Nov 252013

Are you like me? Do you think packing for a long trip is much more fun if you wait until the last minute and then scurry around like a rat with rabies, thereby increasing the odds that you’ll forget a bunch of things and then feel like a dumbass when you get where you’re going? Yeah, I thought so. Everyone loves to do that. Which is why I’m sitting here banging out this round-up of diverse new items I saw and heard over the last 24 hours instead of packing for my vacation trip, which begins . . . (shit!) . . . in a few hours.


I saw that Profound Lore’s first release of 2014 will be the much-delayed third album by Chicago-based Avichi, Catharsis Absolute, which was recorded by Andrew Ragin (The Atlas Moth) and mixed by Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Twilight). The official release date is January 21. This album will be entirely the solo work of Andrew “Aamonael” Markuszewski (also in Lord Mantis). PL has also begun streaming one of the album’s new songs, “Lightweaver”.

“Lightweaver” is a study in winding the coil and then letting it go. Avichi builds the tension, ratcheting it upward with storming, tremolo-picked scales . . . and then lets the storm break in a rocking beat with a bounding bass line . . . and then proceeds to tighten the spring again. And so it goes, back and forth. And through it all, Aamonael howls like a winter wolf while weaving a trilling (and thrilling) guitar melody, chaining together chaos and something approaching beauty. Listen next: Continue reading »

Aug 222013

As usual, I have a few things for you. As usual, the selection consists of new things I found yesterday. As usual, the music is diverse (and possibly also different, diverse, divergent, distinct, dissimilar, and disparate, though I’m still not sure I grasp the distinctions among these words). They do have one thing in common: they’ll put your brain in a blender and tune the setting to purée.


In February I reviewed an album named Concrete Sustain by Batillus. I characterized it as “a 2013 must-listen for fans of doom, especially those who might want to do more than stand in place and nod dreamily at the floor.” When I wrote that line, I had in mind a couple of songs on the album, chiefly “Concrete”, which I tried to describe as “black industrial funk, the dancebeat at the end of the world.” I’ve probably had better days at the keyboard, but that’s what popped into my head.

Yesterday, Invisible Oranges premiered a video for “Concrete”. I can now describe the song as “the soundtrack to that creepy video named ‘Concrete'”. The video risks dominating the music, it’s so weirdly magnetic. But the music and the imagery definitely go hand-in-hand. A lot of people deserve credit for it, but I’ll name three: director Gretchen Heinel, editor Matthew Silver, and SFX specialist Jacqueline Valega. Prepare to be weirded out (and puréed). Continue reading »

Feb 082013

Sometimes musical success is constructed upon the simplest of foundations. Take the new Batillus album, Concrete Sustain, for example. Specifically, take the first two tracks. They start with a simple drum rhythm or bass riff — but not just any rhythm or riff, only Grade-A Prime body-movers.

Then they strap on a standard fuckton of 100% radioactive beef — low-slung, fuzzed-out riffs that provide the demolition counterpart to those foundational rhythms. On top of that they judiciously layer electronic noise and corrosive, fingernails-on-the-chalkboard vocals (though you’ll eventually also come to some horrifically deep vox, too). And voila! Black industrial funk, the dancebeat at the end of the world.

Seriously, try to resist the viral drumbeat that courses through “Concrete” or the compulsive bass line in “Cast”. I dare you.

But don’t be misled into thinking Concrete Sustain is nothing but a vat of sludgy industrial doom. If you do, you’ll get a big skull-crushing surprise when you come to “Beset”. You listen to that one, you’ll feel like you’ve flown too close to a massive goddamn gravity well. After a comparatively subdued intro, it begins a slow, relentless pull into uber-distorted doom oblivion. Simple, but slaughtering, with only an echoing melodic guitar lead to kiss you goodbye. Continue reading »

Dec 042012

This morning I found three new videos and a new full-album stream that I want to send your way. Sending now:


Magoa’s new EP Animals is finally out, and as of this morning so is yet another Magoa music video. Since we’ve already featured the first two videos for this French band’s EP, why stop now?

The new one for the song “A Thousand Lives” was directed by the same man who was responsible for the first two: Benjamin Cappelletti. The first two were so good that I had high hopes for the new one, too, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s just as much fun to watch as the first two. Mr. Capelletti cannot fail.

I also now have a new appreciation for the seriousness with which Magoa approach their craft. A lot of bands performing in a bedroom would stop what they were doing if hot chicks in their underwear invitingly climbed into bed and started caressing the band members, but Magoa soldiers on with their song. Impressive display of willpower. I also didn’t see the underwater shots coming, but it was a really nice surprise — which I’ve now sort of spoiled for you. I’m such a dick sometimes. Continue reading »