Seems to be a technical kind of day today. Avant-garde drone, experimental black metal, grindy goodness from France, and a bit of the brutal from South Africa. Those of you who put your focus into our "musicianship" scale should be pleased with some of these picks. Others may enjoy the more innovative groups towards the end.
Lovgun is a powerviolence trio from Lyon, France featuring members of Warfuck, Michel Anoia (see below), and Belladone. This album is an absolute mess of grindy chaos that will steal the clothes off of your back and leave you wondering why it's suddenly so drafty. Riffs are less played as they are beaten into submission. I picture one man shouting into a microphone as he pounds at a kit made of both drums and guitars. The album is only a few minutes long, so I recommend you crank this on your next trip to work. Be forewarned that your coworkers may ask why you're foaming at the mouth.
More related maniacal chaos from Lyon. Michel Anoia shares members with the band above, but the sound is quite different. While the two share a penchant for dissonant violence, Plethora is slightly more orderly. The vocals trade punk barks for death metal growls, and grinding riffs for noisy, bending filth. I hear some similarities to the technical ugliness of groups like Norse and Grethor. The noodling guitar lines are like Primus meets Slayer. This album is sure to scare the straights, but if you dig all things avant-garde and mathy I am confident that you will find some respect for what this band is putting out. Both of these albums are Name Your Price, by the way.
Vulvodynia is a brutal technical death metal group from South Africa. My friend and I were just joking around about how bands that still "Bree" are soooo 10 years ago, but in all seriousness I would miss it if it was gone. The group actually has several albums for your listening pleasure, but Finis Omnium Ignorantiam is my personal favorite. While the listening experience is a tad uneven at times, when Vulvodynia are firing on all cylinders it is a wonder. The drums and guitars are unsurprisingly proficient in their respective parts, and the vocals (a mixture of brutal grunts and groove metal growls) are disgusting. A few headbanging highlights: "Superluminal Wormhole Divulgation," "The Bilderberg Extermination," "Genetically Reengineered Repugnance," "Infinite Darkness."
Boobs of Doom had no problem describing themselves as a "Doom Hop Grimmrokk duo from Scotland." That's good, because I would have been completely lost to describe this as anything but weird ambient noise. Another highlight from this email: "some damn fool said it's as if Massive Attack, Mogwai, & SUNN O))) got chucked in a blender, horsed oot the window with nary a gardyloo and the resultant post-metal trip-hop stain on the ground is what we sound like. w00t for that guy." I love these guys already. Anyways, I don't listen to much in the way of (((WHITE NOISE))), but there is definitely a higher level of finesse to these compositions than I often hear in the drone genre. The band experiments quite successfully with a number of tones from the serene to the truly strange.
Zeal and Ardor is a New York based experimental black metal project from the mind of Manuel Gagneux. The man seeks to "find new combinations of established components." And he certainly seems to be succeeding. Devil is Fine finds Zeal and Ardor establishing perhaps the most unique metal release of the year. Combining everything from old soul spirtuals to trip hop and music box; this is black metal quite unlike anything you have experienced before. The DIY vibe and writing process, as well as some of the aesthetic, remind me vaguely of Cobalt, but those guys have nothing on Z&A when it comes to creativity. Must listen this year. I hope to see this project truly grow into its own and to the top of everyone's radar.
If you've been on the site for a while, you know Umbah. This dude is just legit nuts. On his own, he has moved from creating a number of avant-garde death metal albums with traditional instruments to building and programming his own fleet of machine/robot "instruments" that put out random music he later hand picks and arranges into the chaotic audio violence you can hear right now. Dude has a TON of music for you to check out, so I suggest just heading over to his artist page. Everything is Name Your Own Price. His latest work, Surreal Frenzy is streaming below. I think it's his best yet incorporating his new writing process.