Forget Nostalgia – Listen To New Music

Some very good new things have arrived already this week……a mixed bag of genre’s which suits me

Vancouver’s Baptists share the first new track from their upcoming second album, Bloodmines, which is due for release via Southern Lord on 13th October.

Arriving at the album’s mid point, ‘Harm Induction’ is a volatile, high speed, turbo-charged rager. As the guitar riffs scale to an ear-splitting climax, the vocals also reach the peak of absolute seething anger. Harm Induction is unrelenting, near suffocating, and highly cathartic.

Le Butcherettes have joined Ipecac Recordings’ roster and will release their second album release, Cry Is For The Flies, on Sept. 29 via the label in conjunction with Nadie Sound.

“Since I created Le Butcherettes in Guadalajara, I’ve always yearned for the band to be part of a label/community that helps and supports artists to act fearlessly and help serve the music.” explained fiery Le Butcherettes front-woman Teri Gender Bender. “So happy beyond words that we’ve found a family in Ipecac. Dream come true.”

“We are EXTREMELY excited to be working with Le Butcherettes,” said Ipecac Recordings Co-Owner Greg Werckman. “Teresa is a dynamic front person and a perfect fit with the Ipecac family. Not a band to miss on record or live.”

The eleven-song release had previously been available exclusively as a digital download via producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s label Nadie Sound’s website but, as of September 29th, will be made available on physical formats (CD/vinyl) as well as through various digital service providers including iTunes.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Teri said of the subject matter on Cry Is For The Flies: “There are so many demons I have inside – they’re little gods. There’s a god of evil, the god of good, the god of sex, the god of lust. With music, I tap into those god demons. It’s therapy.”

Cry Is For The Flies was recorded at Infrasonic and Kingsize Studios in Los Angeles. The album features guests Henry Rollins (“Moment of Guilt”) and Shirley Manson (“Shame, You’re All I’ve Got”). Le Butcherettes is Teri Gender Bender (vocals, guitar, keys) and Lia Braswell (drums). They shall be touring the album in support of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s band Antemasque.

Black Earth are a four piece band from Sheffield whose influences includes Joy Division and QOTSA. Heavy drumbeats and strong guitar riffs are the perfect back drop for a dark and often mysterious vocal creating a sound that draws you in. Three tracks are available via their Bandcamp page – worth checking out…..

At long last a new album from Monster Island – a band always worth checking out if only for Stephen Waddicor’s particular utterings about the world – they do not disappoint with their latest offering called The House of Lancaster  which appears on first hearing to be even more unhinged than previous releases. Bloomin’ marvellous say I. They will be playing songs from the new album etc. on 3rd September at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester with Locean (who I must check out)  and Un Deux Trois.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based demolition union, Die Choking , is prepared to shove their second wave of hyperactive, earthmoving grind/thrash down the world’s collective throat, with II on September 29th – expect some airplay on the Sonic Attack Podcast around and about that time.  Five tracks in 5m 57s gives a sense of the content – scabrous vocals, impossibly fast D-Beat drumming and confrontational bass and guitar make for fascinating listening.

New Born, the debut album from Moscow’s Sounds of Sputnik, is a kaleidoscope of reverb-soaked guitar, calculated drums, thick bass, and angular guitars intertwined with ethereal vocals. This is extraordinary noise-pop, with layered harmonies, interlacing synth and distorted guitars. Sounds of Sputnik paired up with Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma to co-write, produce, and record this album, to be released on UK label Ear to Ear Records. Ummagma’s Shauna McLarnon and Alexx Kretov both contribute mesmerizing vocals.

Following their 2013 reunion, the Californian hardcore/thrash metal crossover band Excel have since teamed up with Southern Lord and are reissuing their debut album, Split Image (originally released through Suicidal and Caroline records). Widely regarded as a classic album, Split Image was produced by Randy Burns (Death, Possessed, Megadeth, Kreator, Suicidal Tendencies). The reissue shall be officially released on 29 September.

Remastered by Brad Boatright (Bl’ast!, Sleep, Obituary, Black Breath) the Split Image Southern Lord issue comes with a massive amount of bonus material including the Welcome to Venice comp tracks, Personal Onslaught Demo & Refuse to Quit Demo). The LP Includes a 32 page 7”X7” booklet with tons of photos from the era and a 11” x 17” poster of the original Michael Seiff album cover artwork. The CD contains bonus demo material (Personal Onslaught & Refuse to Quit Demos). Also including a booklet with many rare/unseen photos. A crucial documentation of an essential crossover band.

Having formed in 1984, they released three studio albums as well as a number of demos and singles.  Equally informed by punk rock’s attitude and heavy metal’s riffs, their  fast, grinding and heavy sounds, combined with their intelligent lyrics, set them apart as a genre defining band of the era.    The current line-up includes Dan Clements on vocals, Shaun Ross on bass, Mike Cosgrove on drums and Alex Barreto (Chain Of Strength) on guitar.

A new Grouper album is news, highly anticipated and  best introduced in Liz Harris’ own words, here’s the story…

 “Ruins was made in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 on a residency set up by Galeria Zé dos Bois. I recorded everything there except the last song, which I did at mother’s house in 2004. Iʼm still surprised by what I wound up with. It was the first time Iʼd sat still for a few years; processed a lot of political anger and emotional garbage. Recorded pretty simply, with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano. When I wasnʼt recording songs I was hiking several miles to the beach. The path wound through the ruins of several old estates and a small village.”

