CVLT Nation’s Top Ten Avant Garde Releases of 2017
TEN – LUNACY Disposition
I can feel the melodic dirge of LUNACY over me as I listen to their music on repeat and it feels AWESOME! I freaking love this band, because I always find my mind being taken over by their songs which draws me into their hazy universe. They have a new limited edition EP called Disposition that is being released by our comrades Funeral Party Records on 12/19/17 on cassette and digital from Black Verb Records in Germany (limited to 50 cassettes) and Mental Healing in the US (limited to 100 cassettes).
Disposition EP is the 4th offering from post-industrial/ambient-noise act LUNACY. This 5 song EP focuses on the themes of post-apocalyptic isolation and breaching the subconscious. The first track, and title track is the first to dive into a more repetitive and upbeat step for LUNACY– offering a hook that never seems to end. The song focuses on the darkness of the mind & society; when someone can finally let themselves go out into the light(the sun), but darkness still is completely apparent in a world that is desolate and abandoned. The theme holds true to the to the tone of the whole offering of songs.It was recorded in late spring/summer of 2017 – mixed by Connor Clasen of IXVLF and mastered by Oliver Ackerman of A Place To Bury Strangers.
NINE – JOZEF VAN WISSEM Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back
Tomorrow, one of our favorite avante-garde labels and home to Church of Ra, Consouling Sounds, is set to release the fantastical new record from Jozef van Wissem entitled Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back. He based the record around the stunning painting by Belgian artist Cindy Wright that graces its cover. Says Wissem, the album is “informed by renaissance visual art, and serves as a parallel to updated classical lute pieces,” with each song title making reference to the painting. Not only am I completely enamoured of the artwork that inspired this album, but the music itself is the perfect balance of confrontation and meditation and has me completely captivated. I recently suffered a devastating loss, and this music feels like it is reading the pain and gratitude etched on my soul. You can pre-order Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back from Counsouling Sounds right here,
EIGHT – Mróz Charnel Ground
Though different in approach than the black and death metal stylings of Vrasubatlat’s roster, Mróz continue to craft an equally primal and haunting atmosphere, at home with any of the label’s previous catalog. Charnel Ground marks a departure from the electronic based industrial sounds of Mróz’s previous split with Utzalu, instead choosing to juxtapose acoustic drums and organic performances against an inhuman backdrop of textural sounds – all the while continuing their dedication to the use of repetition and rhythm to create a meditative and cathartic listening experience. In addition, this offering marks the label’s first release to deviate from the core membership of all other involved projects, thus widening the circle of Vrasubatlat’s wretched grasp. Limited to 100.
SEVEN – DREADLORDS Reapers
Reapers is an album dripping with dark bluesy & sludgy rock with ritualistic religious undertones. Its off the wall melodies & beats get under the skin resulting in a fascinating listen. It has a very jam session feel but with a far tighter sound.
What really helps create the sludgy, swampy atmosphere are the sultry sounding vocals that dominate throughout. The slight gothic tone gels with ritualistic nature of the instruments. Many songs sound like a sermon that is being conducted deep within a swamp, a place so deep & thick even the sun doesn’t shine there.
Reapers does take a couple of songs to really get going though. Daughter of the Night is a solid opener thanks to its real bass heavy sound while the faster guitar strumming & darker melody of Black as Hell begins to gnaw away at your senses.
Pinched via gbhbl
Read the full review HERE…
SIX – WITHERING HERD Our World Shrank
FIVE – STATIQBLOOM Blue Moon Blood
Fade Kainer’s fingerprints are found in some of the most interesting experimental extreme music of the past few years. This is not just through the mighty Batillus, whose 2013 album Concrete Sustain was one of the best specimens of industrial doom has offered in recent memory. His presence in Theologian‘s ambient/noise/industrial opus Pain of the Saints and Vampillia‘s take on avantgarde music with Alchemic Heart are just instances where he has been a catalytic factor, something that also reinvigorated one of the bands he has joined lately, Tombs, and their excellent work in the All Empire Falls EP.
Despite the many projects he is part of, Kainer still has a lot of different sides to explore, and his latest vessel in this course is his solo project Statiqbloom. This is not an entirely new project, and previous releases, in the collaborative work with Zex Model, and the self-released Black Mirrors and Mask Visions Poison, give a taste of what to expect. But the case with Blue Moon Blood feels different, it being a full-length record and also coming from Translation Loss Records.
