Gamma’s most pleasant musical delicacies and sound treats of 2020

Hello humans. Hope you’re all alive and well. Wearing your little masks and protecting yourselves as well as the people around you.

What’s better than ending this beautiful (sic) rotation around our star with a nice, hot, warm, ol’ cup of “Gamma’s-music-treats”?! As is customary, company management kindly obliged me to draft a top 10 of sorts, including my favourite festive cooking/baking recipes for the holidays. In the end, yours truly managed to draft neither a top 10, nor quite the recipe list I was instructed. So kudos for me – Yay!

Honourable mentions:

Bring Me The Horizon : Post Human | Survival Horrorhttps://www.bmthofficial.com/# – These guys are the most famous band from Sheffield (screw you Arctic Monkeys) and a guilty pleasure of mine. Cool release, somewhat back to their roots.

Intronaut – Fluid Existential Inversions – https://intronautband.bandcamp.com/album/fluid-existential-inversions – Really nice record. Check out Tripolar – this track is sick.

Zeal & Ardor – Wake of a Nation – https://zealandardor.bandcamp.com/album/wake-of-a-nation-ep – After their previous stellar releases, they released Wake of a Nation as an EP and I immediately got hooked. A much needed fresh point of view to the spectrum of aggressive sound. Check them out if you already haven’t.

Ohhms – Closehttps://ohhms.bandcamp.com/album/close – A great release and a record that simply flows from start to finish.

#10 – #7

Frostbitt – Frostbitthttps://frostbitt.bandcamp.com/album/frostbitt-frostbitt-2 – A very powerful record that combines djent with prog and experimental.

Code Orange – Underneathhttps://codeorangekids.bandcamp.com/ – A year-old, catchy release from the Code Orange Kids of Pittsburgh.

MNRV – In Publichttps://minervasuperduty.bandcamp.com/album/in-public – A very well written and executed record. Raw hardcore as it should be. Modern Love will feature in many playlists.

Old Man Gloom – Seminar VII: Light of Meaning & Seminar IX: The Darkness of Beinghttps://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/seminar-viii-light-of-meaninghttps://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/seminar-ix-darkness-of-being – Those 2 releases were my personal favourite during the spring lockdown. Masterful work from the pioneers of post metal.

#6 – #4

Deftones – Ohmshttps://www.deftones.com/ – A super hard & gentle, long overdue record. Metalgaze-y at its everything.

envy – The Fallen Crimsonhttps://envy.bandcamp.com/album/the-fallen-crimson – An amazing record. If you’re looking for a new post-hardcore record to obsess over, look no further.

Yovel – Forthcoming Humanityhttps://yovel.bandcamp.com/album/forthcoming-humanity-2020 – An indescribably successful work that redefines the genre of black metal. Truly amazing and truly inspirational. Top work.

#3

Advent Varic – Tumulushttps://adventvaric.bandcamp.com/album/tumulus-2 – Well. This is an EP. About 35 mins long. It is maybe one song. Broken in half. To switch sides. Sounds like Sleep if they grew up in Norway in the early 90s. Truly a masterpiece.

#2

Psychonaut – Unfold the God Manhttps://psychonautband.bandcamp.com/album/unfold-the-god-man-2 – These guys just defined the genre of psychedelic-post-metal. The Story Of Your Enslavement is one of the best songs of the year – hands down.

#1

The Ocean Collective – Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic / Cenozoichttps://theocean.bandcamp.com/album/phanerozoic-ii-mesozoic-cenozoic – I have been waiting for this moment all year. This was the easiest choice of the list. Perfect release. After about 3 months of non-stop playtime, this is indisputably the record of the year according to the usually infallible opinion of your truly.

In Public by Minerva Superduty

A few words about the band first. It has been almost a decade since MNRV was born under the scorching sun of Kalamata, Southern Greece. Their sound is unique: Punk rage, post-hardcore riffage, screeching vox, sincere lyrics.

Their latest work In Public is going to be released towards the last days of 2020 (Dec. 20) and is a self-produced, 8-track record.

It starts with the self-titled song In Public and the identity of the band become apparent instantly. A crafty mixture of hardcore & post, but with a fresh experimental approach and critical words, MNRV are shouting: “at loss for words and thoughts, when faced with do’s and dont’sand all of us listening are looking for a wall to smash.

