Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format


With so much great music out there and so many albums our staff reviews (and plenty we don’t), it can be difficult to keep up with it all and determine which releases are the most worth your time. Harnessing the wide-ranging and diverse tastes of our editorial staff, our monthly Editors’ Picks column is our gift to you to guide you towards the music that’s impacting us the most. You can read our picks from previous months right here.

As summer comes to its annual, unfortunate end, it’s understandable if your attention span for new releases has slipped in favor of last-minute vacations and weekend escapades. Unfortunately, you picked one hell of a month to slack off, as August provided us with some of 2016’s most phenomenal releases yet. We don’t say that lightly – August has truly bestowed upon us an eclectic array of musical triumphs that had our staff scrambling for the time to digest it all. Our editors certainly share this sentiment and have compiled what may be our strongest group of Editors Picks to date. We’ve got recommendations ranging from post rock to trap-rap and doom metal to avant-jazz, so prepare to empty your wallets on your new favorite albums of the year.

Coma Cluster Void – Mind Cemeteries

Well, this was a sucker punch out of nowhere. Featuring an international crew, Coma Cluster Void blends influences from a variety of artists to create a unique and ridiculously abrasive soundscape. Using 10 string guitars, they take low end rhythmic chaos from the likes of Meshuggah and Ion Dissonance, and combine that with the sonic assault and upsetting melodies of the likes of Pyrrhon and Gorguts. Add to that some avant-garde elements, and we have a dark, brash album that defies definition. Perhaps the title Mind Cemeteries is more apt than it initially appears.

While I’m normally not a fan of this style of music (intentionally unstructured and abrasively chaotic), there’s something here that pulls me in. Reading the lyrics along with the music certainly helps, both in terms of grounding what’s going on and also adding an extra layer of atmosphere. But the extra curveball here is the occasional element that doesn’t belong, like spoken word sections or the semi-singing in one track. Catch 33was another album that was obsessively singular in nature, which made the deviations count that much more. Here, the monotonicity is achieved not through repetition but by lack of any coherence to attach to, any rhythm to hook on to. That discombobulation leads to a certain mind-state that genuinely unsettles me and captivates me, which is why I love Mind Cemeteries.

I keep trying to unravel the logic of this album, which maybe is folly as maybe there isn’t any, or maybe its engineered lack is designed as a trap for the likes of me. Either way, I have never really gotten lost in an album like this one, and I really appreciate that Coma Cluster Void were the straw that broke my camel’s back. I’m normally big into “figuring out” music, which makes this niche rather unappealing to me. Perhaps another reason for the specific appeal here is the usage of the 10 string guitars. In something like Pyrrhon, there’s only a certain range of sounds to exploit, and it ends up devolving into an assault of midrange sounds for me. The extreme low end and high end offered by the instrument in this case keeps things fresh and creates much-needed contrast. It’s also offered in unpredictable juxtapositions, which keeps me on my toes.

In the end, I had a few more “grokkable” albums that I listened to this month, but Mind Cemeteries is the one that really stuck with me, perhaps due to its refusal of definitions. Regardless, Coma Cluster Void have created a unique, bizarre and ugly monstrosity that pulls you in and messes with your head. And that’s just what I needed this month.

Noyan Tokgozoglu


Right click here to download audio file.

Check out this link to listen to it on iTunes.


(Austin Weber takes over round-up duty on this Friday, focusing on new music from 8 bands. And no, the new Metallica song isn’t one of them.)

Coma Cluster Void

Perennial NCS favorites Coma Cluster Void just dropped another new song two days ago called “Drowning Into Sorrow”, off their much buzzed-about debut, Mind Cemeteries. Having heard the whole album, this is easily the most savage and purely aggressive-focused cut on the album, and my personal favorite from the album to boot.

I can’t stop listening to this song, and I invite you to give it a chance. Like all their music, it’s highly unorthodox and intimidatingly harsh, but balances that out by being a forward-thinking ode to what death metal can be in this day and age of cynical listeners who think they’ve heard it all. This is probably my most anticipated release of the year, and having finally heard it all, I can confirm it lives up to any and all expectations myself and others have envisioned upon hearing their initial demos and ideas over the last few years.