Zeta – Magia Infinita
Venezuela’s Zeta craft an equally frantic and dreamlike brand of post-hardcore on their newest EP release, Magia Infinita. Combining chaotic yet melodic hardcore instrumentation with progressive rock psychedelia and Latin flavor, Zeta‘s take on the post-hardcore style is wholly unique. This new , 22-minute stunner is the mix between Glassjaw, The Fall of Troy, and Relationship of Command-era At the Drive-In/early Mars Volta no one knew they desperately needed. The guitars transition seamlessly between hyper-speed chord progressions and serpentine riffs during the album’s more energetic moments, while the drumming dishes out an awe-inspiring, complex rhythmic beating of its own. There are times when the frenzied attacks are dialed back in favor of ethereal atmospheres and floating clean guitars, most notably in the tracks “Perder” and “Resignar”. Then the album’s title and closing track blends both of these extremes flawlessly and ends with a lengthy, hypnotic outro of dub tribal percussion. In short, Zeta‘s Magia Infinita is an impressive feat.
Release Date: October 28, 2018
Label: Light and Noise Records/Waipea Records
Favorite Tracks: “Afrontar”, “Sufrir” and “Resignar”
For Fans Of: The Mars Volta, The Fall of Troy, Glassjaw and Loma Prieta
U-FOES – Whiteout
Oslo’s U-FOES dish out loud and punchy noise punk on their debut full-length record, Whiteout. The band’s abrasive and groove-heavy sound behaves like a mix of energetic Melvins material and Amphetamine Reptile angularity, with the buzzing guitar tones of bands like Uniform or Death From Above. The 30-minute record features eight tracks of caustic crawls and blood-pumping punk anthems dripping with battery acid. Songs such as “Ice Queen” and “Blessed Are the Death” feature seismic, industrial-esque guitar riffs and off-kilter chugging throughout. “No More No More” is full of furious d-beat percussion and cold, metallic punk, while tracks like “Identity Lost” unleashes a slew of squalling, disfigured riffs and bruising grooves. It’s a pretty catchy and heavy release, though it unfortunately experiences some drag during its “sludgier” moments. The longer, more sprawling compositions on the album tend to rely on repetition a bit too heavily, with the riffs repeating with little to no variation to the point of redundancy. But overall, U-FOES have an interesting and in-your-face sound that will be interesting to see how it evolves in the future.
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Label: Marw Melodee Music
Favorite Tracks: “No More No More”, “Massive Star” and “Identity Lost”
For Fans Of: Melvins, Arabrot, Uniform and Shining
Haven – Anima
Berlin’s Haven blend atmospheric post-metal with hardcore and alternative undertones on their new EP release, Anima. With their down-tuned, towering guitars and emphasis on tension and mood, Haven‘s apocalyptic sound will appease fans of Amenra, Panopticon-era Isis, and the more recent output from The Ocean. The EP opens with a piano-led intro titled “Amends” that is drenched in brooding atmospherics and led by drifting, melancholic vocals. A duo of seven-minute tracks titled “Babel” and “Agrestes” follow next and flaunt the band’s strengths. The guitars deliver huge, drop-tuned sludge riffs brimming with dissonance and stark melody during “Babel”‘s heaviest moments, gradually transitioning into dreary post-rock and dark hardcore as it progresses. In contrast, “Agrestes” storms out of the gate with hammering, galloping riffs and tumultuous drumming that, aside from a brief ambient interlude, refuse to let up their assault. All the while, the vocals float between acidic screams and somber clean vocals to add to the music’s depth. Haven‘s Anima is an impressive and dynamic debut that is worth your time.
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Favorite Track: “Babel”
For Fans Of: Amenra and The Ocean
Planet B – Planet B
From malformed industrial, to acid-laced sci-fi EDM, to bizarre interpretations of hip-hop, Planet B‘s self-titled debut is, needless to say, a unique one. Comprised of vocalist Justin Pearson (Retox, The Locust, et al) and producer Luke Henshaw, Planet B sets out to pick apart, reassemble, and combine typically non-complementary styles and aesthetics into jarring, exciting sounds. Pearson delivers his trademark socio-politically charged lyrics and scathing snarl over Henshaw’s vast array of strange beats and soundscapes across 11 tracks, which also feature notable guest spots from the likes of Kool Keith, Nick Zinner, among others. Songs such as “Crustfund” stomp with the concussive rhythms like industrialized versions of MF Doom tracks and are swarming with various electronic glitches and wails. Songs like “Join a Cult” and “Mirror, Mirror, On the World” showcase wavering, nauseating atmospheres and twisted synths set to malfunctioning rhythms. Then there are cuts like the utterly odd “Big Karma”, which features hovering, trance-like instrumentation that collides with a barrage of sound that is a mix of 80s horror movie soundscapes and technological mayhem. Although it does have its share of repetitive, one-note moments (see “Disease Control”), Planet B ultimately offers an experience like no other.
Release Date: November 23, 2018
Label: Three One G
Favorite Tracks: “[A] Not At All [B] Somewhat [C] Very Much” and “Manure Rally”
For Fans of: Ho99o9, Death Grips, All Leather, and clipping.