Friday, 16 December 2016

Break out the celebratory beer - Not only is this my fifth 'best of' list it's also my 100th post !!

Easily the best year for new releases since I started doing this blog, so here are the top ten (in alphabetical order as always):
  • Alcest - Kodama
  • Blueneck - The Outpost
  • Cult of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner
  • Goatspsalm - Downstream
  • Marillion - Fuck Everyone And Run
  • Myrkur - Mausoleum
  • New Model Army - Winter
  • Secrets for September - Insert Title Ear
  • Shovels & Rope - Little Seeds
  • Ulver - Atgclvlsscap

Special mention should also go to Tusks and Placebo for some excellent EP's and Public Service Broadcasting for their Live at Brixton set which is one of the best concert footage DVD's I've seen in a long time 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Blueneck have released The Outpost and another fine slab of post rock misery it is too....

The opening track is has to be one of the best songs of the year. From Beyond is built around the rhythm of a ticking clock and for a while it looks like being the most electronic orientated song they've done but the guitar crescendo at 5 minutes in is enormous. It has all the fury of modern day Killing Joke and is an amazing opening number.

Ghosts then quietens down the noise and takes you deep into familiar Blueneck territory with some gorgeous melody and piano but that is possibly the downfall of the album

Swathes of keyboards permeate Hive and the vocals are higher in the mix (I can actually hear lyrics!) but there is no sense of progression or doing something new apart from the opening track.

It's a good Blueneck album but lacks the wow factor you got when first hearing the earlier albums Fallen Host or King Nine

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

December already and still two more reviews of fantastic late releases to do.....

First up it Alcest with their new album called Kodama. It's really impossible to review an Alcest album as they sound like nothing else - a heady mix of post rock, prog, shoegazing, black metal and whatever else you want to throw in

Where this differs slightly from the previous release Shelter is they've rediscovered their black metal roots and woven them back into the sound, something that Shelter lacked. Examples are the screaming vocals on the second track Eclosion which are a bit of shock after it starts like a beefed up Coldplay style chart anthem and the drumming in the central part of Oiseaux de proie is as brutal as any white faced church burning Scandinavian can manage

The vocals still seem to convey some idea of hope and belief though as they are still in French the subject matter may not be that cheerful but it's that glorious indescribable musical noise they make which is heart of the appeal

This release ranks up there with their masterpiece of Les voyages de l'âme from 2012 and is surely one of the albums of the year