Apr 022016

Duplicate Records-An Alignment of Shrines


On this Saturday morning I’ve been struck by a combination of early slothfulness and (annoyingly) a subsequent need to deal with some internet service problems. I had plans to review two EPs for today, but since it’s already noon out here on the Left Coast and I haven’t written a word, I wondered what the hell I would do to foist music upon you. And then I received a Bandcamp alert in my e-mail and… Voilà!!!

That Bandcamp alert concerned a just-released compilation of sounds from Oslo, Norway’s Duplicate Records entitled An Alignment of Shrines. It includes tracks by 14 bands — four of them from forthcoming releases and the rest from Duplicate releases over the last year or so. I recognized the names of 10 of the bands, and it happens that I’ve enjoyed and we’ve previously written about the music of all 10 of those. Here’s the list of the bands and the names of the releases from which the songs were drawn: Continue reading »

Nov 302014


Back in August I was halted in my tracks by the very cool cover art for a then-forthcoming split release by Portugal’s Monte Penumbra and Half Visible Presence from The Netherlands. Both bands include members of the most excellent Israthoum (W.uR in Monte Penumbra and Arvath going solo in Half Visible Presence). The cover art above is actually the artwork for the Half Visible Presence side of the split — you’ll see the complementary art for Monte Penumbra’s side after the jump.


“Downwards Deathmarch” is the name of the Half Visible Presence track, and it could hardly be better named. Announced by the sound of a funeral bell against the backdrop of a cold, desolate wind, the song is anchored by doleful, groaning, repeating riffs and slow drumbeats. It’s a deep pit of misery, corroded with distortion and its melody sodden with tears. Continue reading »