Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year In RRReview - 2013

We would like to thank everyone that has visited our little blog in this inaugural year. I plan to on a yearly basis briefly go over some of our "top" reviews and review an album that was released in the year that we thought stood out from the rest.

Next month we will be putting out our sixteen artist article of "underground" electronic projects. You can preview all of these artists HERE.

Favorite Album 2013 - 'Runaljod - Yggdrasil' by Wardruna

Written by Ryan

Wardruna is a Norwegian music group that was founded in 2003 by multi-instrumentalist and composer, Einar Kvitrafn Selvik. After releasing their acclaimed debut, 'Runaljod - gap var Ginnunga' in 2009 Wardruna has released in 2013 their much anticipated follow-up, 'Runaljod - Yggdrasil'. Wardruna uses a unique array of instrumentation, recording, and production techniques to achieve their sound; incorporating complex and harmonious vocalizations, diversified and very well played folk instruments, computer sampling of field recordings, and what sounds like mild use of a soft synth. Wardruna also ties all of these elements into Nordic folklore and spiritualism, thus drawing inspiration from ancient knowledge and traditions.

Fehu leaps into a pounding rhythm and mesmerizing chant after a brief ambient prelude. Staggering vocal developments are made quickly, layering the groove with melodious increments. Drum propulsion evolves the song further, compelling the listener to move and sway about without care; which happens to be a common occurrence throughout 'Yggdrasil'. Solringen is a deeply touching and healing composition, opening with wood knocking, meditative drones, as well as a beautiful bird song. The preceding portion of the album seems to be a building up to this breaking down as a hopeful sense of melancholy pervades. The vocal crescendo haunts for a long time to come. 'Yggdrasil' concludes with Helvegen, a powerful song with perhaps the most complex musical arrangement provided. This track has a more prolonged ambient entrance compared to the rest of the album, featuring sounds of thunder, birds, and other natural ambiance along with what sounds like could be a soft synth from the computer program. Helvegen has the most diverse textures found throughout the album with a unique combination of ambiance, vocal harmony, and tribal drumming; building into an incredibly uplifting rhythm near the midpoint of the song and ending in a deeply contemplative vocal outro.

'Runaljod - Yggdrasil' is a truly enchanting and rejuvenating piece of music. The level of depth is near incomprehensible even to the most perceptive of music enthusiasts. Something about this album will lift your soul out of your body if listened to properly.

Top Reviews

Follow the embedded links for full reviews.


"Izalith is a music project based out of Seattle, Washington specializing in creating uniquely textured soundscapes and atmospheres. Their music flows in a very lucid way, engaging the listener and taking them on a journey through waves of sonic emotion. Featuring an array of musical techniques blended in a refreshing and satisfying way, Izalith’s music certainly does not come out and blurt its “message” in your face but rather expresses their meaning through a building, cascading, and relenting of subtleties. There is a certain dark quality about their music that conveys an almost disturbing pain, which becomes deeply resonate to the listener."

eleven tigers

"Eleven tigers is an electronic based music project from London, UK. The most recent release by this solo act slash collective project is the astonishing full length release entitled, 111. With this album, eleven tigers have created one of the more nuanced pieces of music in recent memory, composing a piece that is simply best described as real."

The Algorithm

"From Montpellier, France, THE ALGORITHM presents the album, Polymorphic Code. Combing numerous different modern music styles and production techniques, this record has a persistent and immersive flow that is heavily groove textured. Dynamic diversity reigns as the main staying point of this album, creating a level of textural atmosphere that brings the advanced level technology present on this album to the forefront of observation."

Monday, December 9, 2013


Can't say enough about the work being done with Wardruna. A combination of textural ambient with field recordings of nature, tribal rhythms, chanting (as well as singing), and Nordic folk/spiritualism based on the Elder Futhark Runes. The lead vocalist is Ghaal, formerly of Gorgoroth but don't let that make your mind up about what kind of sound you are about to hear.

Here is one of my favorites from Runaljod - Yggdrasil.

And the entire album.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Khaldera, has released a new free (name your price) album entitled Relief. Mixing on this album was done by Aaron Harris, formerly of ISIS. Khaldera is an instrumental trio from Switzerland. Shed Light on The Unbearable is in an intricately woven progressive song with a prominent dark psychedelic nature.

Thursday, September 12, 2013



From Montpellier, France, THE ALGORITHM presents the album, Polymorphic Code. Combing numerous different modern music styles and production techniques, this record has a persistent and immersive flow that is heavily groove textured. Dynamic diversity reigns as the main staying point of this album, creating a level of textural atmosphere that brings the advanced level technology present on this album to the forefront of observation.

