Aug 122017

 

Yesterday I launched the first two parts of a week-ending round-up (here and here). As promised (every now and then I do keep a promise), I’m continuing the flood of new music today with Part 3. There’s more to come tomorrow, but the remaining songs I picked out will be packaged in our usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK feature.

Some of what you’ll find below are full album streams, though I’m just sketching out some brief thoughts about them and hoping you’ll be intrigued enough to dive deeper into the releases. Wish I had time for more complete reviews, but in the words of American clergyman Robert Schuller, “Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.”

CAUSTIC

I admit that my current mood (fairly black and pissed off) may have influenced the first three picks in this Saturday collection. It certainly influenced my decision to listen to Caustic’s new two-track single… because it’s named Murder the World.

Aug 252016

Neill Jameson

 

(Neill Jameson (Krieg) joins us again with another compilation of recommended music, this time focusing on some metal releases that don’t easily fit into established genre definitions. To check out the other playlists Neill has brought us, they’re collected here.) 

Listening to the new Urfaust that’s coming out shortly really got me to thinking a bit, which doesn’t happen too often. The subject of the hamster wheel turning in my head was bands that fall outside of a specific subgenre but are still in the metal realm. Outsider metal I suppose. Bands that are still just as dark and carry the same emotional weight but can’t be stuck inside “black” or “death” metal strictly, probably in academic “nerd” terms or whatever you’re calling them in the comments section of popular metal sites you claim not to read. Anyway, a few of them came to mind which I wanted to share, so I’m sitting in my office writing this as a proper way to avoid reality for a bit, much like these bands are also a proper way to accomplish the same thing.

Aug 132016

Migration Fest poster

 

Here I am on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Olympia, Washington, still pinching myself to make sure what I’ve been experiencing isn’t some kind of fantasy (or more likely, incipient dementia). Yesterday was the first day of Migration Fest, and the night before that was the unofficial start of the party with a three-band pre-fest show. In a nutshell, it’s been an absolute blast so far. More words (and amateurish photos) to follow.

This is, of course, the first edition of what by all rights should become a never-ending tradition, a labor of love jointly organized by Adam at Gilead Media and Dave at 20 Buck Spin, with support from a whole bunch of their tireless friends and family members. They assembled a stellar line-up of bands, and based on what I’ve seen so far (at least from a fan perspective), they’ve been executing on the plan like a well-oiled machine.

Mar 232016

The Body-Full of Hell-One Day You Will Ache

 

(Early last month Allen Griffin brought us a round-up of three power electronics releases, and that provoked enough interest that he returns with another collection.)

It is time once again to go trawling around the abyssal outside of the Extreme Music scene to find the harsh and unknowable. But what is somewhat surprising this time around is how much some of these releases are popping up in more conventional circles.

THE BODY AND FULL OF HELL

Case in point is the new collaboration between The Body and Full of Hell titled One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, out on March 25th via Neurot. Despite being classified as  a Grindcore/D-Beat band, Full of Hell are no strangers to harsh sonic abstraction and worked with Merzbow on their previous album. The Body are also no strangers to collaboration, bringing in guests on almost all their releases. What we have here is an intermingling of The Body’s punishing Industrial aesthetics with Full of Hell’s more experimental noise-based side.

Mar 222016

Thrill Jockey logo

 

(Our old friend Leperkahn finally gets around to doing something he forecast he would do in early February, with a selection of music that includes not-metal as well as metal.)

I mentioned at the end of my overlong 2015 EOTY list about a month ago that there would be an addendum to said list.

Since the end of September of last year, I’ve been an intern at Thrill Jockey Records, assembling and packing all of your beloved records, among other things (if you’re looking to steal my fingerprints so as to implicate me in a crime later in life, now’s probably gonna be your best opportunity). The job has introduced me to a ton of new music, some of it of the metallic variety, some not, though I would contend that the non-metallic stuff that’s appealed to me might appeal to some of you, as open-minded music listeners who come from a primarily metal background, such as myself.

In a move of unprecedented cronyism and self-promotion, I’m going to use this post to take you through a tour of some recent TJ output, some of it metal, some not. Admittedly, this isn’t a perfect addendum to a 2015 best-of list, since some of what’s featured came out in the first few months of this year, and some came out before 2015. But truly, good music need not consider age; so let’s get on with it.

