A selection of new releases of the metal kind – but kicking off with a classic from my youth….and before you think I’ve gone slightly potty the words below, are in the most part, from the promos that come with the albums:
- Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath – band, track and album title – where it all began in reality…….
- Planks- Tentacles – The Darkest of Greys/Solicit to Fall – Planks are an intense, darkened hardcore/metal band from Germany. This exclusive Southern Lord CD release compiles both The Darkest of Grays 12” and the Solicit to Fall 12”. This is the first time any of their recordings have been available on compact disc. Whether through driving melodies, explosive noise, or the most fragile of interludes, Planks hits hard and resonates deeply within the listener. At the core of the bandís approach is evenly influenced by groups like His Hero is Gone as well as Neurosis and even Dark Throne. Their surging hardcore/punk power chords are forcefully accented by dissonant melodies. http://www.myspace.com/walkingonplanks
- Seven Sisters of Sleep – Monasteries – Seven Sisters of Sleep – a new band from Southern California, featuring ex-members of Tafkata and Arm and Sword of the Bastard God. This slef titled debut album is loaded with pulverising riffs and hypnotic drumming in the name of the horned one! Ultra gloomy, subsonic depression delivered with a vicious kick to the skull. The vinyl version of this album was released by A389 records (Ringworm, Integrity, Pulling Teeth)/ www.myspace.com/sevensistersofsleep
- Xibalba – Fallen – Madre Mia Por Los Dias – another band from Southern California, effectively fuse death metal influences like Sepultura and Obituary with more modern and 90s hardcore. The group’s downtuned, heavy as f*ck music is a force to reckoned with. The old world influence is only evident to the trained eye, but Xibalba gives nods to the hardcore bands they were raised on, and also to the culture which spawned them. The band not only know their roots, but make sure you won’t forget them either. The Madre Mia Por Los Dias CD contains not only the s/t debut album from Xibalba but also the material from the Earthquake comp CD. The vinyl version of this album was also released by A389 records (Ringworm, Integrity, Pulling Teeth).http://www.myspace.com/placeoffear
- Retox – The World is Ending and It’s About Time – Ugly Animals – a blistering four-piece who made their live debut mere months ago, join Ipecac’s roster with the band’s debut album,Ugly Animals. The band members are Justin Pearson (The Locust, All Leather, Some Girls, Swing Kids), Gabe Serbian (The Locust, Cattle Decapitation, Holy Molar, Rats Eyes), Michael Crain (Festival of Dead Deer) and Thor Dickey. The album was recorded in March with Manny Nieto and Retox co-producing the all analog release. The band recently released a self-titled EP and completed a UK tour where Midland Rocks succinctly described Retox as “… a punch in our stagnant, mediocre, celebrity-obsessed culture’s face. Their sound is like a brick wall crashing into a dump truck. In less than thirty minutes, Retox delivered an intense performance that left the crowd in shock and awe.”
- Grumbling Fur – Sommaren A|er Ha|er – Furrier – Borne form a day long improvisation in deep dark south London… A smattering of Fins and Englishmen chatter, chant and chime as rail lines whistle and hashclouds billow. Swamped cavernous modes unravel into vistas of blissed kraut mantra and stilted metal drifts. Months pass, O’Sullivan and Uusimaki quietly trundle through the wreck-age with a fine tooth comb assembling the hairy monolith. Scene changes and juxtapositions are magnified, temporal dream states fall deeper into comatosed hypnosis. O’Sullivan and Tucker’s deep psyche vocal duets fly above bubbling hippopotamus pools and humming electric temples. Lethisalo barks the Viking lament from sonic Helheim. ‘Furrier’ basks in astral shade. Featuring Daniel O Sullivan (Ulver, Guapo, Mothlite, Miasma & The Carousel of Headless Horses, Aethenor) Alexander Tucker, Antti Uusimaki (Mothlite, Panic DHH), Jussi Lethisalo (Circle, Pharaoh Overlord) and David Smith (Guapo, Miasma & The Carousel of Headless Horses, The Stargazer’s Assistant and Amal Gamal) this really is a sumptious psyche record, not to be overlooked.
- Acephalix – In Arms of Nothing – Interminable Night – San Francisco based ACEPHALIX spew forth a stripped-down and tonally obliterating old-school Entombed/Bolt Thrower death metal style infused with West Coast crustpunk angst. Featuring members of Depressor and Vastum, Acephalix deliver a brutal combination of low and metallic distortion, pummelling riffs and gnarled vocals. Interminable Night is a compilation of recently released demos previously available only on cassette. Prepare for audile annihilation! CD limited to 2,000 copies.
