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Wait A Minute! This Isn't Metal! - August 2021


Written by: RaduP, musclassia
Published: 12.09.2021


Wait A Minute! This Isn't Metal! - August 2021
Metal Storm's outlet for nonmetal album reviews



The place where we'll talk about music without growls or blast beats
unless they still have those but still aren't metal


We here at Metal Storm pride ourselves on our thousands of metal reviews and interviews and article; metal is our collective soul and passion, which is why we bother with this junk. That being said, we'd be lying if we stuck to our trve-kvlt guns and claimed that metal is the only thing we ever listen to. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do check out some other stuff from time to time; some of us are more poptimistic than others, but there's a whole world out there aside from Satan-worshiping black metal and dragon-slaying power metal. We do already feature some nonmetal artists on our website and have a few reviews to back them up, but we prefer to limit that aspect of the site to those artists who have been a strong influence on the metal scene or who are in some way connected to it. This article series is the place for those artists who don't matter to metal in the slightest but still warrant some conversation - after all, good music, is good music, and we all know metal isn't the only thing on this planet for any of us.

Down below, you might find some obscure Bandcamp bedroom projects or some Billboard-topping superstar; as long as it ain't metal and the album itself isn't a best-of compilation, it fits. Obviously, we're certain that not everything will be for everybody (you guys can be viciously territorial even when metal is the only thing on the menu, and we're all supposed to like the same things), but we do hope you find at least one thing that you can enjoy, instead of just pointing and screaming in horror "Not metal!" as if that would be an insult.

Here are our previous features:

July 2021
June 2021
May 2021

And now to the music...






ISON - Aurora
[Post-Rock | Ethereal Wave]

RaduP's pick


Could you imagine an alternate universe where ethereal wave had more in common with post-rock than goth rock or world music? Don't worry, ISON have done the imagining for you. Spearheaded by Daniel Änghede of ex-Crippled Black Phoenix fame, Aurora marks the first release without Heike Langhans of Draconian and Light Field Reverie fame. The band has cultivated their own sound as a duo over the course of three releases, and it's quite understandable that replacing Heike would be quite a massive undertaking for the project. So how do you replace one fantastic singer? Well, with eight fantastic singers!

I don't mean to say that ISON now has nine members. But each of the album's eight tracks features a different guest vocalist, ranging from Oceans Of Slumber's Cammie Gilbert, Sylvaine, Lycia's Tara Vanflower or Aeonian Sorrow's Gogo Melone, as well as some bits of bass and synths by Katatonia and ex-Crippled Black Phoenix members. So aside from having a pretty stellar roaster, the album somehow managed to justify its 70 minutes runtime by focusing a lot on the "ethereal" in "ethereal wave" and applying it to some post-rock ebb-and-flow. There's enough variation in the vocals to keep the constantly evocative atmosphere, well... evocative, and in turn Daniel pens the most compelling album he's written.

Bandcamp

by RaduP





Black Flak And The Nightmare Fighters - Ad Meliora
[Post-Rock | Progressive Rock]


In the same feature as I cover a band called Blak that closely follow the post-rock crescendocore template, I can also discuss a post-rock band called Black Flak that offer a little more, and I'm not just referring to the 'And The Nightmare Fighters' part of their name. BFNF (I'm not writing the full name out every time) play a sound that lies somewhere between post-rock, alt-rock and prog rock, whilst also pushing towards metal at times, and it's one that manages to be more atmospherically potent than more typical post-rock bands. The delicate clean guitar lines on "Prologue: A Penny To Spare Me Your Thoughts" are made more powerful by the ominous background music and building percussion, and when the song reaches a volume climax, the powerful chugs and intense tones make the listener aware that BFNF mean business on Ad Meliora, their third record.

