Sunday, October 19, 2008


Goodfellow Records

It’s rare that a group can think outside of the box, yet still impress as being interesting from a standpoint of pure entertainment. Intronaut achieves this feat and so much more with their richly engaging Goodfellow record “Void.” Over the course of the album, the foursome utilize the technical insight and ability of mid-career Voivod, while incorporating a darker, more sinister undertone that causes the band’s final product to be curiously foreboding.

Individual musicianship is a focal point during tracks such as “Gleamer” and “Iceblocks” and that adept musical skill extends into every other song on the record as well. Small nuances such as the smooth, progressive-sounding introduction of “Nostalgic Echo” recall the fluidity of Rush, but when the group kicks in with an abrasive, monolithic ambience, it finds the perfect marriage of harshness and substance. On the whole, this particular cut features some of the most thoughtful songwriting you’ll hear on “Void.”

Despite the band’s skill at rattling off bizarre tempo fluctuations and abstract scales, Intronaut can convincingly hold down a groove as well. This is likely the single most positive attribute to be found in the digits of “Void,” at no time does the band’s musicianship get in the way of solid songwriting.

With a seemingly endless queue of superb metal releases demanding the attention of listeners as of late, it’s difficult for many fans to know where start. “Void” is an excellent place to do so, as Intronaut prove themselves to be amongst the most skilled songwriters around and doubtlessly have the chops to back it up. All talk of gems and breakthroughs aside, this is an album that deserves and also demands serious consideration.

Written By: Goblin Queen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CANAAN - The Unsaid Words

The Unsaid Words
Aural Music

Morose ambiance fills up every last digit of “The Unsaid Words”, with Canaan portraying wizardry for manufacturing hauntingly depressive music that strictly identifies with drab, melancholy feelings. One of the most positive aspects of this group’s music is the percussive undertone that carries the group’s drifting, dream-state sounds with subtle accents and rolling polyrhythms.

These Italians also introduce plenty of dramatic emotion into their overall sound, utilizing instruments that are more readily associated with chamber music in order to craft a hybrid of classical and gothic tones, especially on the particularly glum yet nonetheless beautiful sounding “Sterile.”

Relying upon emotion as opposed to distortion for heaviness, Canaan indulge in transcendental sequences that should be recognized as being highly articulate from a musical standpoint. Those overjoyed by the darker nature of music will no doubt be intrigued by tracks such as the drifting “This World Of Mine” and the warm sounding “The Possible Nowheres.”

Four separate “fragments” provide listening continuity, bringing the album into perspective as a singular collective achievement. “Fragile” offers soft-toned melancholy in a moderately-tempoed structure, with reverb enhanced vocals further contributing to Canaan’s distant, forlorn ambiance.

Similar to Anathema and the more restrained works of a good many doom bands, “The Unsaid Words” gives an exceptional amount of perspective into a dismal yet beautiful style of music. It takes a lot of talent to make music like this work and fortunately, Canaan have the not only the ability, but the wherewithal to consider this album mandatory listening for fans of everything from Pink Floyd to Paradise Lost.


KILL THE THRILL - Tellurique

Season Of Mist Records

Offering a bleak soundscape that is massive and far reaching, Kill The Thrill succeed in manifesting sounds that are markedly obscure, dragging the listener to the edge of a vast abyss of lifeless form. Each of the songs on “Tellurique” offers a resounding vortex. At times, the sounds here are extremely minimalist, lending a further notion of vulnerability to the psyche of the listener. At a total running time of over one hour, this album has no shortage of dismal meanderings designed to draw the darkest emotions to the surface of your consciousness. A good example of this quality would be the lumbering, mechanical “An Indefinite Direction” wherein Kill The Thrill inject a cold, Imperial feeling into the composition. Production-wise, this record is very solid, with a great amount of attention to the small details. These details are precisely what make this record so effective, each sound, from kettle drums to synthesizers has been meticulously pored over, and bringing a distinct ambience to the music that betrays a distant atmosphere. Engaging the listener with a feeling similar to that of the more somber Pink Floyd compositions, “Like Cement” is both vast and chilling; it’s subtle strains of woeful emotion raining down like bitter drops of near frozen rain. With “Us And Them”, one of the heavier tracks on the record, you find the record coming near its climax with a powerful, towering blast of ringing, discordant guitars and a sweeping symphonic close. This is a record that most assuredly must be taken as an entire work in order to gain the maximum amount of listening enjoyment. Give this a spin on a cold, gloomy afternoon and you will discover the intended ambience contained within.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Die Verbannten Kinder Evas - Dusk And Void Become Alive

Die Verbannten Kinder Evas
Dusk And Void Become Alive
Napalm Records

Morose sensations emanates from “Dusk And Void Become Alive,” as the well-trained, operatic vocalizations of Dina (also of WeltenBrand) float above arrangements for piano, exploring a cavernous emptiness of somber emotion walking hand in hand with beauty.

This sort of dialectical paradigm often finds its way into contemporary music, that matchmaking of light and darkness, gorgeousness and dreadful, sobering gloom. While the circular-sounding notes of the eternal depths manifest over the course of this album, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas seeks to bring animation to abyssful, classically-influenced compositions and does so with all the grace of a flickering candle lapping in a slight breeze.

Highlights include the sweeping, mournful “Winter’s Night,” which offers an apt interpretation of the icy touch of the most unforgiving season with a classy air. The record’s title track ushers the entire affair in with a low-key, solitary sensation and the chamber music-inspired realization of “Unquiet Thoughts” relies on kettle drum-type bombast and a dual male/female vocal presence that gives the song grandiose depth and assured splendor.

Die Verbannten Kinder Evas fascinates with “Dusk And Void Become Alive,” an album that is suitable for airplay on traditional classical radio as well as for making an excellently ominous backdrop to any cold winter’s evening.