Trojans focuses primarily on dance rhythm, changing and adapting around a consistent pulse. Feverishly mind bending transition and polyrhythm entrance the listener with a vivid mental imagery; disorientating and mesmerizing. Warp Gate Exploit starts with a soft ambiance that quickly evolves into a synthesizer driven melody. Percussive elements of this track develop and then envelope the music swiftly jettisoning the arrangement into a guitar infused powerhouse riff, which then finally drifts into a relaxing yet ominous trance.

The final track, Panic, is the longest and most sophisticated piece of music on this album and that is saying a lot. The complexity of this song is staggering, with continual breaks in interesting and unexpected directions, thus acting very much like a microcosm for the entire work. Providing an intense and euphoric completion to a non-stop astounding album, Panic comes out as a true marvel of the current music culture.


Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the instrumental metal four piece Intervals. The album In Time, features a “High Tech” tonality and seamless groove rhythms to soloed and or counterpointed passages. Demonstrating superb musicianship is the hallmark of this work as Intervals emphasizes a constantly evolving composition while keeping the listener always interested by maintaining unpredictable and enjoyable jazz styled turns.

The first track, Alchemy, breaks into a terrorizing groove laden riff after a brief electronically infused ambient soundscape introduction. Driven by this herky-jerky rhythm this song is thrown into a guitar solo that dances around this groove and then wraps back into itself while constantly progressing. Tapestry engages with a soulful and uplifting cadence, and then drifts into contemplative soloing built around this elaborate pulsation. Flying out of this passage do the instruments reconnect and work as one; interweaving as the increasingly complicated composition of this track moves along and builds to climax. Momento kicks off with fastest pacing yet but presents perhaps the most satisfying use of instrumental communication demonstrated on this album. Connecting highly expressive passages into an ever changing chorus composition as the song develops.

Intervals provide the listener with a unique look inside of themselves, asking the listener to be patient not only in listening but in life. In Time flows with a natural un-hindrance, much akin to a river. Moving seamlessly around obstacles and then backing into its’ own self again, and again.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Gembrokers & Break Of Reality

The Gembrokers

The Gembrokers are an acoustic trio from Santa Cruz, California. Their second album, Bury The Sound is a remarkably textured release that spans many variants of folk styled music. Heartfelt, honest, and uncompromising songwriting makes this piece stand out during a time in music where so much is mired in uncertainty and change; this group takes a step back instead and presents something fresh regardless.

The Demon brings the listener into a darkening swamp at dusk and leaves them there. Effortlessly exceptional musicianship and harmonic balance ebbs and flows, drifting along only allowing the listener to catch but a glimpse of some figure watching from distance through a misty tree-scape. The title track Bury The Sound, has perhaps the most interesting combination of styles and techniques. This song opens with a piano and vocal narrative which transitions into a passage that hearkens simpler times, with traditional European influences. To The Sea is a raw vocal and piano oriented ballad. Powerful and soulful, this track emphasizes hopefulness at the end of one long journey while facing the start of another.

Featuring complex vocal harmonies and a seamless integration of multiple instruments, Bury The Sound is an excellent example of less can certainly be more if one adequately utilizes one’s resources. A lack of percussion stands out while not feeling at all missed, as often times the percussive nature of The Gembrokers rhythms adds a layer of dimension through this minimalism.

Break of Reality

Rochester, New York founded Break of Reality, has made three releases with extensive touring in support of these albums. Spectrum of the Sky, released in 2009, is an amalgamation of classic technique and modern rhythmic styling. With this release, Break of Reality may alter one's previous conceptions of what can be done with a four piece band and classical instruments.

The Farewell sets a dramatic atmosphere with choppy cello bowing, intricate violin narratives, and a percussive emphasis. With hints of Western European influence, The Farewell conveys the occurrence of an important event that has been a long time coming.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Entropia, MIKTEK, & Limalo


The Oleśnica, Poland, based band Entropia presents the title track from their debut, Vesper. This song joins together several elements of modern metal music, bringing the listener through elegant and darkened passages. Mournful and soulful, Vesper reminds of a moonlit funeral held for those whom have passed tragically far to early in life.


Electronic based MIKTEK, from Mytilene, Greece, brings the track Elephants. The featured track from [ Elsewhere ], Elephants is a relaxing song, latent with mysterious and rhythmic subliminal ambiance. A sterile tone and beat takes prominence drawing the listeners attention to the underlying static of voices and calming piano melody.


Magic Lantern is a new track by Dallas-Fort Worth Texas’ own Limalo, featured on the album, Human Bloom. Provoking a vision of flames flickering in the breeze on a warm summer’s night; swaying gently back and forth, entangling the listener in déjà vu. Hopefully reminding of better times, sending the listener into a dreamland where sleepy melodies sweep them away and hold them tight.

