The 'Releases Of The Year' series are albums chosen by myself as the best release from each country / dependency known to have an official release in the year 2017. These are alphabetized in country order so are easy to navigate. Each award has national flag featured alongside the band name, Release Of The Year' and Facebook link (where provided)
Timezapped neuropunks Expander stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut album, Endless Computer, at Decibel magazine's website. Now set for international release on October 15th via Nuclear War Now! Productions, hear Expander's Endless Computer in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Although black and death varieties of metal have largely thrived in the modern era, it has been conspicuously more difficult over the past decade or more to find a thrash band that both follows in the strong traditions of its forefathers and at the same time pushes beyond established boundaries to develop a sound that is unique unto itself, rather than being a stale form of mimicry of the subgenre’s heyday. Hailing from Austin, Texas, and to this point having released two EPs, Expander has broken the mould and developed its own niche through a novel concoction and recombination of musical and thematic elements that broadly span the genres of metal and punk. Expander’s music, lyrical themes, and chosen artwork are decidedly futuristic without being gratuitously experimental. The most appropriate point of reference that one might choose in drawing a direct comparison would be to Killing Technology-era Voivod. Expander, however, is noticeably more aggressive than its Canadian predecessor in its approach and delivery, which is clearly demonstrated on Endless Computer.
The concept behind the album is that of a shapeless cosmic entity which represents the pinnacle of technological advancement and seeks autonomous control over all atomic matter in the universe. This vision is musically reflected in the myriad of often times unconventional riffs and progressions that manage to tunnel their way into the inner-consciousness of the listener and subvert independent cognition, much in the same way that a digital virus infects and takes control first of a single machine and then progressively engulfs entire networks of them. Not to be underestimated with respect to its overall impact on this album is the level of mindfulness to all aspects of production on this recording.
Whereas a great deal of metal, particularly that of the black/death variety, runs a high risk of overproduction, thrash metal with a futuristic focus, such as this, benefits immensely from a healthy degree of attention to clarity and precision, which is proven in this case. Also a product of the band’s diligence in capturing the best-possible recording was its decision to faithfully reproduce its live sound to the greatest extent possible. To this end, the band transported its entire backline from its home base in the heart of Texas to faraway GodCity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts, rather than rely on the house equipment to only approximate the desired outcome. The final nod to detail is the perfectly representative cover artwork by Luca Carey, with whom the band worked very closely to ensure that the artwork reflected the lyrical themes of the music as accurately as possible.
Given the blistering pace at which humankind increasingly finds itself entangled in the web of its own creations, Endless Computer may indeed serve as a harbinger of the fate that we have sealed for ourselves. Face that fate in its entirety exclusively HERE, as well as read an outer communique with the band, all courtesy of Decibel, North America's only monthly metal magazine.
Ember Falls announce the release of a lethal cyber metal virus called ‘COE’ on December 2nd 2016.
Listen to the euphoria-inducing ‘COE’ single/lyric video at:
· Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2fIFQeC
· Smart video link: http://vevo.ly/xCaZ7V
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Global Metal Apocalypse