Shepherd's "First Hand"
-Mark Machlay via Metal Temple
Primitive Man's "Immersion"
"The production needs to be brought up because it is crushing. This is easily the best sounding Primitive Man album to date. The drums pound harder than on Caustic, and the bass is far more prevalent as well, leaving room for more dynamics. The way the guitars are layered in the mix is fantastic. Bone-snapping heaviness and atmospheric noisy dissonance meld well, creating a sonic hellscape. Big shoutout to Ben Romsdahl and the mixing and mastering work of the ever-stellar Arthur Rizk."
Ghosts of Glaciers "The Greatest Burden"
"The Greatest Burden flows like the Angren after the Isengard dam is torn down by the Ents. Their signature sound takes the reverberating beauty of Explosions in the Sky and enhances it with sweeping thunderstorms laden with blackened tremolo whilst keeping the cleaner melodies intact. Whereas instrumental bands often find difficulty in maintaining focus and variety, Ghosts of Glaciers make it seem effortless, as the tracks journey through a wide array of paces and textures and are chock full of memorable moments. Take the gradually increasing dirge of “Abyssal Declivity,” the phenomenal buildup and drop of the midsection of “Epigenesis” that feels like plunging down a waterfall, or the billowing melancholy of closer “Return to Entropy.” There is more diversity of emotional engagement in this wordless album than many vocal-fueled albums can lay claim to."
"4.0 out of 5"
Noctambulist "Atmospheres of Desolation"
"Even as this plethora of discordant harmonies and rhythms whirs by the listener at a breakneck pace, the production on Atmospheres of Desolation stays remarkably consistent across its myriad tonal shifts, smoothing even the most sudden and unpredictable transitions. The obfuscating anesthetic fog of “Dimming Lights Illuminate” continues to billow out across the record’s every twist and turn, but as monstrous tendrils pierce through this heavy atmosphere the record’s nuanced mixing gives each sonic element its own distinct silhouette against the fray of the collective. Noctambulist’s vocals blend seamlessly with their instrumental cacophony, merging into the overall tone without being drowned out or buried between other frequencies. A vortex of shapeshifting percussion techniques weaves itself between elusive riffs as pulverizing double-bass sequences melt into ravenous blast beats punctuated by shimmering rides, keeping the pace of the record fresh and completely unpredictable. On top of tasteful mixing and a inimitable sense of ambiance, the album also flows effortlessly from one track to the next, creating a feverish, unrelenting procession that begins to feel more like one immense composition rather than six individual pieces."
-Thomas Hinds via Invisible Oranges