updates
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2015-04-25

Happy Friday or Saturday folks! In this week's special update we have the first bit of writing from our newest resident audionaut, A. E. Fraser. Coming to us from the great state of Virginia in these United States, she brings with her a specialized focus on the loud, theatrical and weird in the Japanese extreme music scene, a perspective that will add a whole new (and I believe informative) dimension to this site. Please enjoy her probing introductory review of Japanese gothic stalwarts Moi dix Mois' fourth album, Dixanadu.


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2015-04-11

In this update, David Sano discusses at length Vallendusk's eponymous 2012 debut EP,a release that further advances Indonesia's position as a major player in the global metal scene with an elegant, bright, all-enveloping sound. At a glance, their music may suggest an affinity for other atmospheric bands like Alcest, Lantlos or Deafheaven, but Vallendusk draws on personal and local cultural influences to create something that is all theirs, and theirs alone. Read David's review here:


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2015-04-02

Hola amigo/as, in this update AGM veteran Lefteris offers an intriguing take on The Love Album - Volume I, As Light Dies' latest collection of bleak experimental metal. This Spanish band has added more melody, finesse and direct emotion, but still packs a punch, taking the listener on a convoluted psychological journey down the corridors of the aching heart called love. Check out the review here:


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2015-03-30

If you're in the mood for something a little out of the ordinary, a little more cinematic than usual, Italy's Thee Maldoror Kollective have spent the last decade or so wandering down a path much more colorful and exploratory than the black metal road they started on, but no less bleak, eccentric or oddly atmospheric. I have reviewed their latest album, Knownothingism, for your pleasure. Enjoy the sensory overload!


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2015-03-25

Please enjoy another short but sweet update, this one a review of SubRosa's mighty 2013 album, More Constant Than the Gods. With only six songs, it represents a gloomy milestone in the world of sludgy doom, offering more mammoth riffs, dissonant violins and intoxicating melodies than you can shake a gem-encrusted staff at.


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2015-03-13

We have but one update for you this week, but it's a review of the latest album by one of the classic bands that helped define what this website is all about. After years of Icelandic odysseys and Nordic explorations, art metal legends Solefald have returned to the wild frontiers of globalized extreme metal with one hell of a wild and entertaining ride: World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud. Those hoping for Neonism Part Deux may be disappointed, but why waste tears when World Metal is so fresh, original and remarkably good?

I give you my very own review here:


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2015-02-28

Greeting loyal readers and general web denizens, for today's update we're taking off into a more spacious ethereal sphere, somewhere in the hazy layer between Terra firma and the vacuum of space, with a brand spanking new effort by Dutch ambient occult artists URFAUST, and SÓLSTAFIR's latest expansive rock epic, Ótta.

Read Lefteris's review of URFAUST's sometimes catchy but mostly eerie Apparitions.



After you've had your fill of sinister, cavernous vibes, you can read my glowing review of Ótta, 2014's best atmospheric hard rock release.



Now a little something to bring you back down to beautiful Earth.

http://youtu.be/3m3qOD-hhrQ

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2015-02-21

For this update, we have two fascinating, atmospheric U.S. projects. One band explores the melodic and percussive potential of the hammered dulcimer in a black metal context, while the other tugs hip hop beats down the darker, more mysterious corridors of ambient and noise music.

I review the latest Botanist record, an album that pushes out the boundaries of metal instrumentation, creating a bright, resonant atmosphere without relying on gimmickry or pleasant guitar hooks.



David Sano reviews 3:33's Bicameral Brain, a double album of dreamy and nightmarish instrumental hip hop that offers violent noise, blissful drifting, occult intonations, strange interludes and bad vibes, sometimes anchored to powerful beats.


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2015-02-03

Welcome to the first official update of the year. Soon we will unveil the results of our 2014 readers' poll, but right now let's dive into our first offerings of 2015. Jackson has continued his arcane exploration of the feminine divine with this review of the latest EP from Iceland's Svartidauđi with a piece of writing that is nearly as atmospheric and esoteric as the music itself.



And now for something completely different: resident cosmonaut David Sano delivers his report on PSUDOKU's latest, "Planetarisk Sudoku." Summary: Still loopy and dense, but not as frenetic or crazed as the spaz-jazz of "Space Grind." Conclusion: Awesome.


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2014-11-29

Today on Avant-garde Metal we have polar opposites of U.S. metal. Taking up magnetic north, we have Kayo Dot's wildly ambitious "Hubardo," their 2013 return to the phantasmagorical metal experimentation that defined their Maudlin of the Well years. On the other side of the musical magnetosphere we have Young And In The Way's vicious, stripped down, blood-encrusted stab of pure blackened crust metal, "When Life Comes to Death."

While the former provides strange and beautiful sounds you've probably never heard before, the latter serves up raw and bruising sounds on the platter of tradition with a smattering of left-field atmospheric moments to throw the inattentive listener off their game. Here at the end of 2014, metal seems to encompass a whole musical world, and one wonders whether or not it even constitutes a genre anymore. Does it actually matter? Probably not. Just listen, and enjoy the sweet sound in your ears.

David Sano reviewed this:




David Alexander-Wassermann reviewed that:


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