Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends! I hope you all had a nice, Covid-free break. Already some excellent releases to listen to this year – and it came out last week so I didn’t write about it but you should check out the Wilderun if you haven’t yet.
Anna von Hausswolff
Live at Montreux Jazz Festival (Southern Lord)
Despite it only being the second week of January, despite this being a live album consisting of songs from previous records –despite this not even really being metal! – this is already an EOY contender. Psychedelic gothic doom jazz, worship music for the Elder Gods, these hymns captivate when performed in von Hausswolf’s chosen cathedral for her chosen flock. Absolutely stunning.
Big Scenic Nowhere
The Long Morrow (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Stoner legends Fu Manchu and Yawning Man specialize in immediate gratification. Take members of those bands, throw in the singer from Mos Generator and guest appearances from Reeves Gabrels and Per Wiberg from Opeth and you have a different beast entirely. Big Scenic Nowhere live up to their name, painting long, introspective desert panoramas with the fuzz that they are known for and a touch of prog/psych. They make these sights worth taking in.
Dance with the Dead
Driven to Madness (Self-released)
Veteran SoCal shredwavers take you on an EC comics inspired ride to the dark side. More emphasis on the guitar gives this a heavier vibe than some of their previous work, but for the most part they’re taking you to new parts of the same graveyard– they haven’t moved as far from darksynth as some of their former tourmates, which is fine because they’re still some of the best cryptkeepers in the genre. The first voice you hear belongs to John Carpenter.
Maule (Gates of Hell)
I assume these Canadian old schoolers’ name comes from an alternate spelling of the medieval war hammer, not the aircraft company or city in France, but I’ve been wrong before (probably what that skeleton beast has in its bony hands but it’s hard to tell). Their love for first-four-albums Iron Maiden certainly hits you over the head. That’s okay, though, because this stuff lives or dies on the passion and riffs, and they have both of those in spades. Or hammers, if you will.
It’s been a couple years since we’ve heard from Pelican, and I’m not saying that these Spaniards are copycats, but if you’re looking for instrumental metal this definitely scratches the same itch. And you know what? Despite all the post-rock outfits out there, very few of them guide you through their emotional, vocal-free journey effectively. This does.
There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road (Century Media)
I’m not sure how to pronounce this name either, dude, which literally makes it hard to recommend this excellent record to people in real life (not that I get to see any of those anymore). Initial impressions of this as just more black metal prove false – these members of the Amen Ra art collective explore the bounds of the sound, whether it be bursts of noise or mechanistic drumming or even a well-placed ‘n roll groove. If the genre feels predictable to you, here’s the antidote.
OTHER SHIT THAT COMES OUT TODAY
Aethereus – Leiden (The Artisan Era) Listen
Buffalo Revisited – Volcanic Rock Live (Ripple) Listen
Enterprise Earth – The Chosen (eOne) Listen
Ereb Altor – Vargtimman (Hammerheart) Listen
Fit for an Autopsy – Oh What The Future Holds (NB) Listen
Magnum – The Monster Roars (SPV/Steamhammer) Listen
Oceans – Hell Is Where The Heart Is Part I: Love EP (Nuclear Blast) Listen
Out of This World – Out Of This World (Atomic Fire) Listen
Pridelands – Light Bends (SharpTone) Listen
Shadow of Intent – Elegy (Blood Blast) Listen
Various Artists – Dominance And Submission: A Tribute To Blue Oyster Cult (Ripple) Listen
Weaponry – Everwinding Slaughter (Xtreem) Listen
Worm Shepherd – Chalice Ov Rebirth (Unique Leader) Listen
Go to Source
Author: Jeff Treppel