Apr 012022

Falls of Rauros

(We’ve reached the end of another month, and thus Gonzo has surfaced with another edition of this column, focusing here on five releases from March 2022.)

I recently made the somewhat ill-advised decision to take a road trip to my old stompin’ grounds of Seattle from my Denver abode. For those not familiar with the length of the trek, it’s about 21 hours by car. Flying out was definitely an option, but there’s always something uniquely appealing about pointing your car in one direction and flooring it for hours on end. If we’re speaking honestly, it’s downright therapeutic.

The “ill-advised” part of the equation came into account when driving through northern Wyoming and Montana. March is not what you’d call a calm month in terms of weather, and there were a couple of parts along desolate highways in which I was white knuckling my way through a snowstorm. There was madness in every direction. Unfettered chaos was all there was for hundreds of miles; one Subaru was a drop in the bucket amid endless 18-wheelers and highway patrol cars.

The good part about all this? I got plenty of time to delve into every album I’d been putting off for a while, and even got surprised by some other stuff I stumbled into. Continue reading »

May 172013

I’m no social anthropologist, but there still seems to be something of a divide between punk and hardcore, on the one hand, and metal on the other. Decades ago, the divide was like an ocean between them — a storm-tossed ocean marked by outright hostility. I saw that first-hand. As time passed, of course, there’s been a lot of cross-polinization, the lines have blurred, and I don’t sense that the hostility has survived. But I still don’t know many people who are equally avid fans of all three genres.

I’m as guilty as anyone. I listen mainly to metal and only dabble randomly in those other genres; I definitely don’t feel well-educated any more on what’s happening there. But every now and then I’ll come across bands with crossover styles, who lean more toward the punk or hardcore side of things than what I usually listen to, that really get my blood racing. By sheer chance, that happened to me yesterday with three bands . . . and here they are. In order, they move from more metal to less . . .


I have CVLT Nation to thank for this discovery. They recently premiered this Orange County band’s official video for “Unrelenting Storm” off their 2013 debut album We Set Fire To the Sky. The video is really well-executed — a beautifully filmed black-and-white band performance interspersed with images of death and destruction. And as for the song itself, “Unrelenting Storm” is an apt title. It’s kind of a Converge-Meets-Neurosis blend of vitriolic hardcore and groaning sludge, with a segment that’s almost atmospheric and meditative, too. I like it a lot. Continue reading »