There seems to be a lot of nice new releases at the moment, must be the summer rushing in, and we definitely need an antidote for all that light and sunshine…

Alaric – End Of Mirrors (Neurot Recordings)

There’s been a lot of pre-release fuzz about Alaric‘s new album End Of Mirrors, a lot of coverage in the metal and alternative online media. Not knowing the band, but knowing Neurot enough to know there was something to back up all the “hype”, I decided not to listen to anything before the album was out – to kind of let it wash over me, perhaps surprise me…

And, well, surprise me it did. Bridging the gap between crust and post-punk – and just to keep things interesting they mix in some structural and compositional elements seen in the noisier end of the ambient scene too – the result is an irresistible and completely cool album that at the same time reminds me of Depeche Mode, Rush, Amebix, Killing Joke, and Nordic Giants. And more than half the time I’m not even able to explicitly point at where those references that pop into my head come from.

This is an album that will continue to grow on you…

Atomikylä – Keráily (Svart Records)

Atomikylä (Atomic Village) is yet another offshot from the ongoing cooperation between a bunch of truly gifted people in Tampere, Finland (along with among others Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu)

Keráily contain lengthy jams that alternates between dreamy space and more elaborate, brutal sonic onslaughts of psychedelia. Musically driven by drums and bass with some inspired guitar work and screechingly ominous vocals responsible for sending the band into hyperspace.

Even though the album consists of only 3 tracks, there’s a great variety of musical styles present. If this is the future of psychedelic prog, prog could be really great again.

Gurt / Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children Of The Knight – Guppy (When Planets Collide)

This split features 2 tracks from each band, and a bonus collaboration track.

While both bands maneuver in sludgy waters, Gurt seems to be somewhat in the more dirty kind, with super-heavy riffs, a downright brutal tone, and a vocalist hellbent on taking the damage to enemy territory ASAP. Trippy Wicked… balances on the (slightly) more polished edge between sludge and stoner-doom, but still packing a punch that hurts.

Standout-track on this split is the collaboration-track though. Revolting Child is a truly demented version of T-RexChildren Of The Revolution. Yummy!

Maleficence – Realms Of Mortification (Blood Harvest)

Is this death? Is it thrash? Or is it punk? I really can’t tell, since it contains significant elements from each of these (admittedly by now interconnected) genres, and none the worse for it.

What I can tell is that Maleficence, judging from this 7″, have managed to interweave everything into a consistent and highly enjoyable dose of festering, rotting deaththrashpunk, that will have you banging your head in no time short – definitely not the worst attribute for a metal-band to have :-)

Rhin – Passenger (Grimoire)

With blistering guitarlines, impulsive drumbeats, and a smoking groundwork of bass, Rhin plays a post-hardcore/noiserock infused with sludge-sensibilities and dischord.

Not quite unlike Jesus Lizard, this album is definitely a mover of feet and a rattler of heads.