May 192021


In January of this year the Klonosphere label released the third full-length by the Luxembourg-based death-metal group Scarred — almost eight years after the band’s second album, Gaia – Medea. The product of four years of work, this new album was self-titled, an intentional signal that it represented a transformation of the band’s sound. And indeed it is a remarkably wide-ranging experience, organized by design in a way that was intended, from start to finish, “to embark the listener on the same journey the band has traveled, from the initial disaggregation, up and down, to the final liberation”.

The album is daring and risky, repeatedly confounding expectations — not just expectations based on the band’s past releases, but also based on the last song you just heard. It’s stylistically diverse to the point of being unpredictable, which perhaps explains why the many reviews it has received collectively name-drop references to Gojira, Amenra, Opeth, Gaerea, Devin Townsend, and Pink Floyd (among others).

To showcase the album, Scarred have also released a sequence of music videos, all of which are well worth seeing (as well as hearing), and today we’re adding another one, the subject of which is a song that appears dead-center in the album’s track-list progression. Continue reading »

Dec 252020


Childhood memories tend to be fuzzy, at least around the edges. I have some vivid ones, but can’t always place them in chronological order. For example, I have some very clear memories of opening Christmas presents with my brother, and the rest of my family happily watching our glee. Some of those happened on Christmas Eve, and some upon waking on Christmas Day. Having been infected by the Santa Claus myth, I assume the memories from the daybreak celebrations were the earlier ones, and the nighttime ones happened after our family figured out (rightly or wrongly) that we had wised up about the myth, but I can’t be sure.

What I do know is that the nighttime gift-openings were more magical, even if they didn’t square with the notion of deliveries by Santa and the reindeer while my brother and I were off in the Land of Nod. Maybe it’s because the lights and ornaments on the Yule trees shown more brightly (our family wisely turned off all other lights in the room). Maybe there are other reasons why those memories are more scintillating, but if so, those reasons are… fuzzy… kind of like the gauzy light that shrouds these recollections in my mind. Continue reading »