Nov 302015
 

Awe artwork

 

(Here’s KevinP’s list of favorite releases during the month of November.)

Last month this column was posted on October 28th, three days before the end of the month. I had a reader and then a friend of mine on Facebook ask me how I could create my list when the month didn’t even ended yet (since there were a plethora of releases due on October 30th).  So I realized maybe what I thought was common knowledge (advance promos) wasn’t as common as I thought?  For instance, as I type this now, I already have four albums on my iPhone that are due in February.

One of the perks for this labor of love we do here is getting to hear albums from a few weeks to many months prior to release. Record labels and PR companies know websites/magazines need lead time to prepare stuff. As flattering as it may be for some to think so, I would not be able to hear an album on the release date (say October 30th), make an accurate assessment of it, write a column, send it off to Islander, and get it posted the same day.

And now for a few housekeeping items before we get to this month’s releases.  This is the first year I’ve done a monthly column. I will still be doing a Best of 2015 list, but will have that ready in early January as to give it some separation from December’s releases.  You’re the Best Around, Nothing’s Gonna Keep You Down will be ready next week (where I go over all the OTHER best stuff of the year). Continue reading »

Nov 232015
 

Extreme Cold Winter-Paradise Ends Here

 

Everything about Extreme Cold Winter’s debut EP is massive, frigid, and pitiless. Compared to what I’ve heard from the music of founder AJ van Drench’s previous death/doom band Beyond Belief, Paradise Ends Here is slower, more desolate and forbidding, and more brutally staggering in the force of its impact. The word DOOM belongs before “death” this time, and it deserves all the capital letters.

In keeping with the band’s name, the song titles and the apocalyptic lyrical themes are devoted to the extinction of heat, joy, and life. The music and the words — which can be heard clearly in the well-rounded and monstrous growls of vocalist Pim Blankenstein (Officium Triste, The 11th Hour) — conjure feelings of desperation and dread. When Blankenstein roars, “We came from far, from raging worlds to kill again the sun and moon!”, you can easily imagine that he’s talking about the band, even though he’s not. Continue reading »