic and Celtic folklore with themes of psychedelia and electronica to accentuate meditation, spirituality, and trance states through music.
A largely forgotten mid-’90s band that was always ahead of its time, Seefeel has released its first album in 14 years. The self-titled record feels like a debut, and it is to a certain extent, considering the band’s lineup changes. Seefeel explores the territory of electronic outfits such Battles and Emeralds, bands that were influenced by Seefeel’s 1993 debut Quique. It feels like some sort of weird déjà vu. If anything, it’s an impressive rebirth, one that has the group deconstructing the sample-based post-rock style it pioneered before MIDI sequencers were even looked at as viable forms of instruments.
Formed in 1992 in London, Seefeel’s music was once stylistically situated between shoegaze pop and what people were calling “ambient techno.” It had a smooth nonchalance to its music, with ambient electro-pop symphonies strung together by Sarah Peacock‘s sparse, dream-like vocals.
Noise pop is perhaps the best way to describe its music retrospectively — or IDM before IDM was IDM. Though we must not forget those higher on the electronic family tree (Kraftwerk comes to mind), Seefeel’s importance to the scene lies in fending off the “dance” label. What’s more, as the first “guitar” band signed to Warp in 1994, its use of live instruments also speaks to its groundbreaking artistry.
Trans Am has explored all decades of rock, funk, and dance while continuously searching for new and interesting sounds. But the band has reached a pinnacle with the release of Thing, a dark concept album that channels John Carpenter vibes through the band’s trademark style.