Mini-Review Roundup: Ruff Majik, Art of Burning Water, Kurokuma, and more

Sept. 22, 2016


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1 The Fox See Details for The Fox

What does the fox say?  Well, this one says to smoke hella weed and listen to Black Sabbath and Jack White.  "Pretoria-based trio set off into the heart of Johannesburg's concrete jungle with a single mission at hand - to capture a pure unadulterated wall of tone and energy in an idealistically minimalist approach to recording."  Mission accomplished, lads.  Apparently this psychodelic and "sultry" EP was recorded in just 2 hours.  Pretty impressive; and it really does sound like a record from the 70's.  I can't listen to stuff like this all the time, but for Ruff Majik I'll make an exception.  That bass is just too seductive.  Turn on the blacklight, plop down in the beanbag chair, and let it play.

2 Between Life And Nowhere See Details for Between Life And Nowhere

And now to harsh your vibe entirely.  If that last band was a pot binge, Art of Burning Water is PCP.  Off of UK's SuperFi Records, "this is PhD-beat infused urban heartcore of the worst kind."  So Milo goes to college and these guys have to one-up him with a doctorate?  Demented screeched vocals compliment noisy hardcore riffs that could be at home on a Botch record.  It's not for everyone, but hell what is?  Some of the tracks like "To Be Brave" include some sorrowful melody, but eruptions of chaos are never very far away.  Oh, this one is a Name Your Price download as well.  If you dig super aggro hardcore, mathcore, or post-hardcore/emoviolence, you should pick this up.

3 Imago (CF) See Details for Imago (CF)

Man, you have no idea where I'm going on this list.  Complete 180 here once more as we trudge forwards to Italy's Chelidon Frame.  This project is full-on drone and ambient, but never boring.  Unlike some albums in the genre, this release doesn't feel like mindless meandering.  There is still a touch of traditional songwriting permeating through the mix.  Each voice sample, click, and sound is artfully placed; all with a backdrop of haunting synth music that carries a ton of emotive grip.  It sounds like the soundtrack to a bleak and isolated survival horror game.  I'm sorry to invoke the name of Silent Hill yet again, but songs like "Phase 0: The Explorer" would be the perfect compliment.  Name your price for this one as well.

4 Advorsus See Details for Advorsus

Slipping back into the world of actual metal, Kurokuma are a doom band also from the UK.  The first of these three tracks, "Lust" knocked me on my ass.  That bassline is super infectious.  It has this weird witch doctor vibe going on.  Headbob-inducing groove meets crunchy doom chord progressions and throaty death vocals.  The tribal-sounding touches continue with the stellar drumming on "Dark Triad."  I am loving the sheer heaviness of their sound just as much as their eclecticism.  Each track has a different feel with finisher "Kali" being just as violent as its namesake.  I dig the guitar solo on that one as well.  Looking forward to hearing more from these guys, but this will hold me over for a bit.

5 V.I.T.R.I.O.L See Details for V.I.T.R.I.O.L

"Pénitence Onirique is born from an ancestral and powerfull bicephalous mystical appearance."  More from the fantastic LADLO label.  These guys seem to specialize in the best and brightest atmospheric black metal.  V.I.T.R.I.O.L is the real deal.  The song below, "L'âme sur les pavés" (soul on the cobbles), is an extremly powerful and expansive eight and a half minutes of dark, melodic music that seems to herald the oncoming storm.  I can almost picture the singer decked out like Shagrath and holding the metal claw high in the middle of a tornado leveling everything around him.  But my favorite thing about the album that helps keep the tremolos alive despite repetition is the drumming.  The snare patterns and shifting beats on these tracks, especially "Le Sel," are mesmerizing.  Check it out.