Wait A Minute! This Isn't Metal! - April 2019


Written by: RaduP, musclassia, Abattoir
Published: 14.05.2019


Wait A Minute! This Isn't Metal! - April 2019
Metal Storm's outlet for nonmetal album reviews

The place where we'll talk about music without growls or blast beats
unless they still have those but still aren't metal


We here at Metal Storm pride ourselves on our thousands of metal reviews and interviews and article; metal is our collective soul and passion, which is why we bother with this junk. That being said, we'd be lying if we stuck to our trve-kvlt guns and claimed that metal is the only thing we ever listen to. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do check out some other stuff from time to time; some of us are more poptimistic than others, but there's a whole world out there aside from Satan-worshiping black metal and dragon-slaying power metal. We do already feature some nonmetal artists on our website and have a few reviews to back them up, but we prefer to limit that aspect of the site to those artists who have been a strong influence on the metal scene or who are in some way connected to it. This article series is the place for those artists who don't matter to metal in the slightest but still warrant some conversation - after all, good music, is good music, and we all know metal isn't the only thing on this planet for any of us.

Down below, you might find some obscure Bandcamp bedroom projects or some Billboard-topping superstar; as long as it ain't metal and the album itself isn't a best-of compilation, it fits. Obviously, we're certain that not everything will be for everybody (you guys can be viciously territorial even when metal is the only thing on the menu, and we're all supposed to like the same things), but we do hope you find at least one thing that you can enjoy, instead of just pointing and screaming in horror "Not metal!" as if that would be an insult.

Here's a big chart of everything you'll find in this article, and even at full resolution here. Every image below this will look like shit in comparison.


Here are our previous features:

March 2019
February 2019
January 2019

And now to the music...








W. H. Lung - Incidental Music
[Neo-Psychedelia / Space Rock]

The expansive 10-minute opener of Incidental Music, "Simpatico People", displays similar 80's influence to Jakuzi, with the driving synth-rock beat, delicate guitar playing and husk vocals summoning up the likes of Billy Idol and similar artists whose names I can't remember for the life of me. Yet W. H. Lung are not confined to one decade or sound; coming from Manchester, they show a certain degree of influence from the Madchester scene. The album also takes some inspiration from krautrock, or so I've read (I don't know nearly enough about krautrock to provide an opinion of my own on the matter).

This opening epic sumptuously sets the tone for the subsequent 7 tracks, albeit setting an insurmountably high mark that none of the remaining songs quite manage to match. Several of the remaining songs deliver similarly driving drums and quirky synths, but whilst "Inspiration!" follows very much in the footsteps of "Simpatico People", "An Empty Room" is a slower, more ponderous track with greater vocal prominence, whereas closer "Overnight Phenomenon" carries a more modern spin, with a greater electronic dominance. Whilst Incidental Music does peak rather early, as a collective it is still an enjoyable venture that nakedly bares its influences whilst still feeling somewhat modern.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by musclassia

Metatron Omega - Evangelikon
[Dark Ambient / Ritual Ambient]

If it wasn't obvious from the genre descriptor, the music is extremely dark and extremely atmospheric, akin to a Sunn O))) album but with no guitars. Instead it's just that eerie sense of the unknown and unfathomable. And choirs. There's lots of those. Metatron Omega have quite specialized in a brand of ritual ambient that feels otherworldly and extremely religious, but then again, that's what ritual ambient is generally supposed to be.

Do you want an ambient album that makes you feel like you're being transported to an ancient temple through the afterlife where beings beyond your comprehension are initiating a dark mass to summon elder forces of the universe? Something that's lovecraftian without overtly referencing Lovecraft? Do you like choirs and chants, but like, really slow choirs and chants? Enter the ancient temple then. The mass has begun.