One advantage that BFNF have over a lot of post-rock bands in terms of making a strong impression is that they feature a vocalist; Kate Hoffmeister's hushed singing, which makes a first appearance on "Chapter 2: Crastinus Dies", adds an emotional drive to an otherwise spacious and delicate post-/alt-rock backdrop, elevating the layered guitar lines and atmospheric tom-heavy drumming. There's a subtle darkness permeating through much of the album's atmosphere, but BFNF do occasionally push the heaviness, such as with the more aggressive, up-tempo riffing on "Chapter 3: Fall Before You Wake"); this is a good example of a song that fluctuates between alt-rock (bordering on post-hardcore for brief moments) and post-rock, with a stirring conclusion to this song. By exploiting the atmospheric inclinations of the latter and the song-based priorities of the former, Ad Meliora elevates itself above the more traditional post-rock bands.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Big Hogg - Pageant Of Beasts
[Canterbury Prog | Psychedelic Rock]


The enduring appeal of the Canterbury prog sound can be highlighted by the fact that, in the same week as my phone notified me about an article about the cult Kent band that influenced music 50 years ago (Caravan), I find myself writing about a new up-and-coming band from Glasgow that follow firmly in Caravan's footsteps. Still, whilst Big Hogg's prog does owe a fair amount to the Canterbury scene, they are a bit funkier than might be expected; "Here Come The Moles" has funk guitar and trumpet, an impressive workout on bass from Martin Beer, and some American psych rock exuberance to go alongside its more English prog base. A track like "Man Overboard" is more closely indebted to Canterbury prog, but even then the trumpets owe a debt to 70s soul music.

After having covered bands such as Needlepoint that plant themselves perhaps too firmly within classic prog rock, it's nice to hear a band that can drink from the same well whilst still occasionally expanding their horizons a bit. A song like "Smoking Again" feels closer to Frank Zappa than Caravan with Justin Lumsden's loud vocals, and is nicely contrasted by the soothing "Willow's Song", on which flautist Sophie Sexon takes over vocal duties. Still, when the band go full prog, such as on "All Alone Stone", they shows themselves (all 7 of them, plus guest musicians) to be very capable musicians, and one that know how to balance complexity with smooth vibes and an ear for pleasant melody at the same time. Pageant Of Beasts is a nice example of how to continue the legacy of a classic sound whilst still leaving avenues open for exploration into other styles, and should be rewarding for all the veteran prog fans out there.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Darkside - Spiral
[Art Rock | Neo-Psychedelia]

RaduP's pick


This is probably the best Pink Floyd record since the 70s. Jokes aside, the influence is quite clear, both in terms of the prog rock era and the psych era. You can't tell me that "Lawmaker" doesn't sound a lot like "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun". And yet, Darkside manage to stray so far away from plagiarism and into making something completely different out of the Floyd influence. Darkside being a collaboration between Nicolas Jaar and David Harrington, it's quite weird seeing an electronica and an experimental rock musician coming together for such an artful psychedelic rock album that lingers so perfectly in a minimalist world.

Though Harrington's Gilmour-esque guitar works works fantastically well together with Jaar's electronics, Spiral's strength lies in its familiar oddity. Familiar in the sense that it plays with some familiar influences. Odd in the sense that the way it lays out its sounds feels entirely authentic. Though the vocals do leave to be desired at times, they manage to work really well to bringing a timeless feeling to the record. As much as it is indebted to the 70s with its krautrock and psych rock explorations, Spiral moves just enough beyond it to rip itself out of retro rehashing. It's a patient record that is full of its own type of life. Its imperfections add to the charm. Its influences are built upon. It's vivid, hypnotic, and tangible.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Musk Ox - Inheritance
[Dark Folk | Chamber Folk]

musclassia's pick


The first release in seven years from this Canadian dark folk trio, this is not the first music in that time released by Musk Ox's members. In addition to other projects and collaborations, each member has released solo work, with Raphael Weinroth-Browne becoming familiar to some metal fans courtesy of his work with Leprous and impressive solo debut record Worlds Within. There's a lot of musical experience that the members of Musk Ox had in their back pocket when reconvening for album number 3, and that experience has helped them create something quite wonderful with Inheritance.