While Clandestine is a mathcore masterpiece (a system that favors the few, while keeping the masses starved, global scale class war, atrocities that can’t go on), Κατήφορος (Downhill) sounds like the death ‘n’ roll anthem of the year (we know of price, but not of value). Rigid Mass is pure class, pure hardore punk, with some of the most timely lyrical works around (the serpent’s eggs already hatched and thousands feed on life’s carcass). Modern Love is one of the best pieces of this record – screaming at the modern approach of daily life (so critical to feel connected to be part of the whole). Urban Development needs no analysis. The intro is addicting and those dissonant harmonies shrivel through your brain leaving only the primal urge to dance around like a maniac. Saturday Night Cure is by far the most danceable song of the record, while For My Friends is an excellent outro in fact it’s not because it leaves us wanting more dancing around and kicking teeth with some of the best vocals of the entire record (through self-awareness comes evolution a grand step into disillusion) and some really addicting guitar melodies.

The production is really clean and meticulous, and the band sounds indescribably compact. Special mentions to Kostas Ragiadakos for mixing and mastering.

Overall, the record is a fine specimen of musical craft, and lyrically quite heavy on the socio-political aspect which is a fucking big plus for all of us here at Tzertzelos. Minerva Superduty have this amazing skill to convey their rage using their art as a tool and this work is MNRV saying a big ‘FUCK YOU’ to how wretched today’s society has become.

Favourite tracks: Clandestine, Κατήφορος, Modern Love, Saturday Night Cure.

Minerva Superduty Facebook

Minerva Superduty Bandcamp

Tumulus Part 1 & 2 by Advent Varic

Advent Varic is a black/stoner/doom/sludge trio from Boston, Massachusetts. Quite easily, they grew on me, mainly because of their raw, honest sound.

They independently released their EPs Tumulus Part 1: The Beginning and Tumulus Part 2: The Ravaging earlier this month on their bandcamp page and since then I have been listening to them non-stop. They have a very unique approach to black sound, using traditional as well as unconventional means to achieve that. They manage to combine the speed, melancholy and screeching vocals of black metal, with the heaviness and riffage of stoner/sludge. Not quite fast and atechnical to be considered as traditional black metal, while not slow and downtuned enough to be a classical doom/sludge piece, Tumulus is created with creativity to expand the spectrum of slow-ish, heavy music.

It is a mystery whether a full record is on the works, but in spite of that, there is plenty of material and ear bleeding riffage to go crazy about on those 2 EPs.

For those of you who think that the black sound is slowly saturating, lacking an original and fresher approach, I could not suggest Advent Varic enough! I guarantee your jaws are going to drop.

A truly fascinating and brilliant work.

Favourite track: Well there is only 2 tracks in total, so every fucking minute of the approximately 36 of those BOTH OF THEM!

Physical copies are distributed by Interstellar Smoke Records!

https://adventvaric.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/adventvaric

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaFWJca8WWTgZntkuKkGJkQ

Splid by Kvelertak

The 14th day of February can be special for a lot of things (possibly). Until now, it was famous for being a date for an unnecessary outlet of consumerism, constructed by flower, condom and chocolate companies, masked under the excuse of Valentine’s day. But from 2020 on, this will be the date when Splid was released by Kvelertak!

The norwegian sextet have (finally) released their latest work, after going through a rough patch (kinda). They went through a bit of a lineup change, as they saw their (now former) lead singer Erlend Hjelvik leave the band due to personal reasons as well as their drummer Kjetil Gjermundrød, who quit music temporarily to receive treatment for an arm injury (something that was bothering him for years). For many bands this would be enough to bring a negative change to their sound. However, they found a worthy replacement in Mr. Ivar Nikolaisen (vocals), who has also offered guest vocals in the past in Blodtørst and Håvard Takle Ohr (drums). They have both already proven themselves made from similar mold: The danceable black ‘n’ roll music of Kvelertak remains fresher than ever!

The album is finely crafted and once again recorded by Kurt Balou in GodCity studios, who is proving to be a true master. In total, throughout the record there are fewer black elements (blastbeats, tremolo-picking), as opposed to more thrash elements (solos, 2 leads, vocals, downstrokes). Also, they offer their first english-sung songs, Crack of Doom featuring Mastodon’s Troy Sanders and Discord.

It is obvious that Kvelertak is a band that is not afraid to risk in order to evolve, a trait rare as well as criticized upon. This record is another fine specimen of great musicianship and creativity.

The first half of the record offer a heavy punch in the face (Rogaland, Crack of Doom, Discord, Bratebrann), while towards the end of the album the interest drops slightly, without missing on great moments (Fanden ta dette hull! is a great song. The first half offers a small homage to Thin Lizzy\Iron Maiden before it goes full-on ’80s thrash-metal BEAST MODE).

In conclusion, as it is no secret we have a soft spot for these Norwegian punks we liked this record and we hope you liked it too.

Favourite Tracks: Rogaland, Crack of Doom, Nekrosoft, Discord, Bratebrann, Fanden ta detter hull!

https://www.facebook.com/Kvelertak/

https://www.kvelertak.com

https://kvelertak.bandcamp.com/