(groverXIII brings you some excellent music that’s free — though you can certainly kick in some money if the spirit moves you. At the end of his post, you can hear music from the albums he’s about to recommend.)
Greetings and salutations, NCS readers. It is I, your old pal groverXIII, here with another round of free goods for you all to download for your listening pleasure. Join me on a sonic adventure!
We start with an old friend of The Number Of The Blog, the inimitable Keith Merrow. Keith, as you all should be quite aware, is one of the best-known one-man home-recording metal artists to arise in recent years. He’s put out some amazing music over the last few years, most recently 2011’s Awaken The Stone King, and on Sunday he gave us a new EP, entitled Retrospecial. This is what he told me about the EP:
“The album has a nerdy, light-hearted kinda Sci-Fi thing going on even though a couple of the tunes sound sort of serious. I’ve always been inspired by the 80’s sci-fi I grew up on… also old Atari and Nintendo games. I’ve been feeling really nostalgic the past year or so. The name Retrospecial is basically a culmination of that inspiration, but there’s also a couple older songs on here that have been redone. So those are in “retrospect”. It’s just a simple EP, with 8 tracks on it. I don’t expect it to blow anyone’s mind.”
It may not be mind-blowing, but it is a fantastic release from a very talented artist.
Retrospecial features guest appearances from Jeff Loomis (on ‘Spice Dealer’; you may also recall that Loomis had a guest solo on ‘Heart Of The Sea Nymph’ from Awaken The Stone King), Merrow’s Demisery collaborator Gord Olson (on ‘Maximilian’, a track named for the robot from the old Disney sci-fi movie The Black Hole), and Ola Englund (on ‘Andromeda II’). It also features re-recordings of ‘Andromeda’ and ‘Pillars Of Creation’, two of my favorite Merrow tracks that benefit nicely from the bolstered production found here, and a track called ‘Secret Brick Chicken’ that is a wonderful cover of the theme from Castlevania.
You can get the album from Keith’s website for the price of your choosing.
THE SEQUENCE OF PRIME
The Sequence Of Prime is another one-man project from an old TNOTB pal, the multi-talented Brandon Duncan. Brandon has released a number of albums, under this moniker as well as under the names Inchoate and Mancubus. If that’s not enough, he’s also an insanely talented artist; he did the awesome cover art you see above, as well as a multitude of other works visible at his website. The Sequence Of Prime, musically speaking, is a mix of thrash and industrial metal with doom overtones and a decidedly blackened edge to it.
The last TSOP release, Virion, dealt with the idea of a global pandemic, and Duncan’s frantic vocals perfectly conveyed the subject matter. The new album, Inter-, focuses on space, time, alternate dimensions, and quantum physics; the lyrics are quite heady and I would definitely recommend reading along as you listen to the album. Musically, Inter- seems a bit more focused than Virion, although it’s been a while since I listened to the latter, and it’s a harsh and unforgivingly aggressive release, moving at a blistering pace like the subject of the song ‘Tachyon’:
as I lose my energy
violating all that was known of causality
passing freely in between
universes previously unforeseen
impossible to intervene
cannot stop the ungovernable machine
challenging special relativity
break the Lorentz invariance
shattering all barriers
three hundred million meters per second
forbidden from slowing down
imprudent movement remains constant
take my hand at your own risk
let go and I’ll never look back
forward thinking, no regrets
You can get Inter- (as well as the other TSOP releases) for a price of your own choosing at The Sequence Of Prime’s Bandcamp page.
[WARNING: CLEAN SINGING WITHIN]
I’ll wrap things up with the new release from Swedish stoner rock band DÖDAREN, who released their newest album Maen a little over a week ago. DÖDAREN’s music is not metal, if you couldn’t tell by the way I described them as a stoner rock band. They play nice, fuzzed-out stoner rock along the lines of Sungrazer and Molior Superum, packed with enough groove to make the dead dance. The lyrics are entirely in Swedish, so I have no idea what they’re singing about, but that doesn’t impact my enjoyment of the music at all, because like with most stoner rock bands, the riffs are the focus, and DÖDAREN’s songs are composed of some truly mammoth riffs.
Like a lot of stoner rock bands, there’s not a great deal of innovation here, mainly because the formula is already perfect. You don’t listen to stoner rock expecting something new, you listen to it because you want music that’s perfect for a summer drive along an abandoned desert highway. And DÖDAREN pretty much nail it from the get-go. Crank it up and let your mind go.
You can get Maen for a price of your choosing at the DÖDAREN Bandcamp page.