Mar 192016

Ashcloud-Children of the Chainsaw

 

Last week was another one in which I noticed lots of new songs and videos but didn’t have time to round them up, in part because I was writing about a flood of new songs that we were premiering ourselves. So now I’m doing what I failed to do earlier — but because I waited, the round-up has become jumbo-sized. Consequently, I’ve kept my introductions to the music brief and haven’t taken the time to consistently add album art or links as I usually do. When I did something like this last weekend (except with even fewer words), I said I didn’t intend to make a habit of it. I still don’t.

For those who pay attention to such things, I also failed to post Part 3 of the Shades of Black series I began at the start of the week. But I will do that tomorrow. Now, presented in alphabetical order, here are new songs and videos from 17 bands.

ASHCLOUD

On May 1, Xtreem Music will release the new album by Sweden’s Ashcloud. The album’s title tells you a lot of what you need to know about the music: Children of the Chainsaw. Here’s the title track — smoking, tree-felling, crusty Swedish death metal that’s awfully damned sweet.

Dec 122015

Rebel Wizard-Invocation of the Miserable Ones

 

That post title is a little misleading. I’m writing this (somewhat hurriedly) on a Friday afternoon, because the place of employment for my fucking day job is having its annual holiday party tonight, and the odds are I will get fucked up and be in a world of hurt on Saturday morning — because (obviously) I have all the self-control of a three-year-old.

So, this is a selection of new music that I heard and liked on a Friday, presented for your eyes and ears on a Saturday. As you will no doubt expect by now, no two songs sound remotely alike.

REBEL WIZARD

Rebel Wizard” is the name of a solo project by the Australian musician Nekrasov, whose work under that name is probably better known in certain circles than Rebel Wizard (and whose most recent release I reviewed here last month). The first Rebel Wizard recording that I heard (and reviewed here) was an EP released in July named Negative Wizard Metal. Just yesterday another EP was released on Bandcamp, this one entitled Invocation of the Miserable Ones. It has many of the attributes that made me like the last EP so much. For example:

Aug 052015

Neurosis 2015 tour

 

(Guest writer Ben Manzella interviewed Scott Kelly for a feature posted earlier today, and now we bring you his review of the show that followed the interview — performed in Madison, Wisconsin, this past weekend by Neurosis, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, and The Body.)

On this past Sunday, Neurosis played in Madison, Wisconsin, for the first time in about 19 years (from what I could find, at least). The last time they were here was as the opener for Pantera, and now on the cusp of their 30th anniversary as band, they headlined a theater in downtown Madison. This was my third time seeing Neurosis in as many years, but the excitement is always the same; if anything it was more exciting, as I had the opportunity to interview Scott Kelly before the show [published here]. But obviously, a show review is about the music, so let’s get to it.

Jul 202014


artwork by Bryan Proteau

Part 1 of this report is here; Part 3 is here.

I thought the first day of the Gilead Fest in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a blast, but holy shit, yesterday’s performances were off the charts. By “holy shit” I mean that shit before which you prostrate yourself and utter miserable prayers of thanks. And by “off the charts”, I mean dismembering, skull-splintering, bowel-perforating, synapse-severing, and occasionally entrancing.

The weather here in Oshkosh remains gorgeous.  In between sets, the lure of the outdoors was irresistible (and would have been even if the lure of nicotine and tar hadn’t been part of the equation). Even during the sets, a soft breeze flowed through the windows of The Lady’s Parlor across the hall from the ballroom where the bands were performing, and it wafted through the open doors into that space like a balm from… Gilead.

The sunny disposition of the crowd continues to match that of the weather. It’s a chill group, like a reunion of old friends, even when the old friends had never met each other before. I had almost as much fun talking to people I’d only known over the internet before this weekend (including Adam Bartlett of Gilead Media, who made this whole wonderful thing happen) or had never met before, even over the ether, as I did listening to the music. And the event itself continues to run smoothly, like the well-oiled gears of a vast noise-making machine.

Jul 192014


 

Part 2 of this report is here; Part 3 is here.

The three-day Gilead Fest organized by Gilead Media began yesterday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at one of the three locations pictured above.

The first night was indeed loaded with power, and by the end of the evening there was certainly plenty of work available for a coroner, but if you guessed the Oshkosh Masonic Center, give yourself a pat on the back.

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