- Alpinist – Nighttime Poet Daytime Dead – Lichtaerm/Minus Mensch – are from Munster Germany, and produce crushingly dark hardcore/crust played with blinding intensity. The band is meant to be understood by those who are sick of following musical trends, those who want to live out music with dedication and those who believe in expressing their own ideals through their own art. Alpinists’ socio-political lyrics are openly and strongly against all forms of fascism, racism, sexism and homophobia. The disc contains both of the band’s albums that were previously only available on limited vinyl releases, making this the first ever CD release from ALPINIST. Limited pressing of 2,000 copies.
- Drainland – Rebuilding Salem – And So Our Troubles – Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, is the crust behemoth DRAINLAND. And So Our Troubles Began is a compilation of two previously released vinyl-only releases. DRAINLAND’S intense (ins)urgency is saturated with the crushing sludge of Eyehategod and the crusty punk filthiness of His Hero is Gone. This release will be a one-time, limited CD pressing of 1000.
- Mark Deutrom – Buried in the Jewel – The Value of Decay – he fourth solo release from the veteran noisemonger, The Value of Decay’s bizarre passages are alive with creepy, quirky and off-kilter anti-riffage over its 15-track cerebral assassination. Deutrom, having helped found West Coast hardcore act Clown Alley in the early ’90s, is most widely known for his time spent in the Melvins in the mid-’90s, with their Prick, Stoner Witch, Stag, Honky and Alive at the Fucker Club albums. Mark D also bears producer credits under his belt for massively influential albums including the Melvins’ Ozmaand Gluey Porch Treatments LPs, RKL’s Rock n Roll NightmareLP, Raw Power’s Mine To Kill and Too Tough to Burn albums, and Neurosis’ almighty 1998 Pain Of Mind release. Presently Deutrom runs with his new band The County Bucks and continues to create musical chaos on many other levels.
- Ramesses – Towers of Silence – Possessed by the rise of Magick – The time has come to unleash Possessed By The Rise Of Magik, the eagerly anticipated, brand new full length from the widely acclaimed metal alchemists, Ramesses. The Chrome Pineal LP unearthed an even more experimental side to Ramesses, whilst Possessed… takes these more progressive tendencies into a whole other realm, and they sound all the more refreshing for it. The album begins with Ramesses’ trademark retro doom rock on the tracks ‘Invisible Ritual’ and ‘Towers Of Silence’. As the album unfolds, the music slips into a slow psychedelic groove, revealing spell-binding psyche-folk melodies, most affecting on the tracks ‘Duel’ and ‘Safety In Numbness’ which, together with the 11+ minute eponymous monster are amongst the stand-out tracks on the album. Enormous churning riffs and soaring mournful guitar harmonies still encase the album, with rasping horror versus dream-state vocals, and ancient ceremonial yet savage drum beats that could summon demons from the very depths of hell. Not just a title, Possessed By The Rise Of Magik is more a statement in response to the cathartic affects of this album, once you submit yourselves, it is impossible to resist its deadly charms. It sees the band capturing the ritualistic side of their nature to great effect without resorting to costumes props and make-up. They incorporate the ideas, images and symbols of influential occult British artist Austin Osman Spare into their own spaced-out grim craft to create a new magikal language (the spelling of the word as ‘magik’ as opposed to the traditional ‘magic’ or Crowley’s own ‘magick’ reflects this thought process). Recording in trances and automatic writing are key techniques in the creation of this next step in the Ram family’s journey to the end! As affecting and visceral as Take the Curse and all that has gone before, Possessed… affirms Ramesses’ place as one of the UK’s most forward thinking metal bands. Bang thy head!
- Horse Latitudes – Hornblas – Gathering – from Finland and its another exceptional outfit. The band consists of Harri on drums and vocals, with Heidi and Vellu both playing bass. The CD is on the Aurora Borealis label with a vinyl version to follow very soon according to their press page.
- Dog Kicked In Half – Simon Weston – EP3023 – I can’t remember who recommended this to me but it’s a rather fine release on Bandcamp.
- Zomes – Pilgrim Traveller – Earth Grid – Earth Grid, Zomes second solo album, is the culmination of Asa Osborne’s (no relation I hasten to add) years of exploring meditative modal models. Written, played, and recorded entirely at home on cassette tape, Earth Grid, is an intimate and intentionally primitive recording.
To listen to the sh0w click on the link below