Postdrome – Steam (BLWBCK)
Killer droner Postdrome (aka Charlie Floyd) hits hard with this new full length, taking you to dark & gorgeous places, this is some impeccable shit with smoothed out angel choir bliss, hushed sonar reverb, scratchy digital glitch, deep resonant thrum, and blastin rowdy as fuck feedback sounding like the earth is crumbling under your feet as you stand on top of a cliffside, tidal waves crashing below, minimally layered tones that ebb & flow with human emotion, delicately textured with the utmost precision, a heavenly euphoric weave of sonic perfection that is the essence of bittersweet. Huge sounds, mini sounds, a veritable buffet of all the finest drones money can buy, this is beauty incarnate. Floyd has given us his best, and his best is the fucking BEST.
For a variety of terrible reasons, I have a hard time writing about records that didn’t get submitted to me for review. That means I come across tons of incredible shit that I don’t make time for on AGB. A lot of the records in this mid-year roundup fall into that category. Regardless of how I found out about them, all of these are 100% awesome and I’ve been playing the fuck out of each and every one of them.
Also, I have a totally bullshit & ever-shifting line that I try not to cross when writing about records that wobbles between how popular the album/band/label is and how much I love the record. This list is made up of stuff I probably would’ve reviewed if I had the time, but there’s a lot I’ve been jamming hard that was “too big” in my eyes for AGB, lots of high profile metal like Deafheaven, Altar Of Plagues, Inter Arma, The Body, etc, and then there’s stuff like William Tyler’s super bitchin Impossible Truth, which, if it didn’t come out on Merge, I most likely would’ve written it up, but then there’s some that regardless of how much press they get, I can’t help but praise the shit out of them. So those are my half-assed rules and what went through my head when making this list.
There’s a few records on here that might make it onto my year end drone list, so if you’re the gamblin type, start up a pool with your pals and maybe you can strike it rich.
Since this is a pretty big list (28 and unranked) I’ve put everything after the jump so it doesn’t clog up the front page. Here’s hoping you find some in here that you haven’t heard of yet.
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Misery – Sous L’égide Des Martyrs (BLWBCK)
One of my favorite black metal releases of the year right here. Solo French dude Thomas Bel making absolutely killer atmospheric black metal on what’s quickly becoming my new favorite label (BLWBCK also put out the EUS, Postdrome, & Saåad album that I kinda freaked out over). This is something else entirely, though. Brooding & miserable as fuck, long bouts of chilled ambience, church bells & organs with hymn-like mantras, Paysage d’Hiverian frozen windscapes, stiff lumbering drums like a giant stuck in a blizzard, blistering sheets of icy fuzzed out guitars, and raspy tortured vocals that are clearly identifiable as such but blurred and muffled to perfectly blend with the wall of sound. This is soundtrack to the moments between the top of the cliff and the arctic glaciers below, howling winds & cracked bones, it drones the blackest & bleakest, a depressive cloud of ambient metal that’s just too fucking awesome in every way. And this is his goddamn debut? Perfectly timed to be the next Xasthur.
EUS, Postdrome, & Saåad – 3AM (BLWBCK)
A collab of crazy proportions! And quite worldly, a Costa Rican, a dude from the UK, and a French duo, making absolutely breathtaking drones of the highest order. This is some dark blissful stuff, which is the best kind of stuff right now. Dense and soaring, black anvil clouds rolling over open plains, always on the edge, seeing the sun rays glow and the grey mass shift, an impending fury that always threatens, never breaks, trapped in the undertow but wholly welcoming it, sheets of euphoria masked by the haunt of life, embrace the truth, let the stars rain down, pre-apocalypse enlightenment created by layers of heavenly darkness. It doesn’t get much better than this. This is what you see when you get to the top. A fluorescent green beast of a tape, only 66 copies and it drops in a few days. Preorder this hunk stat.