Friday, July 19, 2013
Admittedly, ambient music is a genre that takes patience and an open mind to become interested in. Believe it or not, I used to be one of those closed-minded metalheads that assumes anything not metal is bad. Over the last several years, however, I have broadened my horizons. One of the best thing's I've ever done, as I have discovered countless artists who create beautiful, passionate music that energizes and transforms one's outlook on life.
I realize that I run the risk of over dramatizing musical listening pleasure by describing music the way I just did, but the fact remains. When I'm in a sour mood, I can relax and just chill to some amazing music.
Lately I have stumbled across an album from a Dutch duo who go by the name Myosotis. Released by Hidden Vibes--the label that brought us masterpieces from Endless Melancholy and A Veil of Water--"Too Little Too Late" is an album chock-full of seemingly boundless soundscapes. This music sounds something like what the cover illustrates. Picture yourself gliding across sweeping green fields and immersed in cool sunlight as the music takes you to far flung places of the imagination. This music provides that sensation.
Contrary to what some may believe, I am very selective about what ambient artists I can listen to. For example, the ambient drone music to me sounds flat and uninspiring. Others try to get too cute with electro-pop elements that somehow lose the vibe of ambient brilliance.
Myosotis has released an album that sticks with you. It is the kind of music that somehow wraps around your senses, but does not strangle the listener. It is memorable in that it does not embed itself into your conscience. This is a feat that is difficult to accomplish, especially by ambient artists.
Take a listen to the album below. This is a FREE download so if you like it, you have nothing to lose. Warning: Be patient and allow it to grow. With extended time listening, you begin to like and appreciate it more. As always, thanks for reading and enjoy!!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
For the second straight day we have a new music review for you! Today we're going to look at some music decidedly different than what we heard yesterday.
Inside Out Music recently released the new album from Norwegian prog-rockers Leprous. Inside Out is who brought us the latest Devin Townsend album, as well as Geoff Tate's latest, so they already had an impressive pedigree.
As the saying goes, this ain't Leprous' first rodeo. "Coal" sees them improved dramatically over their last effort. I'm not always a big fan of progressive rock and metal, so when I hear something I like it is notable. Leprous is not your average, run-of-the-mill prog band. As a matter of fact, they are described as Avant-Garde more often than pure prog. While the two subgenres do have a lot in common, Avant-Garde metal uses more experimental sounds and song structures. Leprous are quite adept at experimentation. They use unconventional grooves and soundscapes in repetition with standard metallic riffs to create a very interesting sound.
"Coal" came completely out of left field this year, and many metal bloggers are already placing it in year-end lists. That should say something about how impressive this music is.
Hooky rhythms combine here with somber melodies and grandiose flourishes of atmosphere. Few bands manage to pull off this feat with such aplomb, which should earn Leprous more credit.
If I were to compare Leprous to more-established bands, Queensryche and Dream Theater would be at the top of the list.
In short, get this disc. It is a very, very good listen. Check out the lead single, Chronic, below. As always, thanks and enjoy!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
As I mentioned last week, life has been busy and other priorities have gotten in the way of us updating the blog. I promised an album review for this week, so here it is.
Today we take a look at the new Monochromie album, "Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep."
Monochromie is the musical project of French artist Wilson Trouve. This disc has proven to be a worthy follow-up to the always spectacular "Angels and Demons." Naturally, when news broke earlier this year about the brand new album, I was stoked. I patiently waited until the day of release and then purchased it without having heard a single track. "Angels and Demons" had that big an impact on me.
Continuing with the overall concept of dreamy, ambient post-rock, the new disc introduces a plethora of sounds, including light bells, distorted buzzing, and atmospheric swells of ambient keyboards. The distortion on this disc is astounding, but Trouve is careful to not lean on it too much. Instead of coming across overbearing or plain noisy, it serves its purpose to enhance the exceptional musical quality on display.
Fans of post-rock heavy hitters Mono and Hammock can not go wrong with this release.
In terms of mood, "Enlighten Yourself..." displays a more somber, reflective attitude, dwelling more in the darker aspects of the post-rock sound. The aura of sadness this album conveys, however, is not uninterrupted. Instead, uplifting melodies stroll through the darkened landscape like sparks on live electrical cables. Explosions of introverted silence and sweeping atmospheres pace the record.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable listen. It is up to par with "Angels and Demons" and even surpasses it on some fronts.
As a side note, Monochromie's label, Fluttery Records, has been kind enough to post a snippet of my raving review of "Angels and Demons" to help promote "Enlighten Yourself..." Check out a couple of standout tracks here. As always, thanks for reading and enjoy!!
P.S. Sorry for the poor image quality. The software wasn't uploading the larger image.