Review: This collaboration between the sepulchral Sinatra and the kings of ceremonial metallic drone-worship, whilst it is transparently not a work for the faint of heart, is nonetheless worth all the excitement its announcement created in avant-garde circles, and more besides, It's more audibly a work from Walker's than Sunn O)))'s, yet with their assistance the rich melodrama and unflinching abstraction has rarely sounded more startling, or alarmingly approachable. What's more, the counterpoint provided by Sunn O))) to his stentorian baritone elevates proceedings to new heights of otherworldly intensity, resulting in no less than a game-changing triumph, and a clear album of the year contender from this odd couple.
Review: An unsung hero of American minimalism, Multiphase frontman Carl Weingarten sees his 1985 cassette now committed to delux, transparent blue vinyl. It's an album that sees classic strands of '80s synths blend and pair themselves with guitars that shimmer and sing to the point both instruments become one. It's a furturistic style of new age ambient exoctica that Weingarten purports, but not so much in the way of Pacific Island specialist Mike Cooper, but more the Brian Eno meets Jean Michel Jarre style. For a deep dip back into the sound of minimal synth, tape loops and processed guitars, allow Carl Weingarten to introduce himself to your collection like he should have done 33 years ago.
(A Shimmering Radiance) Diadem Of 12 Stars (20:21)
Review: Arriving with a debut album that packed a particularly powerful psychic charge, akin perhaps to being transported into a mystical realm of haunted forests and endless winter, Pacific North Western outfit Wolves In The Throne Room made a big impact on the black metal scene and beyond ten years ago, and indeed found the ear of Southern Lord records, whose involvement brought their singular aesthetic - at once stark and grandoise, brutal yet richly atmospheric - wider recognition. The more rough-hewn charms of this debut, however, are still arguably their best - reinventing classic second-wave black metal with the widescreen sweep of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but more commonly sounding like no-one but themselves.