God Alone. – Poll na mBrón
This debut album from the Irish quintet God Alone. is so concise and direct I’m unsure if it can qualify as post metal. Regardless, the album is an adventurous and pummeling effort that explores more ideas and riffs than most bands manage in a lifetime. The main appeal though is that the band seem to have so much goddamn fun. They play with such vigour that you can’t help but be swept away in the manic undertow. Oh, and them bass lines. Oh, my.
Below A Silent Sky – A View From Afar
This one here is a more slowly unfurling effort from this German outfit. A lumbering beast, the album wades its way through riffs and melodies as if weighed down by the full heft of human history. Of particular interest are the sudden shifts from an enormous wall of sound distortion to gentle and restrained pieces of tension. Dynamics. These fellows know what they’re doing.
The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: Paleozoic
Presented by the band as the missing link between the classic albums Precambrian and Heliocentric / Anthropocentric, Phanerozoic I: Paleozoic sees the progressively tinged post metal outfit continue to excite and surprise with their idiosyncratic nature. A nuanced and intensely emotional affair, the album slowly ingratiates itself with the listener, before overcoming their ears forcibly with unyielding sonic joy.
Sumac – Love In Shadow
The shortest track on this album is twelve minutes and two seconds. That should tell you all you need to know about the scope of the latest album from post-metal supergroup Sumac. An uncompromising opus, the album does not pander to the listener in any manner. In fact, the album seems to actively push the listener away. Those that persevere will be richly rewarded. Start with ‘Arcing Silver’ and it’s guttural bass line.
Noorvik – Noorvik
Another German band on the list here, Noorvik craft a form of post-metal that takes its time to unfurl but hits some gloriously impassioned heights. Massive, soaring, and intense, their self-titled debut album has been a pleasant surprise this year.
Minsk/Zatokrev – Bigod
An inspired split release by two post metal heavy hitters, Bigod is a four track LP that aims to find the balance between ferocity and vulnerability. It succeeds.
Toundra – Vortex
While Spanish outfit Toundra have also been technically mesmerising and astounding, I have felt in the past that this technical proficiency over shadowed emotion in their music. Vortex changes that. This is an engrossing and carefully crafted album that tugs the emotions as much as impresses with technique.
Holy Fawn – Deep Spells
This is new. On their second LP, Arizona outfit meld shoegaze, ambient, post-rock, and post-metal into an imposing and imperious brew. Harrowing and yet beautiful, the LP seems to somehow both pummel and caress in equal measure.
Ingrina – Etter Lys
An impressively realised debut LP from French sextet Ingrina, sees the band combine exploratory structures with a pummeling ferocity that grooves and meanders in equal measure.
Hundred Year Old Man – Breaching
When a whale rises and breaks through the surface of the water, this is called ‘breaching’. A perfect word to describe the power, heft, and instinctual blast of this Leeds, UK based post-metal outfit. Their sound is one of impenetrable sludge that trudges to its inevitable destination. Unstoppable.