“The album is a document. A nod to that daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love. I left the songs the way they came (microwave beep from when power went out after a storm); I hope that the album bears some resemblance to the place that I was in.”

Grouper

As the release of  Yob‘s forthcoming album Clearing The Path To Ascend dawns, the band reveal one of the four tracks on it, the brutally heavy “Unmask The Spectre”. The band have already revealed snippets of the track via their album trailer, now it is time to hear the whole thing. Here’s what Mike Scheidt has to say about the song…”This part of the album gets dark, but it also has a sense of beauty and resolve. The mood and atmosphere nod equal parts to old and new YOB. It’s one of my favorite things we’ve ever done.

 

 
  
(photo credit: David Lee Dailey)
 

In celebration of Old World New Wave, the impending new release from Ides Of Gemini, here is the first official sampling of the record with “The Chalice & The Blade.”

Relays singer/bassist Sera Timms of the tune, “The main riff [guitarist] J [Bennett] brought in for ‘…Chalice…’ marches in as a transcendent assault with [drummer] Kelly [Johnston-Gibson]’s oppressive, jagged beat moving it forward like some re-animated corpse. A mechanized shamanic trance that sent me straight into the underworld lyrically.”

The follow-up to the band’s 2012 Constantinople debut, Old World New Wave was recorded at Valley Recording in Burbank, California, engineered and mixed by Chris Rakestraw (Danzig), mastered by Grammy award winning producer Matt Hyde (Slayer) and boasts the striking hand-drawn cover art of Kelly Johnston-Gibson.

 

Baptists, Wolves and Pallbearers

Some tidbits of news that have come my way:

Little Rock, Arkansas doom metal band Pallbearer have completed work on their follow-up to 2012’s acclaimed “Sorrow and Extinction” LP. Entitled “Foundations Of Burden”, the new album sees the present-day doom metal giants create a more expansive, advanced, crushing, and emotionally charged album that takes everything to the next level beyond its predecessor. Musically, the album sees the band strengthen their monolithic melodious structures of doom that have become synonymous with their signature sound. All while incorporating a much more progressive and musically challenging element to their anthems which compliment the huge epic melodies and harmonics even moreso. Where “Sorrow and Extinction” expanded the foundation which Pallbearer laid down with their demo, “Foundations Of Burden” morphs itself into a glorious new vision that is without doubt their most engaging work yet. Recorded and mixed by Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Sleep, Agalloch, The Melvins etc.) at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon, it  will see its release (CD/LP/Digital) August 22nd in the EU and August 25th in the UK.

L-R Brett Campbell (vocals/guitar), Mark Lierly (drums), Joseph D. Rowland (bass/vocals), Devin Holt (guitars), photo credit Diana Lee Zadlo
L-R Brett Campbell (vocals/guitar), Mark Lierly (drums), Joseph D. Rowland (bass/vocals), Devin Holt (guitars), photo credit Diana Lee Zadlo

As Cascadian duo, Wolves In The Throne Room, prepares for the release of “Celestite” — the instrumental companion to their 2011 Celestial Lineage LP — I can offer a foretaste of the impending album with a stream of its magnum opus, “Celestite Mirror.” With over forty-five minutes of stunning, reworked versions of the powerful black metal anthems that surged on Celestial Lineage, on Celestite, the band takes a deeper excursion into the synthesizer-driven domains that have long intrigued them. With the aid of producer Randall Dunn, they unearthed a hidden soundscape that is only loosely tethered to their familiar sound, yet is still unmistakably the work of Wolves In The Throne Room. The scores of renowned sound-sculptors like Carpenter and Eno merge with the band’s Pacific Northwestern inspirations and through a literal wall of vintage synth gear, the previous album is here fully re-imagined and delivered on a parallel existence to its predecessor. The cover art visually enhances these expansive passages with an otherworldly forest vision, a collaboration created by Rachel Carns and WITTR’s Nathan Weaver. “Celestite Mirror,” the most extensive of Celestite’s works, is a nearly fifteen-minute excursion into exploratory soundscapes as vast and beautiful as the band’s surrounding woodlands.

Celestite will see release in the UK/EU on July 7th through the band’s own new label, Artemisia Records, with digipak CD, gatefold LP and digital download editions pending. Preorders are now available http://artemisiarecords.bandcamp.com/

While Celesite bears new “non-metal” and fully synth-based output, the album does not represent a “change in direction” for Wolves In The Throne Room as a whole.

Vancouver’s Baptists have completed work on their second full length, following their 2013 debut “Bushcraft”. Entitled “Bloodmines”, the album was recorded at Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts with with Kurt Ballou – and shall be released via Southern Lord in the UK/EU in September. Like it’s predecessor, Bloodmines is a fast, exhilarating album of rage, oozing with genuine raw emotion and punk rock fury. Shards of feedback make way for fast powerful riffs and savage vocals, whilst explosive drumming pumps blood around the band’s beating heart. On album tracks like “Vistas”, “Calling” and the title track, “Bloodmines”, the pace changes, revealing powerful, almost anthemic, jagged noise rock songs (much like influential San Diego post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu) which go beyond the two minute mark. Discordant guitar melodies and abrasive vocal passages are elongated, still volatile but perhaps allowing for further contemplation of the band’s underlying message. Not ones to rest on their laurels, Baptists have found new ways to express their rage and with Bloodmines they have created a memorable and commanding album.

As a taster here is a look at their recent Rain City sessions.