Unreqvited - “Disquiet”
Unreqvited came highly recommended by the folks over at Moonbath, and with great reason. Their sounds are very similar, but in this case that was exactly what I was looking for from a new post-black metal project. The one-person projects that are coming out of the post-black metal world right now are truly some of the most emotionally driven and well-crafted ventures that I have heard in a long time. Unreqvited does a great job of keeping you captivated by the emotion of the track - going from calm orchestral interludes to concise and wonderfully layered blast beats. This audio is wonderfully mixed and produced. I could see this easily being over-polished and refined, but I don’t think that it would hold the same tones - they play on the vocals, the way the violin comes in for a moment and then is gone, or even the way the drums hang in the background as if off in the distance (but not too much). It is a wonderful piece of music.
Unreqvited’s full-length album Disquiet is out now on Pest Productions. The album artwork and packaging are really great. I would definitely suggest taking a look at the 6-panel Digipak that is up now on their Bandcamp.
Dead When I Found Her - “Tantrum”
The new Dead When I Found Her album, which will be out one year after All The Way Down, is going to be a great force to be reckoned with. “Tantrum” takes the most intense elements from tracks like “Spitting Seeds” (from the All The Way Down’s bonus disk The Bottom) and turns them up as far as they go. The vocals are different, the music is more intense, and the production is as clean as ever. Michael Holloway has a good sense of that classic industrial furiosity - the grueling basslines and utterly maniacal way the vocals push through the distorted atmosphere - and this album will be a great look into that hole that early 90s industrial left behind. Most of all though, I am really impressed with how diverse this project has become. Dead When I Found Her has gone from really well constructed, classically influenced industrial dance music, to drawn out emotional masterpieces, to this new and intense void that was left after the release of All The Way Down.
Dead When I Found Her’s 4th full-length album, Eyes On Backwards, will be out on November 4th on Artoffact Records (and for the first time on vinyl!).
Austra - “Forgive Me”
I’ve been listening to the track, and the album it’s from, pretty non-stop since I first came across it a couple weeks ago. It is a fantastic mix of fun and sorrowful. The bass line feels a little disco; the tone of the instrument is bright and deep, and plucks in setting a nice rhythm, complimenting a nice peppy drum beat. In contrast to this brighter elements, a slow pad takes up much of the space in the back of the track, adding a sense of sadness. This is accentuated by the vocal delivery; Katie Stelmanis’ voice vibrates and strains as she sings. It is a wonderfully emotional track, and the contrast between the happier sounding rhythm and more sorrowful melodies elevate it
Austra is the electronic project of Katie Stelmanis from Toronto, Ontario. Their most recent album, Future Politics, will be available January 20, 2017.
Alcest - “Je Suis D'ailleurs”
I’m kind of shocked that I hadn’t heard Alcest until very recently, because this band is directly up my alley. Pulling inspiration from post-rock and black metal, the sounds of “Je Suis D’ailleurs” are huge. The band shifts from big, reverb-soaked vocals and washes of slow moving guitars, building huge amounts of atmosphere, to sparse moments, to fast moving beats and tremolo picking to match. As you should expect from black metal, the changes of the music feel like actual movements, independent but expertly tied together through transitory moments. You could easily listen to the track over and over (as I have) without ever feeling like a moment is boring or out of place.
Alcest is the original blackgaze band. Their newest album, Kodama, is available on Bandcamp.