The instruments of choice for the three members are violin, cello and classical guitar; there's no percussion to build atmosphere or drive the compositions forward, so these compositions rely on the musicians judging the pacing intelligently and crafting moving arrangements. Well, check and check on both counts for the magnificent two-part title track. "Inheritance, Part 1 (Premonition)" introduces some motifs, but is generally more restrained; "Inheritance, Part 2 (Hindsight)" is much longer at 17 minutes, and Musk Ox use those minutes to the fullest. The stirring string arrangements amplify in intensity without any let-up, all the while underpinned by the delicate guitar plucking, and as time goes on the listener becomes utterly engrossed by the majesty on display. By the time "Inheritance, Part 2 (Hindsight)" is finished, it's hard to imagine how it could be topped, and ultimately it isn't (although "Ritual" and "Weightless" both get incredibly close); still, this is a fantastic display of the raw emotions that can be evoked using just three stringed acoustic instruments.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Blak - El Tall d'Escil·la
[Post-Rock]


At some point, it becomes difficult to find the words to describe new post-rock releases, especially instrumental crescendocore, when so many similar albums have already been reviewed. The Bandcamp trailer for El Tall d'Escil·la was surprisingly intense, and gave me some hope that the record might offer a less tried-and-tested spin on post-rock. Ultimately, that's less true than I was anticipating, but it's still got a bit about it to differentiate itself from the crowd.

When I heard that trailer, I was hoping this would be a good example of the 'heavy post-rock' sound that lingers somewhere between post-rock and post-metal, territory that the likes of Valerinne and Year Of No Light have approached from opposing directions. There's a fair amount of that to be found on this sophomore effort by Blak, mainly due to how much heft is put into the louder guitar work and the drums by the production job, but also thanks to moments of slightly more intense percussive work. Still, despite the power imbued by the production, it's hard to overlook that "Contra Nosaltres Quan Siguem Forts" is very typical for post-rock in its use of extensive tremolo and stop/start structuring, as are the other songs. Ultimately, if you enjoy conventional post-rock but wish it was a bit more potent in its heavier moments, El Tall d'Escil·la is a good option for you.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Yves Tumor - The Asymptotic World EP
[Alternative Rock]


When I covered Heaven To A Tortured Mind in last April's non-metal article, I mentioned rock, hip-hop, soul and funk as just some of the musical elements to be found in the album's eclectic sound. Running for less than 20 minutes, there's only so much scope for further exploration by Yves Tumor on The Asymptotic World EP, Tumor's first release of note since Heaven To A Tortured Mind. Instead of adding new ideas to the array already found on Heaven To A Tortured Mind, The Asymptotic World is a departure into yet more new sounds.

Considering how eclectic the previous album felt at times, "Jackie" is a fairly straightforward alt rock track, dominated by Tumor's vocals on top of a fairly bare-bones rhythm base. Much in the same vein, "Crushed Velvet" features a stripped-down instrumental arrangement that mainly serves as a vehicle for Tumor to play around with harmonies. There's elements of shoegaze, post-punk and goth rock in some of these tracks, particularly on "Secrecy Is Incredibly Important To The Both Of Them" for the latter, seeing Tumor branch out into new sounds. Overall, this is a modern alt rock record, and that's by no means a bad thing, with Tumor bringing a lot of personality to their vocals on the more subdued tracks. There's also room for some weirdness on "Tuck", a weird electronic-heavy art pop cut featuring NAKED on vocals. Yves Tumor is clearly a highly ambitious and curious musician, and The Asymptotic World is a successful venture into yet new territory.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Maarja Nuut - Hinged
[Art Pop | Indietronica]


With her third solo album, Estonian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Maarja Nuut uses one word to convey multiple meanings; the album title Hinged, which refers to a joint in English, means 'souls' in her native Estonian, specifically departed souls. Inspired by possessions from her ancestors found after inheriting her grandmother's farm, Nuut aimed to evoke the feelings of connections across generations, creating an imaginary reunion of lost relatives through music. For this purpose, Nuut has recruited Swiss percussionist Nicolas Stocker as a guest musician for this peculiar and avant-garde style of electronic music.

On the tracks that Stocker features, he flexes his musical talents with some jazzy performances, but alongside his drumwork on the title track, there are eerie, warbling voices/voice-like sounds buried in the ether, summoning vibes of otherworldly spirits. Vocals are more present on "On Vaja", where Nuut's disconcertingly layered vocals, almost alien in tone due to synthetic effects applied to them, work alongside similarly alien-sounding electronic motifs. The music on Hinged fluctuates between eerie and ethereal, often sounding like both at the same time, as scattered vocals, abstract electronic layers and freeform percussion combine to create something that could have the serenity of new age music if not arranged in such unorthodox manners. Some songs are a bit more 'active', such as the up-tempo "Subota", but even then the steel drum effects, chanted vocals and other sounds, all of which could sound very natural together, are arranged in a manner that feels almost insidious. It's a very strange album, but that's not necessarily a bad thing; there's a clear artistic vision here, and one that makes a real impression upon the listener.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Aleph - Ego Death
[Electronic Dance Music]

RaduP's pick


I do have a bit of a hard time calling Aleph's Ego Death an "Electronic Dance Music". About half of it isn't really dance-able. But it's array of electronica influences is so wide and peculiar that this seems like the umbrella term to use. Part of it is indeed fitting for the "EDM" label, but it takes so much from dubstep, ambient, wonky, breakbeat, tech house and probably a lot of others I'm really not versed enough to properly identify. Bottom line is, this is somewhat more cerebral than it is somatic, so it borders on IDM at times, without fully committing to being cerebral. Just when you think it will turn too much into intricate ambient, it throws a fun groove at you. So it can live both within the boundaries of cerebral sci-fi and cosmic spirituality.

I have nothing but praise for the production and the flow. Ego Death is absolutely a headphones album, so even if it doesn't really get you moving, its momentum is unbreakable. It finds the most low key ways to fuse all these exciting nuances of electronica, and even in the absolutely bonkers interlude "▌▌▌▌▌▌▌█▓▓▓▒▒▒░░░░░░░░░", things never really explode uncontrollably. Songs do range from 2 to 10 minutes, and it never feels like they don't justify their runtime in some way. Though I'm reminded fairly often of Burial, Jon Hopkins, and Nicholas Jaar, there's a pretty unique approach to the genre blends and the flow that is really awe-inspiring, especially considering that this is Aleph's debut album, with only a couple of EPs dating back to 2017 prior.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Emeka Ogbah - Beyond The Yellow Haze
[IDM | Ambient]

musclassia's pick


Nigerian artist Emeka Ogbah, widely known for his sound art and installations that primarily focus on field recordings of Lagos city life, has merged these soundscapes with ambient electronica on his debut album Beyond The Yellow Haze. The interest in electronic music has arisen as a result of moving to Berlin six years ago, so in a way this record represents a fusion of the effects of two cities on Ogbah's artistic expression. Still, whilst the electronica on the record is the 'meat' of the album, it's the recordings from Lagos integrated around the synths and electronic rhythms that really define the sound of the record.

As far as the electronica is concerned, "Lekki Aiah Freeway" is a very rhythm-focused track; there's a sustained background to the track, but it's the percussive sounds that are the main focus musically. In contrast, "Danfo Yellow" features more overt electronic melodies alongside chillout beats, with a sound not miles away from some of the psybient on Messages From The Resonator by Globular & Geoglyph, whilst "Everydaywehustlin" has a more frantic vibe with its drum & bass beats. Mixed within all of these compositions are recordings captured by Ogbah in Lagos in 2018; you can hear car horns, idle chatter, the calls of marketplaces and general ambient sounds, with these sounds given greater or lesser prominence against the electronica throughout the record. These recordings add an interesting dynamic to Beyond The Yellow Haze, and I'm sure they're fascinating to sociologists as a historical document of the city at this time, but approaching it purely from a music fan's perspective, I found the electronica here to be really pleasant, particularly on "Danfo Yellow"; as well as being a well-received sound artist, Emeka Ogbah is clearly also a talented electronic musician.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





GoST - Rites Of Love And Reverence
[Synthwave | Darkwave]

musclassia's pick


Much like synthwave brethren Perturbator and Carpenter Brut, GosT (aka James Lollar) has taken influence from and shared stages with metal bands, so a number of users here are likely already familiar with the project. For the uninitiated, GosT's industrial- and metal-tinged darksynth places it adjacent to, but slightly removed from, the standard retro-heavy synthwave sound, and that continues into Rites Of Love And Reverence. Inspired less by dystopian sci-fi futures and more by the occult, this record naturally draws from goth culture, from the creepy ritualistic vibes of scene-setting opener "Bell, Book And Candle" to GosT's goth rock vocal style on the noisy, at-times aggressively industrial "Bound By The Horror". Those metal hints are also there, from the occasional screamed vocals to the sheer abrasive nature of distortion applied to some of the electronics.

At the same time, GosT is widely referred to as a synthwave artist, and this comes through on slick tracks such as "The Fear"; glitchy bass drops and effects are present, but so are energetic beats and 80s-inspired synth lines on this upbeat cut. There's songs that nestle between styles; although the electronica on "A Fleeting Whisper" ties the song to darkwave, the subtle guitar leads and GosT's vocals run much closer to goth rock, and it's something of a similar story with "We Are The Crypt". The synthwave/goth rock combination unsurprisingly fits naturally together, what with both drawing a lot from 80s music and media, and the occasional appearances of more metallic/industrial elements (such as on "Embrace The Blade") also slide in seamlessly. GosT has found a nice niche within the synthwave scene and is delivering quality music to go with it.

Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Angel Olsen - Aisles
[Synthpop | New Wave]


Angel Olsen has been quite in recent years; since 2019, she's released two full-length albums, a compilation, and now an EP of cover songs. Upon discovering that Aisles was a cover record, I approached it with a hint of trepidation; the practice of taking popular songs with an uplifting tone and producing a muted, hushly sung, minimalist cover for a trailer or advert has produced some farcical results, and Angel Olsen's synthpop style isn't necessarily the most lively. However, on Aisles, Olsen does a pleasantly surprising job of making most of these covers respectable endeavours.

Yes, "Gloria" is quite plodding, but the 80s synth tones around Olsen's vocals give it a bit more of a nostalgic vibe than the dreary 'advert' covers; it also helps that Olsen doesn't downplay things too much with her singing, allowing herself to push the volume during the chorus. The iconic "Safety Dance" doesn't work quite as well as "Gloria" with this approach; with such a fun song, any attempt at making it sound brooding will feel silly, but it's not too bad here. The covers of "Eyes Without A Face" and "Forever Young" are played straighter; to be honest, I wouldn't have minded the latter given the "Safety Dance" treatment, considering how annoying I find the original. This EP is hardly essential listening, but as a one-off experiment it could definitely be worse.

Bandcamp | Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Lorde - Solar Power
[Folk Pop | Singer/Songwriter]


I have absolutely no way I can make a tasteful joke about the cover art that won't age horribly. But still... damn. Anyway, Lorde is one of my favorite pop artists even if her release schedule has been extremely sparse. 2013's Pure Heroine pretty much changed the course of pop music and everyone tried to replicate that sparse alt-pop sound to varying degrees of success. 2017's Melodrama instead of just building upon that same already successful sound, by exploring more synthpop, dance-pop, with lyrics that seemed even more personal and mature, into an album that felt even more cohesive ironically. Needless to say, when Solar Power was announced, following an even longer hiatus, I was pretty head over heels.

Listening to the advance singles, my enthusiasm was halted bit by bit. The title track is still pretty strong, but everything I heard from the album since has felt surprisingly shallow, especially considering the reputation that Lorde has built. If Melodrama exceeded expectations by being more mature and diverse, Solar Power dismantles them by being more shallow and streamlined. What was previously lovingly cynical and personal has been washed into wellness culture, with bits of the same old "I'm not like those other celebrities". Lyrics aside, this is more of a singer/songwriter record with a stronger folk presence, that works in bits, but lacks either the memorability or the excitement of either a good record in a similar sound, or a Lorde album in general.

Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





The Killers - Pressure Machine
[Heartleand Rock]


I did not expect The Killers to come up with a new record this close after their last one, 2020's Imploding The Mirage, which was a pretty alright record. What I also did not expect was for The Killers to come up with a record this good after more than a decade of so-so inoffensive music. They always had some sort of "small town" vibe (I mean, they even have a record called Sam's Town), and heartland rock has been among the undertones of some of their records too, but at this point they mostly stripped the pop rock and bits of post-punk revival that they started with, making Pressure Machine pretty much a Spingsteen-ish portrait of small town American life, going all in on the sound and the concept.

The album is sprinkled with samples from interviews, and even if streaming has an abridged version of the album where those are stripped, I feel like they are necessary towards creating the full picture that the band wants to create. The album is chockfull of stories and impressions of small town life painting it with both a sense of pride and a sense of tragedy, acknowledging both its downtrodden and its pastoral side, without necessarily pointing any fingers. Concept aside, the band taking this side full-on and adding bits of folk and still keeping their larger-than-life sound in some of the songs ("In The Car Outside") makes the band sound a lot more focused and vital than they've sounded in a long long time.

Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever
[Contemporary R&B | Pop]


Even as I've become more musically adventurous, I must admit I've maintained a natural aversion to anything that gets 'too big', so when Billie Eilish exploded around 5 years ago, I steered clear. The release of Happier Than Ever gave me an opportunity to overcome that hesitation and discover the music behind the hype, and I was pleasantly surprised by how low-key the record is musically. Eilish approaches most songs with a very soft tone, practically on the verge of where whispering becomes singing, and the accompanying instrumentation is appropriately stripped down on several tracks to accommodate this, resulting in a very intimate sound on Happier Than Ever.

On some songs, this results in something that is, if anything, too low-key for my tastes, particularly opening song "Getting Older". "Getting Older" is followed by several songs that I find myself appreciating more, whether it's the minimalist electronica of "I Didn't Change My Number", the attempt at bossa nova on "Billie Bossa Nova", or the stripped-down soul of lead single "My Future". Many of these songs (and there are many of them; 16 tracks are present on Happier Than Ever) are designed as vehicles for Eilish's subdued singing voice and heartfelt lyrics; as someone who generally glosses over lyrics, that latter aspect of Happier Than Ever is lost on me, but I do enjoy Eilish's vocals, and find it something of a shame when they're drenched in autotune at times on "NDA", one of the less enjoyable songs on the record for me. I similarly don't enjoy the semi-rapping on "Therefore I Am"; a more experimental track that I did click with was "Oxytocin", a techno-oriented track that also sees Eilish reach into a higher register and louder volume, highlighting the range that she possesses when not focusing on the half-whisper she typically sticks with on the record. Although the album generally isn't to my tastes, I found quite a lot to appreciate in Happier Than Ever, and am intrigued that an artist this restrained musically has managed to become such a mainstream pop sensation.

Apple Music | Spotify

by musclassia





Vince Staples - Vince Staples
[West Coast Hip-Hop | Trap]


I have entered a staring competition with this album art. I am not delighted to say that I lost. That aside, I am a bit baffled by this record. Vince Staples is a rapper I mostly enjoyed by association. He worked a lot with Earl Sweatshirt, and 2017's Big Fish Theory had contributions from artists from as wide a variety as from Flume to SOPHIE and from Justin Vernon to Kendrick Lamar. Then he followed that up with FM, where most of the production was handled by Kenny Beats. Now this album takes the rapper's name, and it takes everything in an even more low-key direction, with all of the production handles by Kenny Beats, and with only one guest spot.

Vince Staples stands at a mere 22 minutes, which is about the same length as Vince's previous record, but the lowkey mood of the record makes it pass by even slower. Though this is an album clearly done by someone with a bigger trap background, it's far from what you'd call full of bangers. It takes a more abstract direction, that feels like it's caught between being abstract hip-hop but lacking the lyricism, and trap but lacking the energy, instead staying in a lethargic atmosphere. But that also explains why it's a self-titled record, with it being a more introspective and emotional record, even if it stays in the atmospheric trap lane, with all its tropes and shortcomings.

Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP





Ka - A Martyr's Reward
[Conscious Hip Hop | Abstract Hip Hop]


Ka is one of the emcees that has carved his own niche of hip-hop, and even if he's far from the first abstract hip-hop rappers, a lot of what made this area of hip-hop this exciting and vivid in the 2010s is owed to his three albums between 2012 and 2016. 2020's Descendants Of Cain was the first album in four years to bear the Ka name, so having another one in roughly one year afterwards is a bit surprising. But A Martyr's Reward is pretty brief at barely over 40 minutes and cuts pretty deep with its consistent poetical lyrics and melancholic introspective tone that has come to define abstract hip-hop.

What I have more gripes with is that the album's strength lies most in its lyricism, a part I have a relatively hard time following. Perhaps not enough time has passed since Descendants Of Cain so that I wouldn't feel like constantly comparing the two, but A Martyr's Reward feels like the less interesting of the two. Which should be a testament to just how unique the sound of Ka's lane is that I would even dare to call a record this mystical and introspective "less interesting". It's just that the lowkey vibe and the less concrete concept make the grandiose and sharp previous records feel that more hard-hitting, while A Martyr's Reward might take a bit more time to properly grow amongst its peers. Which are few. And descending down to the rest of hip-hop feels like an even more tiresome journey.

Apple Music | Spotify

by RaduP




And that was it. You've made it through still alive. Congrats. See ya next month. Here's a Spotify playlist we compiled out of stuff featured here:







Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 62 users
12.09.2021 - 20:42
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I hope you like the BIG cover arts and that you thank corrupt for making it possible.
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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12.09.2021 - 22:04
doez
Hallucigenia
These BIG cover arts caught me by surprise, but I'm glad they're there
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12.09.2021 - 22:32
Karlabos
Meat and Potatos
Yep, we can see it very clearly now
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Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.
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12.09.2021 - 22:33
nikarg
Mod
That Lorde cover art just had to be BIG.
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12.09.2021 - 23:11
Uxküll

Love this series, heard ISON already and liked it very much. Have to check all these out.
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"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z: http://metalstorm.net/users/lists.php?user_id=158339
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13.09.2021 - 11:22
Mehrad

I love my cover art to be THICC.
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Ride a horse that's cleaving through the air and space of dreams.
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13.09.2021 - 14:12
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Seems Heike dumped Daniel Änghede and he kicked her out from his projects, same as Johanna Sadonis dumped Lee Dorian after she got label deal to her bans,
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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14.09.2021 - 17:08
Barron

Hi there! "Black Flak..." and "Blak" great discoveries this time, thanks!
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15.09.2021 - 00:30
Nejde
Green Devil
I very much like that ISON album and title. The two best songs are Aurora and Celestial and my two daughters are named Aurora and Celeste. Also Celestial features Gogo Melone from Aeonian Sorrow, another great band. Lucky coincidence I guess

And thanks musclassia for bringing it to my attention that GosT had a new album out. I had totally missed that one.
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"When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid." - Ricky Gervais
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18.09.2021 - 03:45
Black Crowe

Great addition
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Six stars of the northern cross
In mourning for their sister's loss
In a final flash of glory
Nevermore to grace the night
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