After some serious consideration, I’ve decided that the sounds featured on I Klatus’ Targeted (Dead Sage) would totally make sense in a David Lynch film. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a compliment of the highest regard. Lynch made his bones in the film industry by following his own non-linear muse and at many times incorporating rad sounds into his work (see the Lost Highway soundtrack). I Klatus doesn’t mind taking some strange left turns and certainly isn’t interested in traditional songcraft.
One of the many, many joys of Shoegaze is the innate versatility and layered, meticulous precision artists possess, which in turn rewards the listener with songs that probably should instead be referred to as scores. Continue reading
Indigo Raven – Looking For Transcendence
Indigo Raven plays a style of Doom/Post Metal rooted in Chelsea Wolfe’s heaviest excursions, contrasting atmospherically monolithic guitar chugs and slow burn rhythms with ethereal vocals and occasional electronics. Those vocals in particular help the French trio stand out, putting on a passionately bluesy performance that differs from the more vulnerable approach of peers like Frayle and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard.
One thing became crystal clear very quickly after listening to MØL’s most recent effort, Diorama: this band can do it all. They’ve devised eight elegant tracks to prove just that, frankly leaving fans wanting more. Listed as “Post-Black Metal/Shoegaze” on the Metal Archives, these Danes dabble in Progressive Rock, Black Metal, Melodic Death Metal and even a snippet of Pop Punk. Another appealing aspect of MØL’s Nuclear Blast debut is the apparent influences vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf takes from fellow Scandinavians Dark Tranquillity and Omnium Gatherum. There is even a whiff of Parkway Drive.
Blackwater Holylight – Silence/Motion
With Blackwater Holylight’s unique brand of Doomgaze getting gradually heavier with each passing album, it makes sense that their third full-length, Silence/Motion (RidingEasy Records), pushes that heaviness to its furthest extents yet.
It’s near midnight and I’m driving down New Hampshire Route 111. I’m not headed anywhere of importance and have no real sense of urgency. Not another vehicle for miles and the sole sources of light are the moon and the occasional lonely lamppost. The accompaniment for this very calming dark drive is Deafheaven’s latest, Infinite Granite (Sargent House). May seem a bit moody or even scary to others, but this drive and soundtrack make for a wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here moment for me.
Industrial Post-Metal Duo Wreck and Reference has released a new post-Shoegaze cover of Deftones’ hit song, “Change (In the House of Flies).” The track comes off of the upcoming exclusive vinyl compilation from The Flenser, Send The Pain Below, which is a gang of Nu-Metal and 1990s metal covers by cool bands. The comp is only available on vinyl to subscribers of their Series Three membership club, and you sign up for a membership below, or buy the track from W & R!
Kris Esfandiari has released many different styles of music under many different monikers. There is Miserable, a solo, Shoegaze project of Esfandiari. Then, there’s NGHTCRWLR, an Experimental, Noise, Industrial outfit. With each project more different than the last, Esfandiari is a versatile and inventive vocalist gifted at making transgressive music. On Celestial Blues (Relapse Records), Esfandiari returns as King Woman. Following up 2017’s Created in the Image of Suffering, the sophomore album from King Woman is a shocking release that is like horror.
At first, Jakethehawk’s second album closely adheres to the relentless wave of Stoner Doom. But while Hinterlands (Ripple Music) is rife with the heavy riffs and spaced-out psychedelia typical in the genre, it reveals a deep pool of influences that include Prog Rock, Shoegaze, Alternative, Folk, and a bit of Southern Rock among other tastes. The results are similar to the eclectic blend seen on Fostermother’s 2020 debut, though with a dramatic scope more in line with the likes of Howling Giant or Sergeant Thunderhoof.
Who decided to file Portrayal of Guilt under Screamo? Where should we file them? I don’t know, that’s for folks who spend their time and energy in the endless heavy music genre debates and on websites like Encyclopaedia Metallum to decide. You know, the type of people that will insist that Annihilator isn’t a Thrash band as they really fall under Speed Metal. They are truly doing the Lord’s work. But to slap the screamo tag on Portrayal of Guilt, particularly on We Are Always Alone (Closed Casket Activities) seems a bit simplistic.