Jul 202021

(Andy Synn discovers that an old dog can learn new tricks, courtesy of the brand new album from Lantlôs, set for release on 30 July via Prophecy Productions)

There’s an ongoing (and rather interesting) debate happening in certain corners of the Metal-sphere (yes, I know spheres don’t have corners – work with me here) about how much of an influence Pop music, and pop-culture, should have over here in the more “Extreme” part of the music world.

The problem with this debate is that, as usual, it’s mostly the loudest, most obnoxious voices dominating the conversation – from the reactionary “defenders of the faith” on one side, so committed to the idea of Metal’s inherent superiority that to even suggest it could learn anything from other genres is tantamount to blasphemy, to the weirdly self-conscious and shamefaced “pseudo-fans” on the other, who seem to spend more time apologising for Metal’s perceived failings, insisting that it needs to start emulating whatever’s popular and successful instead, than they do celebrating it on its own terms.

What both sides seem to be unaware, or wilfully ignorant, of is the fact that Metal has always taken influence from across the Pop landscape, it’s just that there’s a big difference between simply doing it… and doing it well.

And, oh my, does this album do it very, very well indeed.

Continue reading »

Apr 262014

Here are a few things I spied over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth passing along. The last two items aren’t nearly as vicious as what normally tends to attract me, but they’re suiting my mood today.


I’m guilty of inconsistent impulses about metal, in the same way as many other fans of underground music. On the one hand, I get cynical and even pissed off when I see metal being spread around in the mainstream, a feeling that it’s being polluted by rubbing shoulders with the uninitiated. On the other hand, I also get a little thrill when I see metal being used in a way that exposes the music to new listeners in new settings. I can’t explain it.

But anyway, I got that little thrill when I saw the following video this morning. It’s a performance by a woman named Arora Leigh at the 2014 Atlantic Pole Championship competition on April 12 in Washington, DC. As musical accompaniment for her routine, she chose an edited version of the song “Poisoned By Prosperity” by Denver’s Vale of Pnath — a band we’ve repeatedly featured and praised at this site. Continue reading »

Apr 222013

The 2013 edition of the Roadburn Festival took place over the last four days, from Thursday, April 18, to Sunday, April 21, 2013, in Tilburg, The Netherlands. There’s a dude whose web moniker is kkpgijsbers who lives in Tilburg and attends a lot of live shows and films them. He attended the 2013 edition of Roadburn and has been uploading a bunch of videos he shot of performances at the festival.

The audio and visual quality of these clips is generally excellent — kkpgijsbers obviously has good gear and he sets up at balcony-level, front-row vantage points that provide unobstructed views of the stages. So far this morning I’ve watched the film of Lantlôs performing “Intrauterine”, High On Fire performing “Snakes For the Divine”, Primordial delivering “The Gathering Wilderness”, Electric Wizard with “Witchcult Today” and “The Nightchild”, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats doing “Valley of the Dolls” with a excerpts of Sharon Tate’s appearance in the movie of the same name on the screen behind them.

I’ve embedded those videos after the jump, plus a random selection of other performances by Alcest, Godflesh, and Cult of Luna. You can find more Roadburn clips by visiting kkpgijsbers’ YouTube channel, and it appears that still more will be uploaded today and in the days to come. Continue reading »

Oct 272011

Lantlôs is a two-man German band consisting of Herbst, who writes the music and plays all the instruments (other than session drums), and Alcest’s Neige, who supplies scarifying vocals. Their 2010 album, .neon, made several of the “best of the year” lists we published last December. Even after seeing the name on those lists, I never listened to it. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know. However, the band have already finished a new album titled Agape — five songs totaling about 35 minutes of music. It’s scheduled for release on October 28 and it’s available for pre-order in a variety of formats from Prophecy Productions at this web store.

Thanks to a tip from BadWolf, I can report that the album is also now streaming — for one week only — at the Finnish web site Inferno, which also hosted a stream of the new Solstafir album that we featured not long ago. Accompanying the album stream is a track-by-track commentary (appearing in Finnish on the Inferno site) by Herbst. This offers two attractive opportunities:

First, you get to hear the new Lantlôs album. Second, English speakers get another chance to see what kind of new hilarity will be produced by running the text through Google Translate. I sure hope whoever’s working on the Finnish-to-English algorithm for Google Translate stops trying to improve it, because it’s perfect just the way it is. For example, Inferno’s description of the Lantlôs music comes out this way: “post-called black metaliksikin”.

Me-tal-ik-sik-in. Beautiful word. It has dueling connotations — it sounds like either “sick metal” (a good thing) or metal that makes you sick-up your breakfast (not so good). I’ve only just started listening to the Lantlôs album stream, and so far I’d say it’s sick metal.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »