Auditory Reflections, No. 4

Welcome back to another iteration of Auditory Reflections, where we write succinct (100 words or less) reviews for nine albums we enjoy and recommend you folks check out. There is no real method on how we select these records beyond our typical day-to-day sleuthing across Bandcamp’s Discover feature. The genres covered tend to be relatively disparate and strange, though we hope there is at least one record, one recommendation in here that you find compelling.

In this iteration, we recommend a couple grind outfits, an utterly brutal power electronics record, a rather evocative tonic of ambient, industrial, noise, and black metal, some planet decimating death-doom, and a sundry of other bleak tones.

Let us know if any of these records left an impression on you and please feel free to leave your own recommendations below as we are only two individuals and we could easily overlook some gems. Thank you for your continued support. On to the list…

AK//47 – Loncati Pagar Berduri (Semarang, Indonesia)

Like a ruthless cyclone of brutality, grindcore outfit AK//47 destroys all in its path. Hailing from Indonesia, this band delivers a unique, electrifying flare with relentless guitars and ground quaking drums, which leave one’s ears pulsing in excitement. Since they formed in 1999, the band has yet to falter. Their new album, Loncati Pager Berduri, stands strong with great production and grit; 13 menacing tracks that congeal into rapid uniformity. From blistering, neck-cracking tracks such as “Lempar Petasan ke Podium” to the deep, crusty, doom-driven “Kau (tak) Bisa Hentikan Fasis”, this considerable album warrants a listen for all fans of grindcore. — Connor

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Bitten by a Cobra – Palms (Stockholm, Sweden)

Palms, the debut EP from electronic art grind project, Bitten by a Cobra, is a peculiar suturing of crust with smatters of off-kilter experimentation. Be it the pummel of programmed kick drums stampeding beneath vociferous shouts or a fleeting hook sprouting from the sandy quagmires of coarse riffs, Palms perpetually surprises (and soothes) across its succinct duration. A dreamy, island sun guitar melody glistens on “Small Town Heels” and tranquil ambient waves lap the shores of “Circles”. These juxtapositions craft a surreal mirage, one that lulls with peaceful respites, yet simultaneously cudgels with depressing themes. Embrace. Just let go. — Ryan

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Dismal – When Light Left Us (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia death metal quintet, Dismal, exude a tone hefty in dimensions both brutal and melancholic on their EP, When Light Left Us. Teeming with prog-tinged riffs, husky bass, and gravely gutturals, what’s articulated is a world sapped of light and life drained from behind one’s eyes. Across their lugubrious tundra technical maelstroms roil, while these utmost delicate aural shimmers percolate from the dimly specked canopy overhead. Wistful guitars expand in “Fractured, Pepetuum” to skirt an enshrouding morass of double kicks and unfettered shredding. And within “Colorless” soars an ephemeral solo. Somber these tracks are, but their candid atmosphere is heartfelt. — Ryan

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NONE – Infernal Temples of the Meditant (Somewhere in California)

Such a strange, enchanting journey is Infernal Temples of the Meditant—a wayward wandering of ambient, industrial, neofolk tendrils, and searing black metal textures. Meditative “When The End Will Come” loops via acoustic strums as an ambient coil churns and a barren drum pattern summons primordial auras. Elegant it undulates, eventually surging into a rampant throng of percussion and torturous wails. “Past Tense” rifts a howling noise chasm. Its harrowing frequencies burrow beneath your flesh to dredge a peculiar swell of catharsis. NONE’s debut forges a path overgrown for you to stumble through and come out the other end enlightened. — Ryan

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The Klempins – Fuck Them All (Kiel, Germany)

Where’s my beer? The Klempins might know! Within their new album, Fuck Them All, you will find fun, anthem-chanting punk. Crusty instrumentals waft through the air as the German band—sometimes in unity—howls lyrics of party, politics, fighting and good old fun. You will become infected with upbeat melodies that linger in your brain for hours to follow. Hell, the vocalist even sounds like Lemmy Kilmister here and there. Take a break from serious gloom and check out a spastic punk band full of comedic spunk. Did I mention there’s a track titled “I See Shit On Your Face”? — Connor

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Un Regard Froid – Palinodie (Anticinéma) (Montreal, Québec)

From the unsettling, abrasive, epileptic-inducing AV laboratory of glitch mastermind, Death Orgone (Un Regard Froid), discharges a ripe abomination of auditory repugnance, Palinodie (Anticinéma). A septic laceration oozing curdling death industrial and power electronics pus, this uncompromising, caustic revelry swelters and pumps through veins with atavistic lust. Each scourge of noise tears your ears asunder. And their grisly undercurrents agitate an unremitting riptide of sensory asphyxiation. Utterly morose are the words shouted in each atom-disfiguring dirge. And their coupling with the piercing noise terrors coagulate into pure destructive energy. A headache inducer, but one worth languishing in. Numb your mind. — Ryan

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Void Frontier – Sinners (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)

From the cold lands of Russia crawls the blackened doom and sludge menace, Void Frontier. Sinners is layered with monstrous riffs that could fissure the thickest of ice. Each of the five tracks deliver an avalanche of outstanding instrumentals that urge to be replayed. The vocals growl with grizzly gloom. Join in the “Death March” and listen to a song full of unwavering guitars and gorging drums. The track “God is for Sinners” is an instrumental glacier of transcending atmospheric doom. Truly a doom/sludge album worth diving into the void for. — Connor

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Worldender – Demo 2018 (Providence, Rhode Island)

Providence-based galactic dreadnoughts Worldender obliterate solar systems with their black, death-doom terraforming technology. Methodically they trudge across the frigid cosmic microwave background, driven by insatiable thirst to raze. “Unending Regret” unfurls at a mid-tempo plod, cascading black metal atmosphere whilst intermittently unleashing glacial hammers of misanthropic doom. Cataclysmic “Corporeal Genocide” fractures into a swarm of blasts as garbled, gruesome vocals spew. It coagulates. And across the star-pocked expanse, Worldender drags listeners through a calm, ambient-laden instrumental belt, in search of their next planet to decimate. The power condensed herein is gargantuan and well deserving of your attention. — Ryan

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Yelverton Crowe – Kees Songs, Parts 1 & 2 (Boston, Massachusetts)

Yelverton Crowe has created a two-part experimental masterpiece of dark ambience and noisy drone that envelops with haunting soundscapes. Each track is derived from the inspirations of poems by Weldon Kees, known as Kees Songs. Piercing tones evoke tension and dribbling bass lurks among the dark in “Xantha Street”. Lonely orchestras of distorted bass flood outward into faint noiseHarsh bellowing drone tumefies in “The Coming of the Plague” as reverberations paint a dying, ill-fated world. Each composition compliments the other and crystallizes Kees Songs into a superb, immersive listen. — Connor

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