Big Black – Bulldozer [EP]

Bulldozer is Steve Albini’s second release through Big Black, and it’s miles ahead of Lungs. For starters, there’s an actual amp for the guitar instead of an old TEAC augmented by a Casiotone, which made Lungs sound like a cheap-ass record on Fisher-Price. He’s a got a real drummer on the beats too via Pat…

18 Carat Affair – Adventures in Schizophrenia

With the exception of a various artists compilation, Adventures in Schizophrenia by Missouri musician Denys Parker of 18 Carat Affair was the final release of Fortune 500 – one of the first professional vaporwave labels that sought to bring the genre outside of the realms of 4chan and message boards. This is no bombastic closer:…

Beirut – Gulag Orkestar

At seventeen years old, New Mexico native Zach Condon dropped out of community college and flew to Eastern/Central Europe with his brother, where he traveled with gypsy bands and studied indigenous folk cultures in the Baltics and former USSR.1 Upon returning, the young musician started a one-man project2 called “Beirut,” through which he created music…

「fluence」 – elemental

After dropping several tracks on streaming services,「fluence」released the downtempo vaportrap album elemental on the Dream Catalogue label – one of the foremost in professional vaporwave marketing and production. Sporting one of the prettiest album covers in the whole genre, elemental forewent the silliness of Blank Banshee for a decidedly somber vibe in common with 音…

Behemoth – And the Forests Dream Eternally [EP]

Coming hot off a series of four increasingly promising demos, And the Forests Dream Eternally is the debut studio release by Polish extreme metal band Behemoth. Although most famous nowadays for their compositionally dense, Middle Eastern/Slavic-influenced brand of death metal, the group began as a thrashy black metal outfit that was deeply indebted to their…

Psychic LCD – Nexxware [EP]

Nexxware is a short, sweet extended-play of hypnagogic vaporwave. Released on the now-defunct Fortune 500 label,1 Psychic LCD’s only extant release2 is a fifteen-minute exploration of ambient loops and vague washes of sound through the imagery of “futurevisions,” which describes a largely niche (even for vaporwave) area of music devoted to the creation of relatively…

.jpeg Artifacts – Ridin’ That (Information Highway) [EP]

.jpeg Artifact’s nine-minute extended-play Ridin’ That (Information Highway) sounds like a – well – JPEG artifact that’s been run through one-too-many Imageshack uploads and accidentally opened/saved in Microsoft Word. All four tracks are the lowest in lo-fi vaporwave, as if this album were made for listening at 96 kbps on the cheapest monitor speakers available…

Abigail Williams – The Accuser

“Path of Broken Glass” is one of the best damn songs in extreme music this decade, let alone the gluttonous genre of black metal. From the very start, the listener is treated to a harsh, ceaseless riff with some of the most tortured, wretched, chokehold shrieks this side of Weakling. Abigail Williams’ previous album Becoming…

Cave In – Tides of Tomorrow

Tides of Tomorrow comes into a weird place within the career of Massachusetts group Cave In. The Radiohead of Metal forsook the technical metalcore of Beyond Hypothermia and Until Your Heart Stops for spacey alternative metal on Jupiter, and then left that for KROQ alternative with some indie influences on Antenna. It was a genre-leap unheard…

Krieg – Sono Lo Scherno

Krieg’s fractured experiments in raw, bestial black metal hit their early realization on Sono Lo Scherno, which was originally recorded in 1998 but not released for seven years. As one of the longest-running acts in the USBM1 scene, Krieg actually predates the main guard of Weakling, Leviathan, Xasthur et al. by several years, and therefore…

Burzum – Aske [EP]

If Dauði Baldrs is the subtlest artistic expression of Varg Vikernes’ ultra-nationalist perspective, then Aske is his most overt. Translated as “ashes” in Vikernes’ mother tongue, the cover of this extended-play is a photograph of the Fantoft Stave Church following its arson on 6 June 1992. Although he was acquitted of its destruction, Vikernes was…

Cult Leader – Useless Animal [EP]

Cult Leader’s second extended-play is Useless Animal.The first two tracks are a feverish maelstrom of mathcore and crust punk much like their debut Nothing for Us Here. The third track is a nearly seven-minute long dirge cover of Mark Kozelek’s (of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon fame) “You Are Not of My Blood.”…