Nov 022015

Ara Kra-self titled


There’s a ton of new music in this round-up that I really like, most of which I discovered over the weekend. I thought about dividing up this post and leaving some of the songs until tomorrow, especially since we’ve delivered so much other music to you on this Monday. But I’ve learned the hard way that when I defer something I want to do, sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. So I’m including music from eight bands in this post, and to make it somewhat less daunting I’ve tried to minimize my own linguistic spewing.

I’m presenting the music in alphabetical order by band name. I do hope you’ll find time at least to sample everything.


I’m cheating on this first song — because I’ve already written about it, back in May to be precise. But this talented band have just established a Bandcamp page for the self-titled EP on which it will appear, and that gives me an excuse to repeat what I said before (and yes, I’m already going back on what I promised about minimizing linguistic sewage): Continue reading »

May 182015


I’ve got a fairly large collection of new songs that I want to recommend, but I unfortunately don’t have the time to write about all of them now. Rather than just throw up my hands and surrender, I decided I’ll at least mention two of them now. To be more accurate, I’m recommending one and Grant Skelton is recommending the second. Me first…


Almost exactly four years have passed since I last wrote about Berlin’s Ära Krâ, reviewing their powerful debut album Ferne Tage, and then interviewing the band not long after that. Until yesterday they hadn’t released anything new since then, but yesterday they did — a song named “Strang und Schwert”. It’s the first release from a forthcoming self-titled EP, and I sure like it. It begins in intense fashion, a black metal flash flood of basting drums and swarming riffs with howling hardcore-styled vocals. And then it changes dramatically… Continue reading »

May 282011

I’m afraid that I was so damned emotionally affected by Ferne Tage, the new genre-bending album from Germany’s Ära Krâ, that I got perhaps too emotional in my review (published here). Thing is, even a month later, the album is still an intense listening experience — something like a blackened form of metalcore with progressive elements, a mix of harrowing catharsis and melancholy beauty. It’s standing up extremely well to repeat listening.

I confess I’ve also been intrigued about who these guys are, what other bands they’re in (or have been in), what prompted the creation of this album, and a bunch of other subjects, many of which are none of my damned business. But “shy” and “retiring” aren’t in my vocabulary, so I pestered the band for an interview, and they foolishly agreed.

I think if I’d been able to confront them in person, gotten them really liquored up, and then subjected them to the irresistible power of my personal charisma, I might have had more success worming personal details out of them. But alas, the famous Seattle tech-geek community still hasn’t perfected the human teleporter, and so I had to do this by e-mail.

Still, I do believe I succeeded in multiplying the quantity of publicly available Ära Krâ information by a few orders of magnitude, given how secretive they are. Read their interesting answers to my intrusive questions after the jump. And if you haven’t yet downloaded Ferne Tage from their Bandcamp page, you really should. Continue reading »

May 052011

Life in your teens, your 20’s, your 30’s, maybe after that too, maybe it never ends, all these things happen:

You step forward, you fall down, you’re bruised, you get up. You face life, you shrink from it. You exult in the day, it kills you. You believe in the future, you dread it.

You look at yourself, but never see yourself as others do. You like yourself, you hate yourself. You rage, you laugh, you cry, you shout. You’re restless, you’re rootless, you’re rooted and happy where you are.

You work hard, you wonder why you do, you feel like it’s all a waste, the work makes you feel alive, it imprisons you. You focus, you can’t focus, your head spins, the world spins.

You fall in love, because that’s what our kind does. You go crazy with the feeling, it strikes you down. It completes you, it sacrifices you. It’s reciprocated, or it’s not. Either way, you’re helpless.

You try to control your life, and the ones you love, and the ones you detest, because that’s what our kind does. You seek order, security, safety, or you seek anarchy and chaos because you believe that will come, eventually, whatever you do. You believe you can change your future, you surrender to whatever will come.

You’re stronger than you think, you misjudge your strengths. You admire strength in others, you misjudge where strength lies that’s worth admiring. You resent authority, you try to impose your will on others. You’re generous, you’re selfish, you learn from mistakes, you repeat them over and over. You need friends, you give your friendship to the wrong people, you’re befriended by people you may not deserve. You trust when you shouldn’t, you’re suspicous at the wrong times. You’re fearless, you’re fearsome, you’re fearful. Continue reading »

Apr 302011

The weekend is upon us. Don’t know about you, but I’m fucking ready for it. Tonight I’m going to see Between the Buried and Me, Job For A Cowboy, The Ocean, and Cephalic Carnage, which is certainly one of the more diverse touring line-ups of the year, so far. I’ve seen three of those bands multiple times in the past, and they do not disappoint, and I’m very curious about the fourth, who I’ve never heard on stage — The Ocean.

I hope you’ve got something to look forward to this weekend, too. But even if you plan to wallow in misery because life decided to burn a bag of shit on your front porch, we can at least give you some new tunes to brighten the weekend outlook. Not knowing what kind of metal you may be into, I tried to round up a mix of styles, while staying with the theme of new music.

Maybe you enjoy having your face clawed off by demon spawn. If so, we’ve got yet another new piece of otherworldly scariness from Malfeitor (Sweden). Maybe that’s not enough, and what you really want is music that will leave your flesh so scavenged that even hyenas will lose interest in your carcass. We have an answer for that, with a compilation from CVlt Nation. Maybe you get your rocks off from technical guitar wizardry, with music that transports you into a sublime plane which makes you feel connected to something larger than your own feeble soul. If yes, then you’ll want to hear a taste (two tastes, actually) of the solo release from Christian Muenzner (Obscura).

And maybe you want something in between, something that captures the emotion of your life, with every high and low, from the rocket-ship into the stratosphere to the utter desolation of your worst depression, from the sunrise to the bottomless pit. Yeah, we have that too, from Germany’s Ära Krâ. But before that we have a brand new song from Origin, and we really shouldn’t have to explain how many kinds of awesome that means. Stay with us, after the jump . . . Continue reading »