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Sh*t That Comes Out Today: July 16, 2021

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All the feel-good hits of the summer came out this week!

Leila Abdul-Rauf
Phantasiai (Cyclic Law)

Leila Abdul-Rauf has made some righteous noise with Vastum, Hammers of Misfortune, Amber Asylum, and about a dozen others, so it says something that her solo work is where she really plumbs some disturbing depths. Phantasiai presents a haunting collection of low-key tracks that evoke a creepy atmosphere usually more associated with metal — similar to other metal-adjacent outliers like Bohren & der Club of Gore or The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, her exploration of the dark side eschews loud guitars in favor of ambience that speaks louder than reverb.

Midwife
Luminol (The Flenser)

Darkness personified in a featureless woman (the artist’s mother) standing on a watery precipice, the cover for Luminol highlights the starkly minimalist music found within. Madeline Johnston’s faded shoegaze sunset hymns hit on a deeply personal level. It washes over you like the waves in the background of the above photo, threatening to pull you under in its deceptively deadly wake.

Space Chaser
Give Us Life (Metal Blade)

Named after an early Taito arcade shooter, Space Chaser evoke a time and a sound gone by. These German thrashers don’t lack for talent, but there’s a reason the Big Four were the Big Four and everyone else wasn’t: hooks. Give Us Life has lots of riffs and breakneck time changes but they could use some pointier objects to pull listeners in. If you’re looking to get caught in a mosh, though, this fits the bill nicely.

Vouna
Atropos (Profound Lore)

Yianna Bekris performs the kind of material that’ll go over huge at Roadburn — super artsy, super gothic (in all senses of the term) music that’s too ethereal to be labeled doom but too depressing to be anything else. This one-woman project brings in some notable collaborators from friends like Wolves in the Throne Room, but it’s Bekris’s vision and she sees it through to magnificent fruition. Hard to sum up in a blurb but a beautiful accomplishment.

Wizardthrone
Hypercube Necrodimensions (Napalm)

Insane progressive death metal where the words are half cosmic gobbledygook and half Lovecraftian nonsense and mean nothing anyway, this latest project from members of Alestorm, Gloryhammer, and Nekrogoblikon is a blast nonetheless. A little subtler (comparatively speaking) than those acts, but still ridiculous. Summoning space Cthulhus with killer solos and cheesy keyboards: what could possibly go wrong?

OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY

Big City – Testify (Frontiers) Listen
Bulb – Moderately Fast, Adequately Furious (3DOT) Listen
Cognitive – Malevolent Thoughts Of A Hastened Execution (Unique Leader) Listen
Inner Stream – Stain The Sea (Frontiers) Listen
Marta Gabriel – Metal Queens (Listenable) Listen
Ophidian I – Desolate (SoM) Listen
Paradise Lost – At The Mill CD/DVD (NB) Listen
Powerwolf – Call of the Wild (Napalm) Listen
Resurrection Kings – Skygazer (Frontiers) Listen
Times Of Grace – Songs Of Loss And Separation (Wicked Good) Listen
Wormwood – Arkivet (Black Lodge) Listen

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