Poltergeists: Week of September 5, 2016

Michael

Oathbreaker - “Needles In Your Skin

I have definitely written about Oathbreaker before, but their new album is coming out at the end of next month and the previews from it are crazy good. This will be their 3rd full-length album and the experience and experimentation that made the last album so great have definitely settled into a great blend of calm, damning moments and intense blasts of aggression. “Needles In Your Skin” starts off with a cathartic minute of reversed strings and clean - although pained - vocals that quickly devolve into the signature intensity that Oathbreaker brings to their albums. The song structures - notably the moments of calm resignations that are allowed to go just long enough to forget about the chaotic times - and the production value are some of the qualities that really set this album apart from 2013’s Eros|Anteros.  

Oathrbeaker is a hardcore band from Belgium and their third album, Rheia, will be out September 30th on the Oathbreaker Bandcamp and directly from Deathwish Inc.

FVNERALS - “Shiver”

FVNERALS is a doom / shoegaze / ambient metal band from Glasgow that was suggested to me when I was telling someone about the new Muscle & Marrow. The instrumentation in this track is carefully slow, which is something that I think is actually hard to pull off in a way that makes the track interesting and charged with the right amount of emotion. The guitars and the vocals contrast in a very signature way. As I went back through 2015’s The Path and 2014’s The Light, I picked up a few very distinct things about FVNERALS: The tone of their songs overall is very solemn and morbid; even when the vocals are operatic and beautiful. The tracks have a weight to them. The air feels heavy in the recordings and I love it.

FVNERALS has a new album coming out on October 14th called Wounds on The Native Sound Records.

Wes

Hante. - “Living in a French Movie”

I absolutely have not been able to stop listening to this track since Michael wrote about it. There is so much to love in the construction of this song - the way it starts, with those banging toms and soft pads, the way it builds with those plucking synths and reverbing snares, every moment of this song feels so intentional and so emotional.

Right away, you can feel the melancholy of the track. This is a song that doesn’t feel like it has hope left - the narrator is calling out, wanting without hope for things to be different. Love has, without reason, been snatched away, leaving only pain. Mirroring the feeling of the song as a whole, the track is abrupt; like the narrator's love, the track is snatched away with little to no warning. It’s a beautiful song, and the way the composition ties to the content is something I don’t feel like I hear enough. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

Hante. is the solo project of Hélène de Thoury. Her latest release, No Hard Feelings, is available for pre-order on Bandcamp.

Essaie Pas - “Depassée par le fantasme”

I realized it’d been a bit since I checked in with Essaie Pas, and I have really been missing out on this release this year. Taking leads from synthwave, techno, and darkwave, Essaie Pas have a fairly unique sound. It while there are the hits of darkness in the bass progressions, and the vocals are drenched in reverb, it doesn’t exactly hew to any particular goth sort of label; instead, Essaie Pas, using string synths and tom fills familiar to any synthwave fan, build their own sound apart. This track in particular pulls nicely from a kind of minimal techno sort of feel. It builds slowly, morphing gently over the course of the song with just touches of vocals. The subtlety of the changes doesn’t mean this won’t get you moving though. It builds to a real drive by the middle of the songs, and that drive holds on for most of the track (with a bit of a breakdown to give it breathing room).

Essaie Pas are a minimal synth duo from Montréal, Québec. Their latest release, Demain est une autre nuit, is available on Bandcamp through DFA Records.

Poltergeists: Week of March 21, 2016

Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.

Michael

The Opposer Divine - “Reverse”

The Opposer Divine is one of the members of Terminal State breaking out on a really great path. “Reverse” is a well balanced and diverse track that combines a lot of industrial stylings to make a comfortably familiar sound. I like that there are a lot of high strings and pads on top of a slow and distorted rhythm section. This project reminds me of the first few Necro Facility albums, especially The Black Paintings, with a little bit of GASR in the song structure.

(I have to note that this is a Vlad McNeally find and I stole it from him with no shame!)

Candle Nine - “I Sing The Body Electric”

Candle Nine is a project that I follow very closely. There is something about the atmosphere in his songs that appeals to me. Both Shadow & Substance is the newest release from Candle Nine and is described as “a living release: demos, outtakes, and more,” and if these are demos and outtakes, I am clearly not working hard enough on my own demos! “I Sing The Body Electric” is a dark track. It is slow and minimally glitchy. I love that the drum dynamics change very slightly throughout the song. In some moments they are soft and barely pushing the song along and in other moments they are rough and break the atmosphere into fluid new riff. 

Wes

Public Memory - “Ringleader”

This is an interesting track. When it first hit, I felt like it had sort of a witchy sound to it; big distorted saws and heavy drums are the first things you hear. Then, it starts to turn away from that initial impression. You get this little mix of piano riffs, which sounds a little random while not sounding too discordant. The vocals also kind of pulled me away from my initial impression as well; the way they’re delivered almost feels a little bluesy, were it not for the huge reverb sitting on top of it. The tambourine, the piano riffs, the little guitar riffs, all these sounds pull away from that initial impression, but they never fully destroy it. The heavy saws are always there, and the weight of the drums keeps up front to back. It’s a great little mix of influences, and I heavily recommend it.

Essaie Pas - “Danse Sociale”

While Public Memory’s track felt great for its breadth of influence, Essaie Pas’ “Danse Sociale” is wonderful for its focus. You know what you’re in for right from the first bass line. This EBM inspired track pounds away with a constant bassline and heavy drums, interrupted for some dissonant, off-tuned synth attacks that, while not as heavy as the bulk of the song, keep the song’s aggression flowing forward. Hits of toms, cowbells and claps complement the pounding kick and bass combo, creating a very danceable track that is constantly evolving, never leaving you bored. If you’ve liked Schwefelgelb, definitely check this out