Bandcamp

by RaduP

Rakta - Falha Comum
[Noise Rock / Krautrock]

If Jakuzi sounded very familiar, this felt entirely unique. A rather spellbinding venture, and wholly atmospheric, this combines something of a drone-based platform with the use of myriad distinct musical flavors, including a range of vocal approaches that span from ritualistic chants and wordless melodies to occasional exuberant shamanistic proclamations, and the eclectic use of rock, electronic and world instruments and sounds. The combination delivers something not all that far removed from the likes of Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu in terms of delivering a twisted psychedelic soundscape that is at the same time measured in pace but also relentless in its progression, with driving drumbeats consistently prominent. However, unlike those bands, Rakta don't need to fall back on shrieked vocals or sharp metal guitars to summon up their hellish fantasy, instead generating measured chaos through the discordant interplay of interjecting vocals, off-kilter instrumental motifs and drumbeats that at the same time often feel somewhat disconnected from proceedings and yet make perfect sense.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by musclassia

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Fishing For Fishies
[Psychedelic Rock / Roots Rock]

Aside from probably having the best band name ever, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have also had quite a massive and diverse output, jumping from psych rock to garage rock to prog rock to jazz fusion to surf rock and everything in between. Despite releasing five albums in 2017, 2018 seems to have been quite quiet for the Aussie outfit. So now that we have a new one, we know that it's probably not the only one we'll have this year; and also that it doesn't sound like any of their other ones.

Sure, the album still has a tad of the trademark jam psych rock, but Fishing For Fishies has a massive boogie roots rock influence in its sound. Expect lots of early blues influence, loads of unusual instruments for a modern psych band, some funky basslines, tongue-in-cheek environmentalist wordplay and another album that flows cohesively from start to finish instead of being a collection of songs in a certain order. Think ZZ Top meets Grateful Dead meets a bunch of D&D playing quirky Aussies.

Spotify

by RaduP








Cocaine Piss - Passionate & Tragic
[Noise Rock / Post-Hardcore]

I found out about Cocaine Piss because I found flyers of their new album all over Roadburn, and I was excited because it mentioned an April release date, so they would have been a perfect fit for the article. I couldn't wait to check them out, both because the flyer mentioned that Steve Albini handled production and because honestly Cocaine Piss is a cool fucking name, and since this was not a sludge band, it had to be a punky noise rock one. But when finally listening to it, to say that I was taken by surprise would be an understatement. Why? The fucking vocals.

To put it mildly, the vocals sound like a bratty tween throwing a temper tantrum, as if they are putting extra effort to be as annoying as possible. But it works so well because it's something I haven't heard before. It's confrontational and in your face in a way that I haven't felt punk music be in a long time. With loads of songs that barely hit the minute mark, Passionate & Tragic is blisteringly fast and chaotic, and with some of that extra noisy fuzz to make the 20 minutes of its runtime feel so lively and heavy. It's a frantic woman shouting in your face over fast noisy guitar riffs. Deal with it.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP

Pup - Morbid Stuff
[Pop Punk / Indie Rock]

I'm really not a big pop punk fan, I was never part of the "defend pop punk army", I never listened to neither Enema Of The State or Does This Look Infected? and pretty much the only pop punk I really listened to was Green Day, but then again, who hasn't listened to Green Day when they were young. So don't take my word on this, but coming back to this genre with barely any expectations or biases. So were we have Pup, a pop punk band, so we can assume they hate their hometown and their jobs and their parents.

Like a lot of indie rock and pop punk, the main theme of Morbid Stuff is depression and anxiety, which is really something that has been a main theme of a lot of music, so Pup challenge was trying to write it without propagating the myth of the tortured artist, hence why theres so many self-deprecating lyrics all throughout the record. So we have an angry punk record full of energetic choruses about the perils of modern life, of dead end jobs and lay offs, of unfulfilling lives and worry, with surprisingly lots of self-awareness and maturity for an album of its kind. It's a very liberating take on anger as a feeling.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP

Ioanna Gika - Thalassa
[Art Pop / Ethereal Wave]

Greek-American musician Ioanna Gika is one of a few "flies", coming out of the Sargent House nest, that I've stumble on in last couple of weeks. Well-known and, I could say, 'popular' label for supporting lots of those artists, who create and portrait dark, mesmerizing atmosphere as a red line in their music expression. Ioanna is presenting herself on the scene with debut record, titled Thalassa. It's a showcase of unpredictable musical combinations and directions, intertwining and connecting with each other into one magnificently haunting offering.

