It’s nice when I get to tell one group of friends about another. When I was young, my brother and many of our mates would go to what we knew then to be “industrial dance clubs.” These were fun times, but the music was what I remember most. Stark, brutal, with quasi-militaristic beats, perfect for stomping up a floor with your heavy boots. My old friend Ryant Takai has continued mining in this field, and his latest project, Pyroclastic, continues on that nasty, thudding, beat-heavy tradition. As someone who was working with electronic body music during the late 1980s, it is fair to say that he has been continuing hitting that perfect beat for the past 30 years. If anyone can go 30 more, he can.
Syrenomelia offer a slow, relaxed metal out of Belgium. I generally enjoy low, non-melodic voices, and Wim Lankriet, who composed these two tracks, does a fine job maintaining the gothic rock flame.
Focused, raw Apocalyptic Folk from Roses Never Fade, a band who carries the spirit of acts like American Neofolk legends such as Changes and good British psychedelic folk music like Comus.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Apocalyptic Folk/Neofolk genre (or Wyrd Music, or whatever it’s called today). Most of the bands sound the same, usually rip off the old masters of the genre like Death In June, Blood Axis or Allerseelen. The music is nice, but not terribly interesting or something I’d come back to for repeated listening.
The first five minutes of the release feel a bit like the scene in the Andrei Tarkovsky, when the pilot flies into Solaris. Hazy, crunchy, like driving right into a cloud. Reminiscent of early Industrial soundtracks and Pink Floyd at their most esoteric. Once things become musical, things become very interesting.
Though it may not have been a conscious act, the band sound like they are channeling The Swans/World of Skin/M. Gira, and mixing it with more progressive folk like the legendary Comus. That was what immediately came to mind. Sure, there are also a few vocal styling which remind me of Douglas Peace in his youth, but the material flows nicely, and by about the 7th minute, I feel like I’m hearing elements of The Byrds in their psychedelic country phase.