Artist Feature: The 3rd and the Mortal (Norway)

Throughout the 1990’s, musicians from Sweden, Norway, and the rest of Scandinavia were unleashing profound, genre-bending music at a rate that the rest of the world still struggles to catch up with. (Mark my words!) The contemporary bands featured on metal channels across the USA are but an Americanized echo of the underground brilliance that shined from our brothers and sisters across the pond decades ago.

I discovered The 3rd and the Mortal (read more on Encyclopaedia Metallum) many years ago, as a wee lad of 15 or 16 who obsessively read metal reviews to find new music to buy. My first exposure to this phenomenally original and talented band was most likely their most notorious song, “Why So Lonely?”

Enjoy the hand-picked mix of my favorite songs from The 3rd and the Mortal, and support the music however you can! They may have broken up, but their artistic genius lives on!

Recommended Ambient: Robert Rich – Live At The Gatherings 2015

Robert Rich - Live at The Gatherings 2015
Robert Rich – Live at The Gatherings 2015

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m obsessed with a few specific musicians more than any others. Names that they hear all the time, just from being around me. Names like Robert Rich. The very fact that he singlehandedly created a “sleep concert” movement of sorts was enough to earn all of my respect. So many of his albums are incredibly advanced, subtle, and thoughtful sound journeys. Robert is a man who strives for originality at every turn, challenging his fans to “make sounds that nobody has ever heard before” and similar notions.

Robert Rich is an icon of forward-thinking music and creativity, and this live performance is an incredible example of his sonic visions.

Recommended Ambient: Etherculture – “Posibilidad Pura”

Etherculture is a brand new project by Benjamin Florentino from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Benjamin usually produces trance music, but recently expanded his creativity to include ambient soundscapes. He contacted me on Facebook to compliment my In The Branches work, and sent some preview tracks for “Posibilidad Pura”. I did not expect such quality from an ambient newbie, I’ll be honest. This music was the kind I search for. The songs are minimal, simple, and always subtly evolving. This delicate manipulation of sound is something that can take a lifetime to achieve, and Etherculture has captured that on his first attempt.

Highly recommended for fans of Carbon Based Lifeforms, Bvdub, ASC, Loscil, and the like.

Review: Enslaved – “E” (2017)

Yes, I’m trying to begin doing quick reviews of music (and possibly music/photography gear). Here we go.

Enslaved has a long history stretching back to the early days of Norwegian black metal’s international rise. I’m not entirely familiar with their discography, but I know some of it has caught my attention over the years. I saw their other releases as decent, but “E” has something special going on. Here’s proof with the opening song, “Storm Son”.

The album’s blend of Scandinavian blackness, 70’s psychedelic prog, and modern production make it a new favorite for me. In a fit of excitement, I almost posted on Facebook that this album seemed to be the best thing to happen to metal since Opeth’s “Orchid”. I can’t claim that yet — Orchid took years to catch on to the metal community at large.

This is a beautiful metal album that carries deep musical wisdom under the surface. Each song is full of little ideas that you can’t remember until you hear it again, then you go, “Ah! I remember that part!” The band’s use of musical technicality and subtle repetition are intriguing from the first listen.

Yes, screeching black metal vocals aren’t for everyone. People sure do love to explain how it’s the only part they don’t like about this music. Okay, okay. We get it. But for those of us who grew up with such entertaining vocal madness, it’s the glue that holds everything together. The uncertainty and excitement of extremity in music. Enslaved has mellowed out their sound dramatically, but this feels more cohesive than ever before. Highly recommended!


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