Hearing classical tunes and colorful vocalization in a rather soulful and gloomy 'fashion', covered with a strong touch of electronic "pulsing" sound through the main portion of the album. You can tell immediately that her talent and quality of singing is undisputed. And with appropriate feeling and dose of enriched emotions, her vocals disperse lightly over the complete music arrangements. For me, Thalassa is still a very diverse record. On some spots, you can sense a touch of drone, on others some noise, and than on another combining it with piano / keys as well. Much is going on, when you travel progressively track by track, and eventually, you shall feel and perceive all the elements and layers, when you will give a couple of spins and let it resonates inside your head for a while.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by Abattoir

Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky - Droneflower
[Ethereal Wave / Dark Folk]

While the two of them aren't exactly polar opposites, Stepher Brodsky's work with Cave In and Mutoid Man is admittedly a lot noisier than the hazy ballads of Marissa Nadler, but there's still enough common ground in order for this not to feel like just another Marissa Nadler with some extra guitars and pianos. But for the most part it is just that, albeit with a dronier and more distorted sound. So Stephen's presence adds some nice elements to the mix without feeling like those push Marissa out of her elements. For all intents and purposes, they work really well together. Even though, with most of the songs barely hitting the three minutes mark, and with its raw ethos, it feels very unpolished and uneven as an album experience.

Seeing both of them perform a few of these songs at Roadburn, I wasn't expecting the album itself to drop so soon, and I certainly didn't expect the live performance to sound as clean and hazy as it does now on record. Like I said, a lot of this album feels like standard Nadler ethereal folk balladry, but some of the distorted guitar passages in songs like "For The Sun" feel more ominous that she has ever sounded, and even at her most ominous, she feels very restrained. And a lot of the songs feel more like interludes that would fit on the soundtracks of horror movies, like the two piano driven "Space Ghost" tracks. Also I would like to than her for covering what used to be my favorite Guns N' Roses from when I liked those, so I can finally listen to it again.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP








Jakuzi - Hata Payı
[Synthpop / New Wave]

The 80's are alive and well on this sophomore effort from Turkish group Jakuzi. Rather than the enthusiastic upbeat nature of the likes of "Take On Me" or "A Little Respect", this is more of a mellow spin on the synthpop sound - the main comparison that is coming to me is "Nightcall" from the Drive soundtrack, but many of the songs also feel like they would be well at home on the Donnie Darko soundtrack. It can get a bit one-speed throughout, although it does have certain songs where the tempo picks up, if not necessarily the vocal energy, such as Kalbim Köprü Gibi. Despite this, it makes for soothing and somewhat uplifting background music. Probably the thing that makes this stand out from the many similar artists that have produced this type of sound over the last 3-4 decades is the use of the Turkish language, which does add a distinctive touch to proceedings that otherwise feel very familiar, even as someone pretty uninitiated with contemporary synthpop/new wave.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by musclassia

Filmmaker - The Love Market
[EBM / Coldwave]

How does retro slasher film exploitation and party culture translate into musical form? Probably like Filmmaker's The Love Market. Like all good retro music, the music is drowned in synths and depravity. With a cover art so entrancing, it's no surprise that the cover art itself was the base of the album, with the artist making the music around it, instead of the other way around. And it is the same cover art that probably made the album appear among those albums you keep seeing in your recommendations on YouTube. And with an artist as prolific, having released two more albums since The Love Market, there's obviously some need for the album to stand out among the others. For now, let The Love Market have its moment of glory.

With an album as centered around the depravity of party culture, a lot of the songs get pretty industrial techno at times, probably closer to EBM, so much so that they can be used as actual party music, although the participants should ideally not be too sober. But there's a whole retro quality to it as well, something that makes it feel close to dungeon synth and some soundtrack for some video game from the 80s. Or rather from a video game made now that tries to recreate 80s atmospheres. You get the point. The Love Market feels retro, but it doesn't feel old. And the lack of vocals make its usage more flexible. Party music? Works. Video game soundtrack? Works. Lo-fi beats to study to? Works.

Bandcamp

by RaduP

TR/ST - The Destroyer - 1
[Synthpop / Darkwave]

Coming out of a creative block and resuming collaborations with original collaborator Maya Postepski, there was so much output for TR/ST's new album that Robert Alfons decided he would rather split it in two doses. Here we have the first one, one that's supposed to be more promiscuous in sound, with the following one being darker. We need to have both albums at hand to figure out how accurate that it, but for now we're gonna have to take their word for it.