Read the full review HERE…
FOUR – PACT INFERNAL Infernality
Pact Infernal. This mysterious dark entity has been slithering through the experimental side of electronic music, projecting its dim vision with a well of inspiration. The act retains a degree of anonymity, but they were willing to allow a few questions regarding their existence and their journey through the Circles of Inferno in The Descent EPs. This could not have come at a better time, as the band is about to release its debut album, Infernality, extending their grasp on the immaterial. Jungian archetypes, mysticism and dark ambient merge, while the act details its philosophy, creative process and future plans.
Read the full interview HERE…
THREE – MEMNON SA Lemurian Dawn
I feel like I am traveling to another galaxy. I feel like nothing else matters but the music I am listening to right now. I feel like I am listening to one of the most out of this world releases of 2017, and it was created by MEMNON SA. The titled of this sonic travel machine is called Lemurian Dawn, and once you hear the first track you will realize why I can’t get enough of this outstanding record!!! We are so fucking stoked that we have been given the chance to share with you this new track from MEMNON SA entitled “Ahura Madza.” To classify this music as just doom would not be doing it justice, because it’s so much more.
TWO – GODFLESH POST SELF
“We understand the ordinary business of living, we know how to work the machine,” T.S. Eliot wrote in 1939’s “The Family Reunion.” “We are insured against fire, against larceny and illness, against defective plumbing, but not against the act of God.” Eliot’s play was a disaster, but it well illustrates the binaries written right into the name of pioneering industrial band Godflesh. Since the duo’s formation in 1988, their artistic underpinnings have encompassed human screams and assembly-line roars, hot blood and cold steel, the devil we know and the android we fear.
Multi-instrumentalist Justin Broadrick and bassist G.C. Green weren’t the first in heavy music to exploit these binaries through unbridled aggression; Killing Joke, Throbbing Gristle, and Einstürzende Neubauten are but three iconic groups that were active long before Godflesh. But in matters of sheer sonic magnitude, Godflesh’s juncture of man-made instrumentation (searing shouts, buzzsaw riffs) and artificial fury (militant drum loops, chrome-laden effects) was unprecedented upon arrival. Pinched from Pitchfork
Read the full interview HERE…
ONE – THROANE Plus Une Main A Mordre
Dehn Sora has been around some intriguing artists, from fellow French black metal extravagant acts like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord, to Norwegian chameleons Ulver. To provide artwork for music that is so uncompromising and disturbing is a daunting task, but in the process Sora has produced some masterpieces in the likes of 777 – Cosmosophy or Code‘s Augur Nox. But it looks like these transactions, between Sora and his collaborators, has been going both ways, and it is has heavily influenced his work in Throane.
Having already released a full-length, Derriere-Nous, La Lumiere, in 2016 Sora does not waste any time and already brings forth his sophomore record in Plus Une Main A Mordre. Stylistically, the work features a lot of the French black metal scene’s DNA. The riffs of “Et Ceux En Lesquels Ils Croyaient” radiate with that dissonant Deathspell Omega attitude, propelling the work into an aggressive frenzy, as is the case with the grand start of “Et Tout Finira Par Chuter.” Using the guitars as a source of texture, rather than melody, Sora reveals the whole extent of the ferocity and brutality this work contains, without turning away from more atmospheric moments. “Milles Autres,” for instance, features a more depressive facade from Throane, majestically turning the record down a different pathway in constructing a very convincing dark ambiance.
As is the case with the bands Sora has collaborated with, his take on black metal does not exist in a vacuum, and is rather open in exploring the capabilities that crossing over brings. The dark ambient touch is key in this process, bringing a meditative quality to this work, as Throane perform sonic transfigurations in encompassing the music with this otherworldly sense. The opening track features such a brilliant momentary change, dropping the extreme progression for a minimal interlude that enhances the narrative with a deep sense of unease, as if something twisted is lurking underneath the surface. In “Et Tout Finira Par Chuter” the dark ambient touch merges with an industrial outlook presenting a vision of a dystopian reality.
Read the full interview HERE…