Friday, August 16, 2013

eleven tigers & zYnthetic

eleven tigers

Eleven tigers is an electronic based music project from London, UK. The most recent release by this solo act slash collective project is the astonishing full length release entitled, 111. With this album, eleven tigers have created one of the more nuanced pieces of music in recent memory, composing a piece that is simply best described as real.

Immersed in the subliminal, 111 speaks an ancient tongue of a higher intelligence. Constant and fast moving evolution becomes apparent early on as the opening track, Clouds, rapidly builds with an almost aquatic funeral ambiance morphing into near indescribable complex percussion and synthetic noise oriented dance beats.  The third track, Night begins where the previous track ends, transitioning into a soft and melodic noodling of various instruments. Quickly this section drifts into a poetic vocal narrative followed by a mystifying lullaby of atmosphere escalating again into a continually transforming dance-like groove. The track Play presents perhaps the most cerebral music in eleven tigers' arsenal, beginning with another enigmatic transition of composition from the previous track into itself. Play develops in a way that brings chills to the listener; with its masterfully coalesced arrangements, beckoning to pretend with a dreamy whisper.

Eleven tiger communicates with the listener about life in 111, telling them about the interconnectedness of all things, showing them that they are as much a part of the music as the music is a part of them. With that, 111 transcends music into true spirituality.

SOUNDTRACK FOR THE APOCALYPSE is a full length album by the electronic based, zYnthetic. From Atlanta, Georgia, zYnthetic delivers on this releases name sake, fashioning music from a futuristic war torn landscape. Packing tons of raw power and dark finesse, SOUNDTRACK FOR THE APOCALYPSE keeps the listener thoroughly engaged from start to finish.

The album opens powerfully with a guitar tone and groove pacing on Abandon v3 that alternates in prominence from track to track, for the most part, with textural, electronically infused, post apocalyptic atmospheres. Abandon v3 is a hard hitting, in your face, quick moving track that sets a very clear precedence and cadence for the rest of SOUNDTRACK FOR THE APOCALYPSE. Bled Dry is an intense sprint, running away without looking back as mutagenetic foe pursues in a feverish haste; frantically ducking, dodging, and weaving through narrow corridors in avoidance of this hostile adversary. Intricately synchronized percussion and synthesis constructs a hostile rhythm, provoking the listener with the apprehension of being swarmed in upon. Forceful beat and skillfully manufactured rhythm develop rapidly in Defection, as this track implements a speedy and detailed composition. Defection melds ambiance, melody, and rhythm, succinctly emphasizing the listener’s blackened sonic surroundings.

Throughout the entire album, zYnthetic delivers strong visualizations for the listener, through dynamic instrumentation. Stimulating imagery of a dilapidated city torn asunder by a ravenous virus, provoking emotions of resilience, hopelessness, and sorrow; along with the sensation of constantly being sought after.

Monday, August 12, 2013



LayerZ is a three piece composed of talented multi-instrumentalist hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel. Their second album and first full length production, Memory Towers, is a psychedelic fusion combining a variety of styles in an exceptionally precise manner. All three members of LayerZ are trained jazz musicians, choosing to stick to their roots but create a sound that is very complex and new age. Using modern and new concepts for vocals, they present an interestingly strong futuristic feel.

In the title track, Memory Towers, you are enveloped by a synthetic, organ-like, and hypnotic ballad playing to the memories that its trying to provoke of its listener. This track is driven forward into a vivid fantasy land by a strong and pulsating jazz inspired bass line. Robotic sounding, rhythmically spoken vocals impress the listener hauntingly. LayerZ adds another of their name sake, layer, by having a another guest vocalist for Goodbye, guest musicians being a common theme for this album. In Goodbye we are greeted by the beautiful vocal styling of Marina Maximillion Karni, which is soon followed up again by a rhythmic and forward moving musical composition. This track emphasizing vocals when previous songs used vocalizations in a more supportive way. The way LayerZ chooses to arrange their instruments and vocals creates beautiful dimension and depth. Going in yet another direction, the track Cycles starts strong by featuring the contemplative and saddened vocalizations of the three core members of the group and guest vocalist Benjamin Bouskila. This song falls into a snare driven tribal sound, with lyrics that bring into question some of the greater mysteries of life. Furthermore, Cycles escalates into a palpitating dance beat, with inspirations from modern electronic music, dropping back into soothing yet melancholic fallout.

LayerZ' song structures are similar to how they develop their general sound, continually changing and developing, moving onward as everything is formed and reformed. LayerZ shows us their intelligence, by exquisitely going from instrumental sections to using vocals with varying techniques. This illustrates the strength of their superb musicianship, often using their instruments to sing in the absence of a vocalist.