DRI – But Wait…There’s More EP
Legends DRI prove their long absence from a recording studio was the nicest thing they could have done for humanity. This five track EP is totally useless. The opening “Against Me” was previously released on the band’s website a decade ago, while “Mad Man” and “Couch Slouch” were featured on Dealing With It! over thirty years back. They even ignore all of their innovations in crossover thrash, exclusively playing dull hardcore. We need to put microchips into punk rock guys so they spontaneously combust when they hit twenty-five.
Astronoid – Air
Astronoid throws their two cents into the blackgaze arena with a very focused sound. Vocals are never screaming, just melodic melancholy. The guitars and drums pound their way through largely atmospheric black metal sections punctuated with slow crawls. “Violence” is conventional shoegaze that totally disrupts the flow, but in general, you have to really, really like wistful whinery to get through the double LP length.
Nattsvargr – Winds of Transilvania
Misspelling Transylvania for the sake of metal, Stockholm’s Nattsvargr is less derivative thank you’d think. It definitely recalls the tr00 kvult Scandinavian stuff of yore: the title track in particular is a clear clone to Darkthrone’s similarly titled Transilvanian Hunger with its tremolo hypnotism. Further digging reveals a lot more, with the band slowing things down on the epic “Svarta natten…”, droning it up on “Ett lik utan en grav”, and thrashing out on “The Freezing Darkness”. This is as diverse as raw black metal can get without comprising its unadulterated hatred.
Palissade – Lanterne / Je ne peux oublier
Slick goth with that clean single-note guitar echo proves delicious with Palissade’s first demo. These two tracks sink into your brain and fill up the empty spaces. “Lanterne” is very coldwave pop and “Je ne peux oublier” is pure dark atmosphere, a distinction that only the purest post-punk junkers will ever understand. Thank God I’m one of those guys.