And this does indeed sound a bit more appealing and accessible for a TR/ST album, so the promiscuous descriptor wasn't exactly off. Don't expect the music to not be dark or anything, but some of the fog has been lifted from the sleazy synth sound and the brooding vocals, bringing the sound closer to Pet Shop Boys than Clan Of Xymox. But even with the sleaziness that it retains, it's still a very intense album. Not intense enough to feel industrial or anything of the sorts, but the music doesn't feel like it lacks any energy.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP

All Your Sisters - Trust Ruins
[Post-Punk / Industrial Rock]

Post-punk and synthpop revivalism is really nothing new, considering that the better part of this decade was spent trying to recreate the 80s. But All Your Sisters have something really aggressive about the way that they approach music from that decade. Sure, the drum machine rhythms and the cold synths and the wailing vocals are there, but listening to this I wouldn't easily be convinced that this is someone that actually comes from the decade it emulates. It's industrial in a way that doesn't feel of the era, it's futuristic in a way that doesn't feel as futurism usually feels.

This is honestly one of the most brutal post-punk albums out there. Sure, brutal might be a funny word to use on a website literally dedicated to brutal music that is more brutal than this. A lot of synthy albums are just darker synthpop but this actually feels like it deserves that "punk" part in post-punk. Sure, the music is dark and brooding, but it's also energetic in its darkness, instead of wallowing. This feels like music done by the villain of the story, with a slight bravado feel to its distorted darkness. If anything it's actually closer to the industrial rock of early Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy, but with a huge tint of gothic.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP








Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
[Art Pop / Baroque Pop]

Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, has had quite a journey the past few years and this is the fourth record that she put out. It's not strange that after dabbles in psychedelia and freak folk, it's actually her poppiest album that actually gets her the most recognition. What is less surprising is how this doesn't feel like a sell-out and instead actually feels stronger than her weirder and folkier work. Though she still feels like she has a bit more journeying to do to finally completely find her own sound and identity.

As of now, Titanic Rising still feels very anchored in the music of the past, but instead of Syd Barrett, it feels closer to The Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush. Obviously there's an obvious modern approach to these old sounds, whether through the absolutely amazing production or how well the transitions and the soundscapes work to make this record give Natalie's vocals and lovesick lyrics so much more emotional weight. And this does indeed feel like an album full of feelings of incompleteness and longing that manages to be so entrancing and there's rarely a moment on Titanic Rising that doesn't feel as such.

Bandcamp / Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP

Anderson .Paak - Ventura
[Neo-Soul / Funk]

A lot of people didn't really like Anderson .Paak's last album, Oxnard accusing it of being a sellout and a loss of identity, his first released on Dr Dre's label and with a lot of big time guests like Kendrick or Pusha, which had come after Paak's popularity skyrocketed after his massive contributions to Dre's Compton album. Less than a year after that, we already get another Andreson .Paak album, having been recorded since 2017, which makes it feel like the Amnesiac to Kid A. But there is still quite some difference between Oxnard and Ventura, the latter being more than just stuff that didn't make it to the former.

Oxnard featured heavy Dr. Dre involvement, especially in production, whereas here he seems that he let the artist get a bit more creative freedom. The sounds of this record are still very anchored in 70s soul and funk with heavy nods to Parliament/Funkadelic and Stevie Wonder, but takes a step back from the previous album to get into a more "return to form"-ish style of the even earlier records. The result sadly feels a bit rushed and not that coherent, but still features much more worthwhile songs than filler, with guest features that feel less invasive from the likes of André 3000 and Smokey Robinson, and even a very hard to pull type of feature from a long gone artist, Nate Dogg that feels surprisingly very respectful and tactful. There's still a lot of hip-hop influence on the record, but the rap sections feel fairly isolated from the rest, with .Paak's singing voice taking once more center stage.

Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP

The Chemical Brothers - No Geography
[Acid House / Big Beat]

It's not really that often one finds electronic music that is both fun and psychedelic. The fun electronic music is usually a lot more energetic and danceable, while the more psychedelic one is more ambiance focused and a bit detached. No Geography finds somewhat of a balance between the two. The Chemical Brothers are have been a massive force in electronic music though they haven't really reached the highs that peers such as Daft Punk or The Prodigy did, so even if they don't really have anything left to prove, No Geography does still prove that the group still feels fun despite how psychedelic their acid house music is.

A lot of it feels very nostalgic of 90s House, while at the same time some of it seems more reminiscent of IDM stuff like Aphex Twin or Boards Of Canada, so it feels like it's something that could appeal to a pretty large demographic of electronic music fans. And even if a lot of it feels a bit too nostalgic, it doesn't feel like a rehash just for old times' sake, there's some real power and groove in these songs, they feel exciting and playful and menacing. And while not everything feels as smooth as it ideally should, the samples work really well, so much so that they make a Network sample actually not feel generic, and even the non-sampled vocals, like Aurora's, give this album a commanding sort of power.

Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP

The Cranberries - In The End
[Alternative Rock / Jangle Pop]

Posthumous albums are uneasy to deal with. On one hand, you have an artist who recorded music with the intention of having it eventually be brought out to the world. But on the other hand, the music industry has been really keen of grave-robbing the vaults of demos and bringing artists back to perform in holographic
form. But it seems like this album has been under work for a while before Dolores' death, so it feels right that this would be the end. In The End has been carefully constructed as a powerful epitaph.

A lot of the songs seem to unknowingly hint at the tragedy that would strike, like the album opening with the line "Remember the night in a hotel in London" as well as song titles like "All Over Now" and the title track filling the album with a sense of finality. And with the songs being some of their best since their heyday, it's a very strong note to end on. From nostalgia filled songs like "A Place I Know", to jangly ones like "Summer Song" and ones that hint to their most mainstream and most angry song like "Wake Me When It's Over". Her powerful voices still contrasts sadness and restlessness with hope and moving on. Time to move on.

Google Play Music / Spotify

by RaduP




And that was it. You've made it through still alive. Congrats. See ya next month.



 



Written on 14.05.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 139 users
14.05.2019 - 15:33
Peasant
Great article.
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14.05.2019 - 15:34
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Peasant on 14.05.2019 at 15:33

Great article.

Thanks, hope you find something you'd like
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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16.05.2019 - 23:43
AndreMarcos
Really appreciate the effort you guys had to write this kind of article. And I will definitely be checking out a lot of this stuff
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17.05.2019 - 04:45
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by AndreMarcos on 16.05.2019 at 23:43

Really appreciate the effort you guys had to write this kind of article. And I will definitely be checking out a lot of this stuff

Thank you, this means a lot to us
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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18.05.2019 - 12:40
Tanuk the Monk
Thanks for the Cocaine Piss discovery. In sort of the same vein, check out an album released last year: Loved by a band named Ken Mode. I find a similar vibe of post-rock/post-hardcore.
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18.05.2019 - 13:12
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Tanuk the Monk on 18.05.2019 at 12:40

Thanks for the Cocaine Piss discovery. In sort of the same vein, check out an album released last year: Loved by a band named Ken Mode. I find a similar vibe of post-rock/post-hardcore.

Oh, I'm already a KEN Mode fan, my dude, but thanks a lot. They deserve more recognition.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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19.05.2019 - 05:29
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Filmmaker is probably the discovery of April for me, really digging this guy's work and he seems pretty prolific. This one that dropped right before The Love Market is quite good as well, I'm gonna get on the other two from this month as well eventually.
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Life was a commercial for itself, endlessly replayed.
Nothing changed, it just spread out farther and farther in the form of neon ooze.
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22.05.2019 - 18:37
CarolynDenton
Hey, thanks for sharing. A bit unexpected to find such artists here, but some of them sound really interesting. Added a few albums to my playlist.

Wanted to share my personal discovery of April - Portishead. A perfect sound when you feel depressed or just want to sit and wonder in your thoughts.
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New CanadaWriters competition launched. The topic is "Music is a language that doesn't speak in particular words"
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22.05.2019 - 18:58
The Galactician
This is a super quality post. Thanks to all involved for making it happen.

I have been working my way through this list and really, really enjoying what I've been hearing. I too am a fan of music, pure and simple. Nice to have a new and diverse set of excellent artists and albums to listen to this year.
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22.05.2019 - 19:04
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by CarolynDenton on 22.05.2019 at 18:37

Hey, thanks for sharing. A bit unexpected to find such artists here, but some of them sound really interesting. Added a few albums to my playlist.

Wanted to share my personal discovery of April - Portishead. A perfect sound when you feel depressed or just want to sit and wonder in your thoughts.

Oh I fucking love Portishead. Glad you found something to like.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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29.05.2019 - 06:41
Shamppy
This is amazing. A great article to expand our musical horizons.
I would like to suggest Mew's "+-" to anyone interested. It's a very interesting and enjoyable album IMO
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14.06.2019 - 21:00
dammage11
Thanks for the article, I always love seeing what kind of music metalheads are into besides metal. It provides a very accessible route to me into these genres
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