#197 | Album Review | Next Life – Guru Meditation


Hello my fried circuit void friends! This week Ryan and I digitalize to you Next Life’s, Guru Meditation. Fair warning, we nerd out hard in this episode (not that we aren’t total dorks in the others). It’s another one where we bring up a multitude of video games, cartoons, and old technology that this music mentally inspired. The experimental electro violence metal brings us to realms within my old crappy Windows 98 or my virus filled XP. Just imagine Wreck-It Ralph but inside the virtual equivalent of a crack house. The synths and unusual instruments in the album’s brain emailed us nostalgia that we didn’t even know we had. Ryan even delves into worlds with sentient insectoid creatures (nukem Rico). It’s a whacked out album full of interesting textures that I’m sure will bring up strange thoughts within every listener.

The first thing I would like to note about the overall sound of this project: They somehow made a xylophone and kalimba sound incredibly stellar mixed in with slick thrashy riffs and drum thunder. Combine those aspects with the electronic 8-bit oddities and you got yourself something unique as fuck. There are moments of upbeat violent insanity and others of down-tempo retro hazed mysteries. Hell, you may even notice samples similar to a jammed floppy drive, a damaged VHS tape, or just the inside workings of a Commodore 64. Each track will spawn you right in the middle of a new bizarre level of electronics and heavy instruments, some of which you might even be able to dance to! I’ve failed to mention that there are no vocals in this album, so that could be a lead factor in why it dusted off our old brain files—unless maybe you were born in 2010 and your tech nostalgia is an original iPhone turning on.

Next Life is primarily comprised of the duo Hai Nguyen Dinh (Guitar, xylophone, kalimba, tracking) and Ander Hangård (Drums). They are based in Olso, Norway, and have existed in the airways since 1999. They have released four full-length LPs in that time span. Guru Meditation being the fourth was released August 21st, 2020. Now go ahead and listen to Ryan and I spew words about the album!

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So, do you enjoy the music of Next Life? Well head over to their Bandcamp and pick up a 12″ or digital copy of Guru Meditation. You can also find copies of past work and some nice t-shirts. Support the band by following them on Facebook.

If you’d like to support us beyond listening to our podcast, you can do so by becoming a patron on our Patreon page. There you can read all of our notes for each album review episode we publish and gain early access to every episode before its official release.

Also, if you’re keen on chatting music, shooting us some recommendations, or talking about other forms of media (videogames, films, etc.), please feel free to join us on our Discord server. Up next week is a review of the latest opus MEAT MACHINE from the genre-bending quintet, Obsidian Kingdom.

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