Jun 252023

Yesterday my spouse left me home alone for most of the day (the feline creatures were still there but they mostly left me alone too). That allowed me the time to do some deep diving in a search for music to write about today. Purely by coincidence, much of what I found turned out to be… nightmarish. Some of the songs make the skin crawl, others blister it, some do both, and almost none of it seems connected to what passes for reality in our world.

What I chose adds up to an unsettling but electrifying trip of significant proportions — three individual tracks (two from forthcoming records and one standalone single) and then a plunge into the depths of longer-form madness with three complete new albums and a new EP. Hopefully you won’t find this an endurance test but instead a relentless journey of mind-altering discovery.

To get things started before too much of the day gets away, I’ve divided it into two Parts, launching the individual tracks now so I can then turn back to finishing the much larger second installment, which will come later today Continue reading »

Mar 272016

Rearview Mirror


Asunder made their home in Northern California’s Bay Area, with a line-up that included drummer/vocalist Dino Sommese (Noothgrush) and guitarist/vocalist John Gossard (Dispirit, ex-Weakling). Between 2000 and 2009, when the group disbanded, they released splits with Like Flies on Flesh and Graves At Sea, as well as two highly regarded albums — A Clarion Call (2004) and Works Will Come Undone (2006). The former included four tracks, each of them in the 12 – 15-minute range, and the latter consisted of two tracks totaling 73 minutes.

I discovered the band’s music only after they had ceased to exist. Of the two albums, my favorite is Clarion Call. It’s a wrenching, devastatingly powerful doom/death album, both titanically crushing and heart-achingly beautiful. The pacing is generally slow (though it’s still rhythmically dynamic), and the vocals are divided between a voracious, agonizing, bestial growl and clean, melodic, quasi-chanting. Despite the songs’ significant lengths and deliberate pacing, they are so well-written that they hold the attention all the way through — or at least until you get to the last track. Continue reading »