Dec 222016
 

shaarimoth-temple-of-the-adversarial-fire

 

This time of year there are always a few people who ask whether I’m going to post my own list of the year’s best releases. Again, the answer is no, because making the effort would be too paralyzing. I have enough trouble deciding whether to wash my underoos or let them ferment for another week.

On the other hand, I do kind of feel left out of the year-end LISTMANIA frenzy, so I thought I’d put together a Top 10 list, but one that’s a bit easier for my overtaxed brain to process. These are the 10 best songs I heard for the first time yesterday.

Hey, don’t laugh! It wasn’t that easy — I listened to more than 20 new songs yesterday, so I did have to make some decisions. Of course, I couldn’t be bothered to rank these 10 tracks; there’s a limit to how far I’m going with this.

SHAARIMOTH

The first song is “Faceless Queen of Bloodstained Dreams”, which is from an album I’ve been anxiously awaiting — the second full-length by Norway’s Shaarimoth, which is arriving more than a decade after the first one. Continue reading »

Sep 022014
 

 

It’s rare for us to look back over our shoulders at releases from past years (or even past months). We have too damned much trouble trying to stay abreast of current releases. But I’ve recently discovered some short releases by three bands from Pennsylvania that I felt I had to write about, despite the fact that most of the music is from 2013 — if for no other reason than to introduce you to some names I suspect you’ll be hearing more about in the future.

The first one is a 2013 demo by a band named Outer Heaven, and the second is a 7″ split by Drones For Queens and Occult 45.

OUTER HEAVEN

I discovered the existence of Philadelphia’s Outer Heaven as a result of some glowing Facebook remarks by Krieg’s Imperial about their performance at last weekend’s Detest Fest Vol. 1 in the band’s home town. I hadn’t heard the name before, but after some poking around I learned that they include guitarist Jon Kunz from Rivers of Nihil and that they released a 7-track demo last year. But having said that, I suggest you now put Rivers of Nihil right out of your head, because Outer Heaven is a very different beast.

On that 2013 demo they drop ropey sludge riffs down from the rafters, knot them around your neck, and then push an anvil-heavy counterweight over the edge — and up you go, while the band beat you like a piñata with crowbars. Continue reading »