Nov 222017


(We present Austin Weber’s review of the long-awaited (and very eagerly awaited) new album by Cleric.)


In 2010, the Philadelphia-based avant-garde metal band Cleric dropped one of the biggest mindfucks ever to appear in the modern metal era called Regressions. In a lot of ways, the album felt like the rightful spiritual heir to Mr. Bungle and Secret Chiefs 3, endlessly explorative and capable of churning out incomprehensibly dense and eclectic compositions that sound like nothing else out there.

It was fitting then that Regressions was put out by Secret Chiefs 3/ex-Mr. Bungle mastermind Trey Spruance’s label, Web Of Mimicry. To give you another prime example of Regressions complex mind-bending insanity, a prominent Cleric trait which certainly holds true to the music on Retrocausal as well, Colin Marston once discussed their debut in an interview in the following way: “Regressions by Cleric took waaaaaay longer than any other record I’ve ever worked on. It’s also probably the most dense in terms of the sheer number and complexity of layers being heard at any given time.”

Now, with little pre-warning, comes the dawn of album number two, Retrocausal, with Cleric once again reuniting with Colin Marston to handle the recording, mixing, and mastering of another amorphous musical behemoth. Continue reading »

Nov 062013

Collected here are new songs I heard yesterday that are way off all the usual beaten paths. I have no idea whether you’ll like them, but I sure did. The bands are Cleric (Philadelphia), Phuture Doom (Detroit), and Gates of Aaru (Johannesburg).


There are two bands named Cleric who we’ve written about in the past. The one I want to talk about today is the one from Philadelphia, the one whose 2010 album Regressions I once described as “something like PortalBlackjazz-vintage Shining, and Behold… the Arctopus communing in a hurricane. During an earthquake.” The fact that the instruments used on the album included the saz, the tenori-on, and the theremin had something to do with my general “what the fuck?!?” attitude about the music.

Cleric are now on tour (check the dates here) and will soon be in Seattle (hell yeah), and today DECIBEL started streaming a new Cleric work named “Resumption”. That’s a fitting title for the song, because Cleric have more or less picked up where Regressions left off three years ago. The song is almost 12 minutes long, and it comes off as a free-form storm of instrumental acrobatics, highly unstable tempos, and throat-rupturing vocals. It jabs like a welterweight, hallucinates like an opium addict, and somersaults like a high-wire acrobat. Continue reading »

Oct 042013

We don’t usually report news about tours unless they involve nationally or internationally known bands, because providing comprehensive daily news isn’t really part of our mission statement. But I’m making an exception in this post because the band is so damned interesting and because some friends in the Pacific Northwest provided the impetus for making this tour a cross-country reality.

The band’s name is Cleric and they’re from Philadelphia. I came across them in August through a recommendation by Ryan Schutte, guitarist for the awesome Seattle band Lb.! (pound) (who has since then helped Cleric arrange shows up in my part of the country). Back then, I listened to one long song from the band’s 2010 album Regressions that just completely blew my mind, and I wrote this:

This song is one of the most eye-popping, jaw-dropping, extravagant pieces of music I’ve heard all year. It’s almost 20 minutes long, and I was transfixed (and somewhat scared) the whole time. It’s an out-and-out barrage of freakazoidical, destructive, synapse-severing mayhem. It doesn’t follow a straight line, it doesn’t play nice, it doesn’t let up. A thoroughly brain-puréeing, remorselessly spine-crushing experience. Something like PortalBlackjazz -vintage Shining, and Behold… the Arctopus communing in a hurricane. During an earthquake.

Four months after Regressions came out, they were robbed in Philadelphia “of nearly everything that helped to build and eventually portray their sound, and the closest they came to touring was driving to pawn shops looking for stolen gear.”  The story I received in a press release today continues: Continue reading »

Sep 202013

Here’s the second part of my effort to collect worthwhile new music discovered over the last 24 hours. You can find Part 1 via this link. All the music in this Part is different, but all of it is just fuckin’ evil.


In May I gave a laborious description of how I had found the Czech black metal band Cult of Fire. It started with a shirt. It ended with a track from the band’s 2012 debut album Triumvirát that was included on a free comp from Demonhood Productions. As reported in that earlier post, Cult of Fire are now signed to the German label Iron Bonehead for release of their next album (which should be coming in 2013). Yesterday, I found a stream of the first advance track from the album.

I’m unable to write or pronounce the name of the album or the song, but I can show you what they look like: The song is “मृत्यु का वीभत्स नृत्य” and the album’s name is “मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान”.

I took a chance and put those titles into Google Translate and, lo and behold, it turns out the language is Hindi. The song title translates to “ghastly dance of death” but Google Translate failed me when it came to the album name. I did find this statement about the album by the band: “It’s a homage to the Goddess Kali, the Aghoris, the funeral rites in India and its close surroundings.” 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 »

Apr 032013

On most days at this site I try to pull together a round-up of new music, album art, and/or news that most interested me over the preceding 24 hours. It’s usually in the range of 3-5 items, packaged together in one long post. Today, just for the hell of it, I’m spreading what interested me over the course of the whole day, one item at a time.

Yesterday I discovered Cleric. I discovered them because my eyes were drawn to the stupendous cover art by Jason Barnett that you see above, which accompanies their debut album, Gratum Inferno.

Cleric are based in Dallas, Texas, and are composed of members of Kill the Client, Baring Teeth, and Tyrannosorceress. But if you know the music of those other bands, prepare yourselves for something different.

I haven’t heard the entire album — only three songs are now streaming on Bandcamp — but what I’ve heard is truly impressive. Continue reading »