Mini-Review Roundup: Lament Cityscape, ROSK, Siegelord, Suzaku Avenue

June 22, 2016


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Once passed over sludge, progressive post-metal, synth-driven blackened melodeath, and experimental hardcore are all in your care package today.  It's like your own personal metal Loot Crate.  Hm, that sounds like an awesome idea...

1 The Torn See Details for The Torn

From Oakland, California comes sludge metal band, Lament Cityscape.  I actually let this one pass me by in 2015, but like I always say; if you haven't heard it yet, it still counts as new.  The band creates an expansive sound that provides a great sense of space and dystopian aesthetic.  It's moody, dark, and a little gritty.  Aided by insurmountable walls of feedback and distortion, much of the ideas are conveyed through the drums and guitars alone; which makes the imagery all that more impressive.  One might call this instrumental music, but the trained ear can pick out some distant howling vocals at key points.  These vox are a bit creepy and disarming, and their sparing use is extremely effective in adding to the overall atmosphere.  

2 Demo EP See Details for Demo EP

ROSK is post metal and sludge band from Warsaw, Poland.  This 3 song EP plays out more or less as one long composition, though each part has a distinct feel to it.  I was already appreciative of the more extreme note on which the album opens, getting quite dark and heavy after the intro; but it was when the clean vocals kicked in on the second track that I really turned my head.  These carry a lot of emotional weight with their minimalist, post-hardcore vibe and somewhat hypnotic cadence.  The musicianship maintains a slower pace with focus on picking and reverb to build atmosphere; and when joined with both harsh snarls and clean singing the end result has its own signature sound within the usual ideas of the genre.

3 Ascent of the Fallen See Details for Ascent of the Fallen

Siegelord is a band from Cincinnati, Ohio.  Their style is a mixture of melodic death and black metal with some symphonic parts as well.  As the band puts it, their new album, Ascent of the Fallen, "tells a dark fantasy story set in a world of our own creation and our onstage personas each represent a character within the story."  Musically, the band is the well-balanced offspring of Dissection and Dark Tranquillity...with Amon Amarth as the uncle who shows up drunk for the holidays. Headbang-inducing riffs and excellent drumming with the backing of lovely synth work make this a must-listen.  Lots of epic tracks here, but I might recommend starting with "Gatebreaker" or "As Vultures We Come."

4 Interiors (SA) See Details for Interiors (SA)

I'll listen to pretty much anything out of Dublin, Ireland.  From punk rock to black metal, these guys have it nailed down.  That having been said, I'm not sure I have ever listened to a Dublin hardcore band.  Despite the genre shift, Suzaku Avenue continues to show the same level of innovation I find in other albums from the region.  This is not your typical, full speed ahead hardcore.  There is an oddball quality to the music, mixing aspects of 90's post-hardcore with more avantgarde songwriting choices.  It's 25 minutes of music that will leave you feeling breathless, disoriented, and perhaps a little bit violated.  Interior's take on composition is the equivalent of being a 2 year old violently smashing Duplo blocks against eachother until they finally snap into a good way.